Archive for the ‘Camp’ Category

Holidays 2012

Posted: January 1, 2013 in Camp, Family, Holiday
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We started the holidays with a family controversy: put up the pre-lit artificial tree or go real. Dad gave in this year and we went with the genuine article. More work, but it does look and smell nice!

The house was in full nutcracker mode when Cleon (Shawn’s uncle) and Ellie arrived on the Wednesday before Christmas. They settled in and tolerated our daily routine until the weekend arrived and we too were enjoying the holiday break! Unfortunately, Cleon was plagued by a cough and cold during his visit and didn’t have his normal energy – so we put a few events on hold and had a bunch of fun at home. Along the way, thanks to Nancy, our neighbor down the street, we were Caned!

Things really kicked off on Christmas Eve when Marie joined us and seven fishes (Calamari, Bacala, and Cioppino with vongole, cozze, gamberetti, granchi, e eglefino) were served for dinner. It was a nice evening – though we were missing Grampa. A little later, Shawn and John even made it to the 11 PM worship service at our church!

Christmas morning arrived with just a frosting of fresh snow falling as we unwrapped our gifts.  All seemed pleased by the impressive selections New England-like weather!

A bit later in the day, we sat down to Christmas dinner joined by our pals Heather and Thor and their three-month old, Camden! We enjoyed great family fellowship, a nice ham dinner, and a bit of Limoncello – all under Camden’s watchful gaze.

On Wednesday evening, we treated Cleon to dinner at Pavarotti’s in honor of his 86th birthday! Then home for birthday cake! Later, it was back to our place for cake!

December 27th was a busy day as we delivered Cleon and Ellie to the airport for their trip home, watched at least some of the bouts as Josh took third place at the Pentucket Holiday Wrestling Tournament, watched Jake run in the MSTCA Holiday Qualifier at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, and then picked up Josh’s buddy Dan arriving from Florida at the airport!

Josh knows Dan from North Woods Camp where they’ve both attended as campers, along with Jake, and worked as councilors. Josh spent much of the rest of the break visiting with Dan and other friends from North Woods. Being from a warmer climate, Dan was pretty excited to help shovel snow – and we were excited to let him! He also got to attend one of Josh’s wrestling matches and cheer him on!

On New Year’s Eve day, John took Josh, Dan, and another North Woods buddy from down the street, Kevin, up to Pats Peak for some skiing and boarding!  Dan had boarded a bit as a youngster but, after a failed attempt to recall the skills, found a pair of skis much more to his liking and all three guys enjoyed the day on the snow!

On New Year’s Eve, we had all kinds of stuff going on!  Josh, Dan, Kevin and more friends went to a North Woods reunion New Year’s Eve party in Dorchester, Jake had a friend over to play video games and generally goof around, and Shawn and John had a few friends in for relaxed finger food and drinks.

As the festivities wind down and we make preparations to return to work and school, we treasure the recollections of times before and the new holiday memories made.  We hope your holidays were awesome and wish you a Happy New Year!

Summer Camps 2011

Posted: August 26, 2011 in Camp, Church, Sports

The boys had the usual busy summer full of camp adventures!

Josh was the first to leave. Shawn drove him and a buddy up to North Woods Camp on the same day that school ended. He spent 4-1/2 weeks as a CIT and loved it! Most of his tie was spent on the docs as a lifeguard – but he did a stent on the soccer fields as well!

Jake joined Josh for the last two weeks as a camper in the senior section.  He too had a great camp experience! He loved taking Photography again and enjoyed swimming and soccer as well.

Both boys had a couple days at home before we stuck Jake on a plane and shipped him off to Ohio. He got to spend a bit of time with Aunt Tuesday and Grammy Susan checking out their new pool and having fun with Rylee!

Josh left a day after Jake on our church‘s annual mission trip. This year, they were off to Sea Island in South Carolina for a week of hard work for the Habitat for Humanity project there.

To cap things off… Both boys then left for a week at Soccer Plus soccer camp to get their skills ready for the fall season! No pictures (yet) but some good stories and high hopes for the fall season!

Summer Camps ’10

Posted: August 13, 2010 in Camp, Church, Scouts, Sports

It was another busy summer camp year for the boys!

Jake spent the first week of the summer at the YMCA’s camp Wakanda Teen Adventure program. As one of the older kids there, he got to help guide some of the younger ones and help with activities.

Josh had about three days off after school ended before he eagerly headed off to North Woods for 4 weeks as an LIT.

He spent a good part of his time at camp on the waterfront. The Life Guard certification was a good challenge for him and he was up to the task! He proudly returned home with Guard and CPR certification.

He did mange to have some fun too! As this was year six for him at North Woods, he renewed a lot of friendships and made some new ones as well. He got in some soccer and some camp-craft activities along the way!

Half way through Josh’s stint, Jake arrived at North Woods for his fifth year at camp and his first year in the Senior section. Like Josh, he had a lot of fun with friends new and old.

Josh came home for about five hours before leaving for Kentucky with 30+ other members of our church on their annual mission trip! In Beatyville, they worked with the Lee County Habitat for Humanity team to help with the construction of a community center and church. They slept in the town’s old jail!

They worked hard through the week – painting, laying tile, installing sheet rock – all in excessive heat and humidity. They also learned a lot about the people they were with and those they were helping. It was a great experience!

The same day that Josh arrived home from Kentucky, Jake departed for a week at Storer Scout Reservation. He’d missed the week that his own troop would attend but signed up for a week with the “Provisional” troop along with his buddy Brendan.

Unfortunately… Brendan would come down with strep and return home early. But jake stuck it out on his own, had a fun time making new friends, enjoying the summer sun, and earning three merit badges: First Aid, Swimming, and Orienteering!!

Both kids went to soccer camp again at Soccer Plus‘s camp at Northfield Mt. Herman school.

Once again, thy were reunited with a few old friends, made a few new friends, and worked hard on some soccer skills! They make great roommates.

By the middle of August, everyone was ready to be home. We’ve got a few weeks at home before school starts – just enough time for some family bonding!

Summer Camps ’09

Posted: August 10, 2009 in Camp, Scouts, Sports

It was a summer full of camps for both Jake and Josh this year!  They spent four and five weeks, respectively, away from home and on their own!  Left our place strangely quiet…

It all started July 12 when we dropped Joshua off for four weeks at North Woods Camp. This would be Josh’s fifth year there and he’d decided he wanted to go for TWO two-week sessions this year. He really seems to fit in there – and a had a few friends from North Reading along as well.

Josh knew a number of councilors and kids from previous years – including his cabin buddies Eric, also from North reading, and Sam.

One week later, John deposited Jacob at T.L. Storer Scout Camp for a week of scouting fun. This would be Jake’s second year at Storer and he had the game pretty much figured out. No tornadoes this year and the weather allowed him to complete work on FIVE merit badges (Forestry, Pulp & Paper, Woodcarving, Basketry, and Leatherwork) during the week!  John would return to camp Friday morning to enjoy the final day of camp and the closing campfire and spend the last night at camp before hauling a tired but happy Jake home on Saturday. 

Troop 750 won “Honor Troop” recognition for it’s participation and site upkeep efforts.

Here’s Jake with his tent-mate Brendan. For the first time in recorded history, the Troop also won the coveted Magee Cup – a relay race including running, biking, and kayaking. Jake ran the first leg for the winning team!

Jake got home from Scout Camp, dumped his trunk, refilled it with clean clothes, and headed back up to Winnipesaukee the following morning. We picked up Josh at North Woods and enjoyed some time in Wolfeboro as a family before dropping Joshua back at camp and setting up Jake there as well. We had nice lunch at one of the restaurants on the Winnipesaukee shore.

The guys spent Session 3 together at at North Woods and, by all accounts, it was a great time. This would be Jake’s fourth year at North Woods and they really scored some of the best weather of the summer in this session and that meant a lot of time outside and at the waterfront – always a recipe for fun!

Josh served as a Swim Mentor both sessions. As an older swimmer with advanced skills, he was paired with a younger swimmer to help demonstrate technique, lead drills, etc. Good experience all around!

Jake’s “Self Portrait with Manhole” won the award for “Best Picture” for the third session. He had a lot of fun in the photography activity where he not only took the picture during a trip into Wolfeboro but also developed the film and made the print!

When we returned to camp at the end of Session 3, we found Jake hanging with a bunch of new friends. Josh, on the other hand, had wondered off to the girl’s camp next door! The guys came home dirty and tired with lots of fun experiences to tell about!  They have a lot of fun at North Woods and can’t wait to go back again next year! 

We once again replenished the guys’ laundry and then sent them off the next day to soccer camp as run by Soccer Plus on the campus of Northfield Mt. Hermon School. This was Joshua’s third year of Goalkeeper training with Soccer Plus and Jake’s second year in their Striker program.

Though camp started off a bit gray with drizzle the first evening, the weather turned hot and humid – typical New England summer – and the boys got a lot of field time! Poor Josh took a pretty good toasting from the sun on the first full day buy lived to tell about it.

They stay in the school’s dormitories and use the cafeteria and fields. Josh and Jake shared a room and looked after each other  sharing pizza ordering and laundry duties! Judging by the cell phone updates sent home, they had a blast!

Both guys seemed to really enjoy the soccer work too. They’re evaluations at the end of the session both said they worked hard and did well. Jake was praised for his speed and Josh for his keeper skills.  Both want to go back again – that’s a victory for sure!

In the end, it was a long hard run for the boys. They were pretty burnt by the time they came home on August 14th. They’d had a blast, met new friends, learned new skills… But were glad to be back home! And mom and dad were pretty happy to have them home too! Ain’t summer grand?

Scout Tsunami 08

Posted: July 27, 2008 in Camp, Scouts

OK, maybe it wasn’t that bad. But the week that John and the boys spent at T.L. Storer Scout Reservation this summer has got to go down on record as some of the worst summer camp weather ever: rain, thunderstorms, even a tornado!!

Twenty-five boys and three leaders would head to the Barnstead, NH camp on a Sunday morning and arrive to a nice sunny day. We passed our swim tests and settled in for a week of camp.  When the first night’s opening campfire was moved indoors and then extended to keep folks in the dining hall while the “severe” thunderstorms passed, we should have known!

Monday was a rainy day but we got most of our activities in. Tuesday actually had some sunny breaks. Wednesday was another complete day of rain and Thursday, the tornado arrived. Yup, tornado. Of course, we thought it was just another squall and didn’t realize that a path of destruction had been laid down only a mile and a half from camp until panicked parents began calling to check on campers.

Friday actually dawned bright and sunny and, despite being cut off from the world by tree-blocked roads, we had a great day and caught up on a lot of missed activities.

This was Jacob’s first year at Boy Scout camp.  He participated in the Trailblazer program, completing many Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class rank requirements, and also earned both Art and Sculpture merit badges through his diligent work at the Handicraft area in the afternoons.

Joshua took on the challenging Canoeing merit badge as well as Art and Geology and completed them all with flying colors!

John spent his rainy mornings on the waterfront completing his BSA Lifeguard trainiing – a certfication he wanted for future troop canoe trips and such.

We finished things up with the final campfire on Friday night. Jake and Josh even joined John on the stage as he led the camp in a cheer he’d learned his first summer at scout camp in 1972!

Rain and all, it was a good time. The three guys had some fun adventures together – such as at the shotgun range where Jake and Josh each fired their first shotgun shells – and dad got to watch them doing fun stuff.  He was quite proud of his boys and thankful for the opportunity to spend a week in the (soggy) woods with them!!

North Woods Camp 2008

Posted: July 19, 2008 in Camp

Jake and Josh headed off for two weeks at the YMCA’s North Woods Camp again this summer. This would be Joshua’s fourth year at the camp and Jake’s third – and it was perhaps the best yet!!

Jake was in the Trailer section for the second year and found a good bunch of guys in the Trail 4 cabin…

Jake was a great correspondent this year. Several letters arrived at home and we even heard from the grandparents that they’d received a note or two! He made some good friends, had fun with photography – learning how to develop his own pictures, soccer, tennis and swimming!

Josh moved to the “Senior” section this year and settled into the newly remodeled and relocated Senior 1 cabin (last year’s Senior 1 cabin was taken out by a lightening strike!)…

Josh enjoyed meeting campers from other countries this year…  Says he learned some French words but doesn’t know what they mean.

His favorite activities included ultimate frisbee, tennis, swimming, and soccer – he played goalkeeper in the camp’s 2-1 win over rival Belknap!!

Both guys are looking forward to more years at camp – it’s a great time!


Posted: August 20, 2007 in Camp, Sports

Josh spent a week at Goalkeeper Camp in August. The camp was hosted by John’s prep school alma mater out in Easthampton.

 Josh enjoyed living in the dorm, hanging with his buddies (including one guy he knew from Camp North Woods), and learned a ton of new soccer skills. He came home a bit bruised and scraped from all those diving saves – but had a blast!!!

Scout Camps

Posted: August 11, 2007 in Camp, Family, Scouts

Both Jacob and Joshua got to attend Scout camps this summer!! It makes dad pretty happy that the guys are into Scouts!


Jacob spent Webelos Week at Camp Massasoit in Plymouth, MA. It was Pirate Week there so there were many reports of burning and pillaging. Jacob completed many advancement requirements in a number of areas and even earned his 2007 National Shooting Team badge for his proficiency on the BB range!


Though John didn’t get to spend much time there this year, he did make it down for the final BBQ and campfire – many fun songs and skits were performed!

Joshua spent a week tenting with his buddy Walter at T. L. Storer Scout Reservation in New Hampshire.  John did a three night stint as Assistant Scoutmaster and got to share in some of the fun!

Josh earned the Archery, Wilderness Survival, and Environmental Science merit badges while at camp – a busy week!!

In a moment that made dad particularly proud, Josh participated in the big relay race at camp. He was to ride the mountain bike leg for his troop (a tough hill climb on a gravel road that most riders had to walk parts of). When he got to the end of his leg, the runner he was supposed to hand off to wasn’t there!! Josh bravely dropped his bike and ran on to complete the subsequent leg as well!! Well done boy!!!

Camp North Woods

Posted: July 28, 2007 in Camp, Family

Josh and Jake spent two weeks together at the YMCA’s North Woods Camp for boys. This was Joshua’s third year at the camp, Jacob’s second.

 While at camp, the boys got to do lots of fun stuff… An overnight on an island out in Winnipesaukee… A mountain hike… Usual camp stuff. Jake brought home a neat shelf that he’d made in wood shop. Josh played goal keeper for the big soccer game against Belknap and got credit for the 3-0 shutout.

Ain’t summer great!

Letters From Camp

Posted: July 18, 2007 in Camp, Family

Both Josh and Jake have been at the YMCA Camp North Woods last week and this. Though Shawn and John have enjoyed some quiet time at home, the boys are sorely missed.

Through small miracles (or at least postal worker kindness), we’ve received a letter or two from camp.  A few quotes that we found enjoyable, or at least interesting:

 “I’m wrting this lettter to you in order to get into movie night.”

“One of the boys in my cabin thought it was fun to stab me with a sharp broom.”

“Swimming is hard.”

“I got to shoot a rifle!”