Follow our young gentlemen as they practice teamwork and form a brotherhood through comradery, music, and having fun!
Day 5 and 6 were so fantastic that we thought the boys should share their favorite things to end camp! Here are their favorite memories from Saturday and Sunday and what they are looking forward to during the year.
“My favorite memory of Saturday was going fishing. I caught two fish! My favorite part of Sunday was knowing it was time to go home. I am most excited to learn some new music and have fun with my choir friends this year.” – Caleb
“My favorite part of Saturday was the king of the raft game. My favorite part of Sunday was breakfast. I am excited to get to know Vance, the new director, and learning new music.” – Eddie
“My favorite memory from Saturday was catching a Dogfish out on the lake and my favorite memory from Sunday was eating Rice Crispies from the Trophy at breakfast. I am most excited to spend time with other choirboys in my first year of choir.” – Damion
“My favorite on Saturday was preparing and performing skits. The best part of Sunday was going home on the bus. I am most excited to see/hear all the choirboys progress with manners and music.” – Louis
“I just graduated and was in the dish room this year. I enjoyed tubing on Saturday and leaving on Sunday knowing my dish duties were over! I am looking forward to continuing Cambiata choir.” – Alex
“King of the raft was the best part of Saturday; however, Sunday wasn’t that fun. We just cleaned. I am most excited for the Broadway and Beyond concert.” – Jake
“My favorite part of Saturday was playing ultimate frisbee for two hours. The best part of Sunday was hanging out with friends.” – Sam
“My favorite thing about Saturday was winning honor cabin. The best part of Sunday was seeing my family. I am most looking forward to meeting new people and making new memories with the choir boys.” – Connor
“The ‘secret’ root beer floats were the best part of Saturday. The best part of Sunday was the game room. I am most excited for Broadway and Beyond.” – Cole
“My favorite part of Saturday was king of the raft. The two breakfasts-cereal out of the trophy and breakfast burritos were the best parts of Sunday. I am looking forward to all of the concerts. I love performing and seeing all of the happy people in the audience. I am looking forward to lots of fun!” — John
“King of the raft was my favorite part of Saturday. The best part of Sunday was packing up. I am most excited about the Christmas concerts.” – Archie
“The best memory from Saturday was catching a northern. Playing bubble hockey was my favorite part of Sunday. I am most excited about going on tour this year.” – Steven
“Root beer floats and the closing bonfire were my two favorite parts of Saturday. I also liked playing pool on Sunday. I am most excited about meeting new people.” – Tristan
“My favorite part of Saturday was king of the raft. My favorite part of Sunday was bubble hockey. I am most excited about learning new songs.” – Jack
“King of the raft and the skits were my favorite parts of Saturday. The best part of Sunday was playing with my choirboy brothers! I am most excited for touring with my choirboy brothers.” – Gus
Aloha from wonderful Timber Bay!
A nearly perfect Friday of camp is burning it’s last few moments of daylight while the sounds of the boys echoes off the lake.
A renewed energy was in the air this morning with the introduction of sunshine. You could sense that the boys were ready to get outside and have some fun. Breakfast consisted of French Toast and Sausage with an extra helping of syrup. Normally we’d try and curtail their sugar intake, but not today. Today was for running. Pile it on boys!
Arts and Crafts is always a popular location for many of our boys. This year has been no exception, particularly with the rainy weather, so Corinne has had her hands full. One of the projects occupying her digits has been helping our young Mr. Connor V. stitch together a pair of pajama pants. He presented them to me this morning so I felt obliged to model them around the dining room. He did a really nice job. Very thoughtful and creative of that young man.
After breakfast, the boys went to their first morning music session. I was caught a little off-guard as I was walking into the lodge about halfway in and I could hear Christmas Music being sung from the open windows. It might be 75 and sunny out here, but the next time we get to see these boys in concert will be Christmas season. Ugh. Brace yourselves: Winter is coming.
After a little cabin tiddy-up time it was out to the activity areas. Two separate boat trips went out for interested boys. One boat was launched by Captain Jason and pulled tubers around the lake. The other was launched by Captain Vance and went to the sweet fishing hole on the other side of the lake. (This reminds me: we need to add bait to the 2018 packing list…). Many more boys were spotted at the Arts and Crafts cabin making their Tie-Dyed shirts. It was a good morning session.
Another round of music and it was time for grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup. The boys consumed a mountain of grilled cheese sandwiches and then took about a 45 minute nap. Following rest period was an afternoon music session and then it was time for the Octathalon.
The Octathalon is a camp tradition from the early days that pits the cabins against each other in an Olympic style competition. The events are Team Music, Team Arts and Crafts, Swimming Relay, Running Relay, Team Canoe Race, Kayak Relay, BB Guns, and Team Canoe Swamp. The boys had a great time showing their prowess in their favorite areas. You can see the Team Canoe Swamp Finals on the Facebook Parents Page.
Friday afternoon is also Cookout Day where the Senior Staff takes over some of the cookie duties and we grill out in an informal BBQ style meal. Aaron used this opportunity as grill master to also remove a good percentage of hair from his right arm. (He’s fine…) The boys ate to their hearts content and then it was back into the lake for most of them.
The Friday evening activity time is always a favorite. The boys know the drill by this point in the week and if the weather is right the laid-back atmosphere leads to a fun evening. Stewart and Camden led the boys in a game of Capture the Flag before sneaking them all to bed a little earlier tonight, in preparation for the big Saturday night activities to come.
The boys have been doing very well this week. We’ve had our scraped knees, bug bites, bee stings and a few tears from normal boy activities over the course of the week but the staff and boys have been all over making sure it gets taken care of. We’ve got a great staff this year and it has been an honor to work with every single one of them to make camp a success this year. 28 hours left until we start the countdown for next year’s camp!
Aloha from beautiful Timber Bay!
Another good day came and went. Our morning started a little rough. Evening rain had knocked-out the power during the night and I woke to our Head Chef Lisa shining a flashlight in my face and telling me we’d need to manually dump water in our toilets to make them flush. WELL, GOOD MORNING TO YOU TOO!
Just teasing…while that really did happen, this is not a new drill for our crew. About every third year or so we lose power at some point. It is what it is. The kitchen staff already had a backup meal of cereal, oranges and bread ready to go. Just about the time we started making our rounds to wake-up the campers and share the news with them, the power was restored and so were our plans for the day. Crisis averted and JUST in time to still ensure our previously planned bacon had enough time to cook to its brown perfection. Just in case I have not made this clear enough, we are blessed to have this fantastic crew in the kitchen. They work tirelessly all day long, ensure your boys are fed until they can’t eat anymore, and work for leftover French toast when it’s all said and done. We’re very thankful for your time spent for these boys each year.
In addition to our power struggles, we also had a rain issue. Intermittent showers have been the theme of the first two days. Not enough to be a complete rain-out, but just enough to dictate your entire schedule and ensure your feet are in a constant state of permamoist. The King of the Raft Tournament was scheduled for the early afternoon but we made the call to push it to Saturday afternoon when the sun would be shining a little brighter. Stewart was happy because it meant there were a few more days for me to twist an ankle or something and withdraw from the tournament. Not gonna happen, Stewy.
To help pass the rainy morning activity session we busted-out the karaoke machine and belted some tunes out to the deer and the birds in the Onamia region. The boys seem to have a good time. For the most part the requests stick to Disney themes but on occasion some Steve Perry and The Righteous Brothers made appearances. A good time was had by all.
Musically, the boys really seem to be enjoying themselves. I was able to watch before lunch as Aaron went around the room and had each of the Concert Choirboys talk about the difficulties and challenges associated with being in that choir. These boys really work hard and push themselves to fantastic places with their determination and effort. It’s a good thing to see them learn at such a young age.
Lunch was the ever-popular taco day. Kinda messy, but oh so worth it.
After an afternoon rest period, the clouds gave us a little reprieve and we had some time for Gaga Ball and other games before it was back in for the afternoon rehearsal session. During the afternoon the boys also took a few minutes to build their own pizza. We ate their creations for dinner that evening. Two boys received “swirlies” for getting three or more letters. We love when this happens, and so do the boys. (Don’t worry mothers…we flushed it twice before we gave the swirly to make sure it was clean.)
By the end of dinner, the camp was fully saturated from the previous 48 hours of rain, but the sun was shining. As we say in the Camp world, “Suns out, BB Guns Out”. It was pretty much perfect the rest of the night and we took full advantage of it. For evening program, the boys were tasked with team building exercises with their cabin. The reward for finishing the challenges was a big ol’ bag of s’mores for your crew. Everyone finished and we celebrated “National S’mores Day” in style.
Despite the power being out and the rain influencing parts of the day, it was a very
good time. More to come Friday!
This morning the boys woke-up ready to go. Lots of energy!
For breakfast, the boys had homemade caramel rolls and cereal. When it comes to food, we have it good. The volunteers in the Kitchen are phenomenal, working very long days in a hot kitchen to provide first-rate nutrition for your boys. I know I speak for the entire staff when I say that one of the highlights of this week is the great food we get to enjoy during the week.
(K…time to move inside. Getting destroyed by mosquitos…)
Following breakfast, the boys had their first music session then had a little time to clean-up their cabins and take their swim tests. We like to get those taken right away on the first day for logistical reasons. Doesn’t take real long, just a few minutes of swimming and treading water. Most of the boys that wanted to take it, passed. After a little more free time, it was back in the music sessions for an hour before lunch. I’m not sure what they did in their today musically, but they were all smiling when I came back to get them for lunch, so take that for what it’s worth!
Lunch was hot dogs and tater tots. As you can imagine, 8-14 year-old Choirboys devoured a mountain of tots and about 2 bus lengths of hot dogs. A short rest period awaited our boys before it was back in the lake around 2:00 for some “Mandatory Fun”. It looked like there were about 6-8 canoes and paddle boats around the bay and quite a few fish were snagged. (I think this is going to be a good year for fishing…). Most of the boys swam out to the raft for some jostling and tussling. A few scrapes and little bumps, as boys are known to do, but nothing of note to report in the injury department. Lots and lots of smiles in the fun department.
Counselors get them for about an hour after swimming to start working on their skits. Then it’s back to the music room for a spell before they head back out to the free time. I used the pre-dinner activity time to take a little Facebook Live tour of the camp. You can view this on the parent Facebook page as well. I’ll try and recruit some commentators the next few days to do that again. It seemed to go over well.
Dinner was a big old feed of spaghetti, meatballs, breadsticks and SALAD! Guess what they ate the least of? 😊
The evening rain we thought was going to force us inside never came and we’ve had a fantastic time. The timing of the raindrops today has been fortuitous overall. The boys are currently squeezing every ounce of energy they have left into a rousing game of Capture the Flag in the field right next to me. I should probably get back to them so I’ll have to leave it here until next time.
Thanks for allowing your boys to be a part of this program. I promise you’ll think it was one of the best decisions you ever made for him.
Aloha from scenic Timber Bay!
Camp is going wonderfully! I need to tell you how amazing your boys are. So many smiles. So many new friendships being made in the last 24 hours. This is a lot of fun. At this moment, I am sitting on the front porch of the Staff cabin overlooking a fantastic sunset over the lake with the happy laughter of boys echoing through the trees. We have it rough.
Yesterday started out like almost any other year of Camp…. except for Aaron having issues getting the bus running, Camden having a flat tire with the Trailer on the way up, and then subsequently getting pulled over for having a taillight issue. Coincidentally, it was a former Choirboy that pulled him over…and Camden promises to get it fixed. For the most part though, the issues had almost no impact on the boys and most had no idea there were any issues at all, which is just the way we wanted it.
Of course, despite this being my 24th camp, this is the first time I sent a Camper of my own up for the week and naturally I was the parent that forgot and sent my kiddo without supper. SMH. (We got it fixed…).
Once we made it to camp we skedaddled the boys to their cabins and got them situated. Most of the older boys were already deep into week planning and picking their cabin names. With about 7-8 boys per cabin, there is plenty of opportunities for boys that want the top bunk and boys that want the lower bunks. I think everyone got what they wanted.
The first night is usually pretty chill. Corinne shared some photos on the Facebook page about our Welcome/Safety briefing. We use this time to get the boys familiar with the expectations and get the excited for the week to come. It can get a little dry as we essentially tell them all the things they cannot do (in the name of safety…) but we make it work. The boys had a good time and we’re going to have a great week.
This also marked the first time we brought the flame in from the lake to start the camp. Our new Super Director Vance had the honor of bringing in the flame to start our week and kick things off. (Side note: He’s a pretty good dude and he’s going to be a fantastic fit with this organization. On top of it, he doesn’t snore which is great for those of us that share a cabin with him.) Make sure you get the chance to meet him if you haven’t already.
Following a quick snack and introduction to the kitchen staff the boys headed to their cabins to get some showers in and get to bed. I was impressed as I did my rounds at how well-mannered the boys were. This is a great group of youngins’.
Land of Lakes Choir Boys.
The camp will be held August 8th, 2017 through August 13th, 2017.
The camp will be held at “Timber Bay Camp” in Onamia, MN. The camp consists of four hundred acres, camper cabins, main dining and recreation lodge, all of which is located on beautiful Little Whitefish Lake.
The camp will consist of boating, fishing, swimming, sports, crafts, games, companionship, and of course… singing!
The brotherhood that is established during camp is one that sets up the atmosphere for the season. Not only do the young singers get a head start on their new music, but they also develop relationships among their fellow choir members. These relationships build trust, teamwork, and friendship – all vital qualities in a great ensemble.