I recently returned to Tucson after a two week work visit at Camp. Winter at Mishawaka is stunning—a white blanket of snow covers everything and you can see the lake from the office. Once spring comes around, most of the snow is gone and the lake shows signs that it will soon start melting. Knowing time was limited, a few people were ice fishing and playing hockey. It’s also strange and pretty cool to see the sun set at a different spot on Pokegama. I couldn’t help but appreciate the crisp mornings of 25 degrees with a clear sky as I walked across main campus—especially since it was 90 degrees back in Arizona! It was also a fun time to be in Grand Rapids as everyone was celebrating the boys’ hockey state title win.
Summer is fast approaching and there is loads to do as we prepare for Mishawaka’s 108th summer. Two new Valley cabins were under construction; Logger Dan was working on the best signs ever for those cabins; Camp’s new office manager, Cheryl, was busy talking to parents and color-coordinating our enrollment board as registrations continue to come in. And Steve and I talked a lot about our staff and what we can do to best prepare them for the campers’ arrival—30% of whom are new!
Summer at Mishawaka is my favorite season—big surprise there! It’s the time all campers and counselors look forward to. As directors, it’s what we work towards: the day Camp ends every August.
Fall in northern Minnesota is remarkable, especially for a desert rat like me. There is a certain peace in being alone on main campus and experiencing the smells and colors of fall after nine weeks of non-stop camp life. Most people I have talked to in Grand Rapids prefer winter of all the seasons. But for us Camp folk, spring is the most exciting because we know the first buses arriving with the campers are just around the corner.
As I walked around main campus, up the Belding trail, and around the soccer field I felt fortunate to be alone in nature, back at Camp. For those of you who have been to Mishawaka, you know the feeling when you return and you can’t stop looking up and beyond all of the trees. This time, though, it was different. I could hear all the campers’ voices, the loons at sunset, and the fifteen minute bell before every meal. Summer is coming! See you soon.
Charlie Paige, Boys Camp Director