Towering Pines Blog

Cabin 5 . . . Growing in Confidence!!

I recently published a blog called “Nature abounds and surrounds at Towering Pines . . .”  which is about the significance of nature at TP and how this is woven into the very fabric of our camp traditions and culture.  This blog also mentioned that Cabin 5, Mohawk, typically gives the last vespers of the summer at camp.  Traditionally, at this time, Mohawk discusses the value of nature and what it provides to us at camp as well as the importance of respecting nature.  Incorporated into this vespers is also the poem “Friendly Tree” written by Buck Lone Eagle.  Buck passed down many important traditions that are woven into our camp culture.

Here is an excerpt from Buck’s poem that leads into this current blog about Cabin 5’s exponential growth in self-confidence this past summer!!

“I saw a wee tiny tree looking up at me and nodding it’s dark green head.

And it seemed to say in its simple way:  ‘Don’t go and leave me here.’

It won’t be safe, for I’m just a waif, and the winter is drawing near.”

Buck mentions in his poem, the tiny tree, which is symbolic of the young campers who come to us at the beginning of each summer.  They all carry with them their fears, insecurities and doubts.  As parents and grandparents you might have your own hesitations and uncertainties about leaving your child at camp for the summer.  You may even get letters home that say “Don’t go and leave me here!”  Of course, you’re wondering about your child’s safety, if they’ll settle into the routines, if they’ll adjust to cabin life and if they’ll be accepted by other boys.

As Buck says toward the end of his poem:

“Then I knelt once more to the forest floor, and I dug up that tiny tree;

And for half a day on my arm it lay, for I took it along with me.”

While the boys are at TP in their summer home, they’re out in nature participating in activities, living in cabins in group situations, and engaging in meaningful play.  While the campers are engrossed in all of these wonderful scenarios, there are counselors and staff who are helping “carry” them along their way.  Buck represents this in his poem by laying the tiny tree on his arm and taking it along with him.  Camp not only creates a plethora of challenges for your camper to experience, but it also provides the necessary support for him to succeed at whatever level is best for him.  Sometimes a failure can actually transpire into a success if one learns from it.  Counselors and staff are consistently there to teach and to lead so that the boys can problem solve and learn from each adventure.

As a direct result of this, TP campers are developing confidence in ways that they may have never imagined and might be doing so without even being aware of it!!  “National Youth Confidence Day” was recently celebrated on October 20th, and this seems a very appropriate time to look at some of the ways Cabin 5, in their own words, shared how they changed and grew over the summer.

How did you SHINE this summer?

Nicholas:  I made new friends.

William:  I tried kneeboarding, archery and riflery for the first time.

Cooper:  Good behavior by helping counselors at activities and being helpful in the cabin.

Colin:  By bringing a card game to camp that I shared with my fellow campers.

Johnny:  I can’t remember exactly.  (I’ll help you out, Johnny–You shone by sharing your smiling face all over camp this summer and by giving a lot of effort in the new things you tried!!)

Nathan:  I did shine in archery this summer.

Henry:  I had some really good successes in archery!!

Sebastian:  I shone in fishing.

Ben:  I got my “expert” level in riflery.

When were you at your best this summer?

Nicholas:  I was at my best in archery this summer.

William:  I was at my best when I was shooting at archery.

Cooper:  On the canoe trip I helped the tripper, and I had an all around great attitude.

Colin:  Playing with my cabin mates and writing funny Madlibs.

Johnny:  I tried to be nice to other campers and counselors.

Nathan:  I was at my best in arts & crafts.

Henry:  I did my best when I was at swimming class.

Sebastian:  Even though I was very homesick at first, I kept trying and I made many friends.

Ben:  I passed many ranks at camp this summer, and I also skied really well.  (Impressive job at ski show, Ben!!)

Describe a CHANGE you noticed in yourself while at camp.

Nicholas:  I got better at archery.

William:  I got better at getting along with other people.

Cooper:  I got to know many people in a short time and helped in my cabin.

Colin:  I met new people and became better at relating to others.

Johnny:  I make my bed more neatly.

Nathan:  I learned new skills like in archery and sailing.

Henry:  I learned how to do archery.

Sebastian: I improved in tennis.

Ben:  I became more confident.

What lessons were learned from something CHALLENGING?

Nicholas:  I need to keep trying in riflery.

William:  Scary stories aren’t real.

Cooper:  Patience from dealing with a lot of people.

Colin:  I learned to try new food and to meet new people.

Johnny:  Using the strap in riflery.

Nathan:  To never give up!!

Henry:  To move on and to keep trying.

Sebastian:  Never give up!!

Ben:  Not giving up and being very patient.

Thanks, Cabin 5!!  See you all soon!

Angie Wenzl Ziller

  • Mom at TP
  • Leadership Staff at TP/Office Manager
  • Marketing TP/Woodland
  • Assistant Waterfront Director at Woodland
  • Counselor at Woodland
  • “This is goodnight and not goodbye.”