Towering Pines Blog

Campers Continue Their Unique Stories at Camp

I had something in my “inbox” today that made me go . . . hmmmm.

“Here’s to a new chapter.  Here’s to remembering you do not have to approach this new beginning with an all new plotline.  You are allowed to work your way through this story, one page at a time. ” — MHN  (Morgan Harper Nichols)

Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the idea of “ending” a year and “beginning” a new one.  What exactly does that mean for me, and will I be able to withstand the pressure of all of the goal setting and New Year’s resolutions?  Do I have to create an all new plotline or do I even want to?  Am I going to meet my own expectations and those of others?  Then again, afterall, this is my story.

After reading the quote above, my mind jumped to thinking about our campers and how they feel about starting new chapters, entering into unfamiliar situations and embarking upon unknown adventures.  It’s kind of like when you see the beautiful clear water of Nokomis that is so incredibly inviting, and then . . . there’s that moment right before you jump in.  Suddenly you imagine, “What will the water be like?!!”  It’s almost like the world stops for a fraction of a second, and you think, “Wait a minute, should I dip my toes in first or wade in gradually?!!”  You know that in the next moment, this is really going to happen.  You’re going to feel the water rushing over you, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.  It might feel utterly exhilarating or maybe it’s totally shocking and a bit overwhelming.  However, you won’t know unless you jump in or you “turn the page.”

Camp is an amazing place for campers to “dip” their toes in and to write their own story one chapter, one page, and even one line at a time.  There are opportunities for the campers to try things that they’ve never experienced before. They get to decide how they approach these by developing new plotlines, or perhaps, continuing with an existing one but adding a new “twist” to it.  These boys get to decide what adventures they want to try and to determine the pace and depth to which they explore activities, develop skills, and establish friendships.



Cabin 8, Winnebago, and Cabin 11, Seneca, share some of their aspirations and experiences as they continued their own journeys at camp in Summer of ’22.

What is something that you learned about yourself at camp in 2022 where “It’s Cool to be YOU!”?:

  • I really like the game “Magic the Gathering.”
  • I’m actually fast, and I’m good at riflery.
  • I explored many cribs in skin diving, and it was fun!
  • I learned that I’m pretty lucky in life, and I’m happy too!
  • I can change myself for the better if I really put my mind to it.  Also, I should never give up even when times are tough.
  • I tried sail race with no knowledge, and now I am so much better and even winning races.
  • I learned that you can either let stress control you or you can thrive from it.
  • I’m really good at trap.  At the start of camp, I couldn’t even hit a pigeon, by the end I was shooting greater than 50%.
  • I’m a lot more patient than I thought I was.

In what ways did you GROW this summer (went out of your comfort zone, tried again, celebrated achievements, etc.)?:

  • I tried skiing last year, and I didn’t like it, but this year I found out that I do.
  • I tried new foods.
  • By learning new things and by knowing that it’s possible to be good at many things.
  • I got really  far in “Spoon Assassins” I WON!!
  • I tried sail race this year because people convinced me to.  I didn’t like it at first, but now it is one of my favorite activities.
  • I tried to ski; I learned new things, and I grew inside as a person.
  • I tried trap, and I was really nervous about the recoil, but now I’m shooting 8/8.  (WOW!!)

In what ways did you feel part of your cabin and the camp COMMUNITY (you were included, others built you up, you worked through conflict, etc.)?:

  • We played “Magic the Gathering” together.
  • We played board games together as a cabin and went on our canoe trip.
  • Just the fact that I connected and grew with my cabin in so many ways and areas over the six weeks.  Also, I helped people when they were feeling down.
  • In riflery I got to kneeling.  It is a really hard position, but the counselors were super supportive and really helped me to succeed.
  • My cabin played card games and had fun.
  • This summer I felt a part of the cabin and the camp community by getting to know people and trying to get along with everybody.
  • I really felt a part of the camp community when I helped take care of the bunnies even though I’m not a part of zoo class.

In what ways did you see RESPECT this summer (kindness, empathy, appreciation for differences, etc.)?:

  • Everyone tries to be nice to others even though we like different things.
  • I saw respect between campers and counselors with all of the kitchen staff and in my activities.
  • I saw respect in the “brotherhood” that I made at camp.
  • I definitely saw respect when my cabin mates, the nurse, or other counselors, would help me when I was feeling down.
  • We played Red Arrow in soccer, and even though we were losing, both sides showed respect.
  • There were people hanging out with each other and helping each other.  People would say “thanks” to each other and show appreciation.
  • I saw respect for the environment in every camper.  Many campers would pick up trash.

What is one thing that could have been better for you this summer?:

  • I wish I could have stayed for six weeks.
  • I wish I would have been more open to trying other activities.
  • I need to be more positive and have a better attitude.
  • I think I could have passed more ranks in archery.
  • I wish I would have skied more!
  • If I’d known how to ski earlier, I would have gotten even better.
  • This year one thing that could have been better is if I caught a Northern Pike in fishing.
  • I wish I did more activities including fishing and sailing, but I have next year!

What is something you are THANKFUL for about camp?:

  • I am thankful for the amazing food!!
  • I’m thankful for the counselors and staff.
  • I’m really grateful for my camp friends.
  • I’m thankful that I get to go to camp.  (We are too!)
  • I’m thankful for all that the staff does to plan fun activities and take care of us.
  • The activities and friends are awesome, and I’m thankful for the amazing food.
  • I am thankful for all of the amazing and fun experiences with my old and and new friends. I am also thankful for the fact that everyone is so nice and supportive at camp.
  • I am thankful for camp and all is teaches me like skiing, riflery, archery, sailing, fishing, soccer, tennis and about independence.

We hope to see all of your sons back at camp in 2023 continuing to engage in exceptional experiences and writing the next chapter of their own unique stories!!  If you haven’t registered yet or know of a family who would benefit from our unique camp experience, please feel free to share this link:

Angie Ziller

  • Camp Mom at TP
  • Leadership Staff at TP/Office Manager
  • Marketing TP/Woodland
  • Leadership Team TP/Woodland
  • Assistant Waterfront Director at Woodland
  • Counselor at Woodland
  • “Building in our hearts fond memories, Towering Pines for you.”