Towering Pines Blog

“It is my great honor and privilege . . . “

“It is my great honor and privilege . . . ”  We hear these words each and every morning at assembly at Towering Pines. However, just because we hear these words every day, does not mean that they lose significance in meaning.  These words are a symbol to everyone at camp that an important announcement is about to take place and a very special camper is going to be recognized.  These words indicate that a TP guy is about to be selected as “Chief of the Day!” 

“It is my great honor and privilege to give Chief of the Day, and I’m going to give it a guy (you guessed it) . . . at TP!!” Each morning a designated counselor has the privilege of presenting “Chief of the Day” to one camper.  During pre-camp counselors are encouraged to reflect on and think about the reasons why  they are selecting the camper who will receive “Chief of the Day” because it truly is an honor.  This is an opportunity for counselors to recognize a camper for his positive behavior and achievements as well as to promote the extremely significant and exceptional qualities of the TP community.  This honor isn’t something that is just given, but rather it is earned by the boy who receives it.

One of our counselors, who was also a former camper, shared that “Being chief of the day is a special part of the camper experience.  For the camper, it inspires you to lead more and become more involved at camp. It also promotes overall satisfaction and happiness which turns into enthusiasm toward activities, cabin community and mental wellness.  As a counselor, giving out the award to a camper can help encourage positive behavior and overall camp spirit.” (Ray D.)

The selection of  “Chief of the Day”  is based on character as well leadership qualities.  These attributes may be reflected in the way this boy interacts with others in his cabin or activities.  Perhaps, he is dedicated to helping out in the cabin during cabin clean-up and at mealtimes; maybe he even goes so far as to help other cabinmates with their jobs.  During activities or special events, this guy might exhibit exceptional sportsmanship and get along well with the other players on his team even when they are losing.  There could be a time when this camper is afraid to try something new, but he steps out of his comfort zone and goes for it!  This guy might really be struggling to pass a level in riflery or to learn a new trick in trick ski, but he just keeps trying and trying no matter how difficult the challenge is.

Another great example of an attribute of a chief  is someone who tries to include other campers who might be feeling anxious or left out.  When a camper is feeling homesick or is feeling like he doesn’t fit in, this guy tries to find a way to bring him into the group rather than ignoring him.  By taking a leadership role, he might do so with what he says to the camper  or it could be through his subtle actions that don’t draw attention but yet speak volumes.  A chief often times makes decisions based on what he feels is “right” rather than on what is easy, maybe even going against the norm.

Part of the honor of being selected chief  is that this young man gets to play a special role in that camp day.  This boy gets to raise the flag at morning assembly and lower it at evening assembly.  He gets to help lead assembly by managing the roll call of each cabin and asking the group if there are any announcements.  The chief  also gets to wear a special watch to keep track of time so that he can ring the bell between activities.

When I asked campers how they feel about being selected as “Chief of the Day,” some of their thoughts were:

  • It is truly a great honor to  be chosen.
  • To listen to the counselor share the reasons “why” you are being chosen and then to hear your name called and be recognized is an amazing feeling.
  • It means that the counselor cares about you and also that you know you’re doing something right — you’re making good choices.
  • It is nice to be chief because it means you did something good and that the counselors noticed.
  • It’s  also nice to be recognized by fellow campers by getting to ring the bell.
  • Earning “Chief of the Day” means that you are being a leader in camp.
  • It shows that you are a leader, and you have proven your dignity.
  • You get to ring the Towering Pines bell!
  • You feel that you’ve accomplished something very important.
  • Working to get “Chief of the Day” helps with leadership skills.
  • Being “Chief of the Day” shows that you’re helpful.
  • Getting awarded “Chief of the Day” feels incredible!

**Thank you to Rodrigo G., Aiden Z. and Colin M. for their input!**

The tradition of “Chief of the Day” is just one of many unique opportunities that the campers at Towering Pines have to strive to be leaders within our camp community.  The 6-week experience at TP offers many ways for boys to learn and practice leadership skills as well as to build upon the framework of camp values (Respect, Community, Growth, Responsibility & Safety) that are the framework of everything we do at camp. If you haven’t yet registered your son for camp or you know of any other children and families who would benefit from the camp experience, just click 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.”