An Olympic Champion is Crowned

Olympics wrapped up in dramatic fashion this evening, as the winning country was announced at the Closing Ceremony on the Lower Field. Congratulations to the nation of Bangladesh!

But wait! We’re not there yet. Let’s fire up the Delorean and go back in time a bit to the previous day’s Olympic action.

48 HOURS EARLIER…

Day 2 started out overcast, with a welcome breeze that cooled everything off and set the stage for the day’s events. After breakfast, the teams spread out across camp for Medal-Round games. The gold medal in Water Polo went to Myanmar, while Nigeria took the gold in Basketball. Ethiopia won gold in Ultimate Frisbee, and Bangladesh won gold in an intense Soccer match. Finally, Azerbaijan played a mean game of Newcomb and prevailed with the gold medal.

After a lunch of B’s and D’s (and Team Chants, if you are following our Instagram), the campers enjoyed a much-needed rest hour in preparation for the afternoon’s individual events. Each country’s Head Coach and Captain(s) were responsible for assigning team members to one event, based on interest and skill level. There was a track and field meet on the Upper Field, which included runs of varying length, long jump, football throw, and more. At the Pool, our strongest swimmers competed in events such as individual butterfly, medley relay, and even a long-distance swim in which a Senior or Hi-Senior swam 4 pool lengths completely on his own!

Other individual competitions included Archery, Kayaking, Tennis, a Ropes course wall climb, and an “Extreme” Golf game in which Seniors and Hi-Seniors followed a pre-determined course of “holes” that led from the Upper Field (where they had to hit a ball against the sports shed) throughout the rest of camp. At one point, Nigeria was putting from underneath a picnic table in the grove!

The afternoon concluded with the day’s main event — the camper Triathlon. One Junior and one Senior/Hi-Senior from each of the 6 countries competed in an extreme physical and mental challenge. Swim half the length of the lake, bicycle up the Ridge to the Silverdome, and run back down to the lake AND THEN KEEP RUNNING AROUND ONE MORE LOOP to the finish line. Juniors were up first, with 2 heats of 3 teams each. With the entire camp cheering them on, these young campers crossed the finish line with a resolve far beyond their years. Once all of the Juniors were finished competing, the Seniors/Hi-Seniors swam to the middle of the lake for their race. With grit and determination (and awe-inspiring endurance and strength), these young men completed a grueling Triathlon and received a well-deserved hero’s welcome at the finish line.

THIS MORNING…

The Ultimate Olympic Challenge is a highlight of these 3 days. An all-camp relay race, the Olympic Challenge includes all members of each team — from the smallest Juniors to the Captains and Head Coaches. The relay is a combination of land and water challenges, and there is something for everyone’s skill level. The fastest runners sprint across camp, while the strongest swimmers race in the pool. Younger campers typically participate by rounding the bases in a wheelbarrow race, scoring a knock hockey goal on the Junior Gathering Deck, or sinking a basket in Pop-a-Shot. The relay race culminates in the Captain’s run, where each team’s Captain(s) run the length of the Lower Field, behind the Dining Hall, and up the hill to the Upper Field and across the finish line.

The teams spent the remainder of the morning, and a large chunk of the afternoon preparing for tonight’s Song Competition. Over the 3 days of Olympics, each team must choose a popular song and rewrite it with lyrics that reflect the spirit of competition as well as what it means to be a camper at Owego. These song performances are intended to be an upbeat, passionate display of team spirit. Head coaches and Captains write the songs, and use the preparation time to teach it to the rest of the team. These songs often become part of the lore of Lake Owego. They are chosen very carefully!

EARLIER TONIGHT…

Following tonight’s Olympic dinner of steak and fries, one of the only opportunities the camp has to sit by team rather than by bunk, the Song Competition kicked off at the Stage. One by one, the countries took the stage and performed their team songs. There was dancing and fist-pumping and even a volleyball toss between co-Captains. The performances were heartfelt and joyful. Everyone on the stage, from the smallest Junior to the tallest counselor, was having a great time. That’s the spirit of Owego Olympics.

The closing ceremony began with the campers exiting the stage area and proceeding to the Lower Field, arm in arm with their teammates. The Olympic flame burned brightly in the falling dusk, as Dave stood beside it and watched the teams advance to their places. The teams formed a rainbow colored semi-circle around the flame. Everyone held their breath as the Captains of each team were asked to step forward and stand beneath their respective country’s rolled-up flag. As Dave began to read the results, campers squeezed each other a bit tighter. Sixth place, Ethiopia. The co-Captains unfurled their flag, hugged each other, and joined their team in the semi-circle. Fifth place, Myanmar. Fourth place, Azerbaijan. Third place, and the bronze medal, went to Nigeria.

A wave of nervous chatter rippled through the crowd, as Armenia and Bangladesh stood frozen. Who would be crowned the winner of Olympics 2024? As Dave awarded second place to Armenia, a roar erupted from the team of Bangladesh. Team members rushed forward to embrace their Captain and Head Coach. Victory was theirs!

As Bangladesh celebrated their big win, all of the teams began to embrace and congratulate one another. Friends shared in the joy of victory and also in the agony of defeat. The camp came back together as one. Blue and white. Owego brothers. It was an exciting and emotional 3 days, and we all shared the experience together.

That’s the magic of Owego.

 

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Olympics 2024 is HERE!

It all started not with a bang, not with a flash of light, but with…a hissy fit.

Campers gathered for lineup as usual this morning, rubbing the sleep from their eyes and wondering if breakfast would be bagels or waffles (spoiler alert: it was waffles). After the Owego sports report, Scotty stepped up to deliver his daily rundown of fascinating facts. As he wrapped up, the campers joined in a chorus of “Who cares?”

Lest you think to yourself, “How rude!” you can rest assured that Scotty is in on this joke and it is more of a daily ritual than an insult. But today was different. Something inside of Scotty snapped. He began to chastise the campers, pleading with them to “Knock it off” and telling them “Enough is enough.” As he ranted and raved how his hurt feelings were beginning to bubble over, a sly smile began to cross his lips.

“Olympics time!” the master thespian shouted.

Throngs of Juniors took off for the lower field, with Seniors and Hi-Seniors close behind. Scattered across the ground were plastic bags of Olympics shirts, with each camper’s name printed on a label. The goal? To find your name, put on your shirt, and join your team. Clusters of color began to form. Red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, and purple. One team at a time, Dave announced the country and held up the corresponding flag. Next he named the Captain(s) from the very deserving pool of 11th graders. PV (Pioneer Village) captains came next. There were hugs, high fives, and lots of body bumps! The Lead Captain reached into Dave’s envelope and chose his team’s Head Coach, whose selection was met with much fanfare. Once the leadership for that team was complete, Dave moved on to the next country. Red Bangladesh was announced first, followed by Light Blue Azerbaijan (a country whose name all campers should be able to spell by the conclusion of Olympics), Green Nigeria, Orange Armenia, Purple Ethiopia, and Yellow Myanmar.

And that was all before breakfast!!! Everyone enjoyed the waffles, by the way.

Following inspection, teams gathered on the upper field for “Bull Rush,” which is a slightly more intense version of Sharks and Minnows (or, as some of us know it, Fishy Fishy Swim Through My Sea). Flag belts went flying, but many campers managed to outrun the counselors and make it to the other side of the field. However many flag belts remained intact was the point total for that country. The winners determined the order in which each country chose its meeting place for the duration of Olympics.

Following lunch and rest hour, countries split up into age groups for various games. Juniors played newcomb, kickball, or soccer, while Seniors and Hi-Seniors played Bombardment, ultimate frisbee, basketball, or water polo. Everyone came together during 6th period for rec swim, which was a welcome break from the day’s heat and humidity!

Tonight’s Evening Activity will consist of more Olympics competition. The next two days will be filled with individual events, team competitions, camper AND counselor triathlons, and so much more! The action is well underway, and all of Owego is pulsating with excitement.

 

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In the Pool or the Kitchen, On the Stage or the Trail…Owego Shines!

One of the most magical things about Owego is the abundance of opportunities for campers to excel in a multitude of disciplines. Been playing soccer since you were a toddler? You will lead your team to victory. Have impressive acting chops with the voice of an angel? You’ll shine on the stage. No matter what you love to do, or where your talents lie, there is a venue at camp in which you can put it all on display.

These past couple of days have brought soaring temperatures to Greeley. We’ve also witnessed campers soaring to new heights in a variety of endeavors both in and out of camp. Our talented swimmers dominated Monday’s swim meet at Pine Forest, winning all but one of their relays! There were individual wins as well, for both seasoned swimmers and first-time competitors. Owego demonstrated great skill in the water and notable sportsmanship out of the pool. Way to go, boys!

Our Top Cooks were at it again, grilling chicken and steak in Owego’s grove on Sunday (under the tutelage of Kyle, no less) and then traveling out of camp yesterday to Riverside Creamery. At Riverside Ice, the campers made a batch of cookies and cream and even got to taste the product! They checked out the walk-in freezer where the freshly made ice cream is stored to harden before serving. The group’s hard work was rewarded with a scenic walk along the Delaware River to the Creamery, where they enjoyed a waffle cone with their flavor and topping of choice!  These boys have what it takes to whip up something delicious, and they are only getting better with each Top Cooks session.

The 9th graders took a break from their Nine Lives activities to embark on an overnight trip to the Thunder Swamp Trail. Led by head of tripping Josh, Junior head counselor Mike, and assistant head of tripping Sam, these boys loaded up their packs and set out on the infamous “Long-Distance Hike,” aka “The Mike Hike.” Departing after lunch on Monday, the group hiked approximately half of the nearly 20-mile loop. At the conclusion of yesterday’s hike, in addition to resting their tired feet, the campers set up tents, made dinner, and settled in for the night. This morning’s 5:00 wake-up enabled the campers to finish the remaining portion of the trail before heading back to Owego (by van, not by foot). The resilience necessary to complete a physically challenging activity like this simply cannot be understated!

Tonight, on Scotty’s stage, the extraordinarily talented cast of “Seussical the Musical” performed for the entire camp. The amount of dedication required to put together a show like this in just over two weeks of camp is remarkable! Scotty guided the cast in learning musical numbers, staging, choreography, AND memorizing lines. All of the hard work paid off tonight with a joyfully entertaining performance. The audience loved it! The Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, the Wickersham Brothers, the Sour Kangaroo — everyone in the cast gave it their all! It is NOT easy to perform for your peers. Bravo!

Whether they pushed the limits in the swim meet, pushed themselves to learn to cook something new, persevered through a tough physical challenge, or dedicated themselves to displaying their talents on stage, these four distinct groups of Owegans showed great ambition, resolve, and passion for the activities they love to do. Camp may provide the opportunity, but the campers have to grab the reigns themselves and go for the ride. These boys do that and so much more. They make us proud everyday.

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The Pen is Mightier When You Make it Yourself

Like all great explorers, who followed routes previously charted by those who came before them, Bunks Maverick A and B spent part of the holiday weekend on an overnight adventure. The youngest group so far to venture out of camp and into the great wide open, these 6th graders boarded their canoes after dinner on Friday and worked together in teams of 3 or 4 to paddle from the Lake Greeley beach at Pine Forest to fabled Blueberry Island. After setting up camp, they enjoyed a bonfire with roasted hot dogs and s’mores. Word is, there was even some sleeping involved before heading back to Owego the following morning in time for breakfast.

On Saturday, Owego hosted a Play Day for 15 prospective campers. While their families toured Owego and learned more about our rich traditions, the (potentially) future Owegans immersed themselves in camp life. Ropes, camp craft, tennis, basketball, arts & crafts — these boys tried it all! Swimming was a must, due to the excessive heat, and the rest of camp enjoyed staying cool in the pool as an Evening Activity!

Elsewhere in camp, there were optional activities galore! Top Basketball, a 3-day intensive with athletics staff, kicked off at Pine Forest. Participants who register in advance have the unique opportunity to fine-tune their basketball skills while interacting with their peers from TimberTops and Pine Forest. Run by Steve Chadwin, longtime athletic director at Pine Forest, Top Basketball has quickly become one of the most popular “optional” offerings at camp.

Extra! Extra! Read (and write) all about it — PEN MAKING IS BACK! This annual favorite commenced Saturday and will continue through the weekend. Ryan Carroll, a high school teacher from Cincinnati, brought his wood samples, sanding equipment, and pen components to Owego, set up shop by the picnic grove, and spent the weekend guiding campers of all ages through the pen-making process. Ryan is a friendly fixture at Owego, and many campers remember him year after year. The next letter you receive could have very well been written by a handmade pen!

Top Cooks and Top Soccer (a new offering this summer) both held sessions today. And no Sunday would be complete without a brother/sister/cousin visit at TimberTops. Though most of these siblings spent time together on the Fourth of July, they always appreciate a little extra family time and even a few extra hugs!

The coming week sees our 11th graders returning from Costa Rica, and the much-anticipated performance of “Seussical the Musical” on Scotty’s stage. As First Session begins to wind down, the energy level at Owego remains high. Campers are fully engaged in a wide variety of activities, and the question on everyone’s mind is, “When will Olympics break out?” Paris has nothing on Owego!

Stay tuned!

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Declaration of a Spectacular Fourth of July!

Owego’s Fourth of July celebration is one of the most eagerly-anticipated spectacles of the summer. Campers plan their patriotic costumes well in advance, and typically have no trouble figuring out what to wear on Fourth of July morning.

This year’s style choices did not disappoint. After a late wake-up at 8:45, campers emerged from their bunks in their best red, white, and blue garments. Some added accessories like sequined hats, LED-glasses, and beaded necklaces. Others went the simple route of a blue Owego official and red shorts. Kudos to them for their clean, classic lines. There was a banana, a hamburger, an Air-Force pilot, and more than a few Phillies jerseys. One thing everyone brought to line-up was their holiday spirit.

Following a recording of the National Anthem (Whitney’s version, of course), chants of “USA! USA! USA!” reverberated throughout the crowd. Campers proudly showed off all the cool swag their parents packed for this special occasion, including headbands, face paint, and flowered leis. A few bunks did the wave. A Scottish counselor stood proudly in an authentic kilt. It was a glorious display of national pride.

As campers entered the dining hall for breakfast, the familiar chords of “Born in the USA” blasted from speakers. As Owegans know, French toast sticks are always a popular meal. The holiday addition of Kyle’s double whipped cream extravaganza, however, really upped the game. Our steadfast director held a Reddi-Whip canister in each hand, embellishing passing campers’ plates with a dollop of whipped cream (and occasionally aiming directly for their mouths). It IS America’s birthday, everyone. We all get a little carried away.

About halfway through breakfast, Miley took over. It’s Owego tradition to “Party in the USA” as counselors pass out Krispy Kreme donuts. By the first chorus, a sizable mass of campers had gathered in the middle of the dining hall. As Miley belted out, “So I put my hands up…” the sugar kicked into high gear and everyone sang along. The party continued with a patriotic Conga line that weaved its way out one door and back into another, all set to a soundtrack of “Kids in America,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” and “God Bless the USA.” By the time Scotty queued up “Sweet Caroline,” even the Key Staff could be heard shouting “So good! So good! So good!”

Then breakfast ended. All before 10:00. Whew!

Campers scattered in a red, white, and blue blur back to bunks for Inspection, which was followed by a double-SFA period. The Seussical cast rehearsed at the stage. Fishing lines were cast. Canoes were paddled. Many a game of Magic was played. Tennis balls were volleyed. Which is to say, what followed a chaotically delightful breakfast was a pretty typical Owego Thursday morning.

In the afternoon, following a lunch of B’s and D’s (what were the longest hot dog’s ever to grace the Owego buffet), the staff limbered up for the annual counselor softball game. American staff took batting practice as International staff accepted tips on such fundamentals as grip and stance. To their enormous credit, they gave it their all. In the end, Unit Leader Ben Broker’s grand slam coupled with the Soiferman brothers’ precise defense led the Americans to a 6-1 victory. All counselors garnered high marks with their exemplary sportsmanship and impeccable sense of humor!

An all-camp rec swim was a refreshing exclamation point on an already sensational day. But it’s not over just yet.

Following dinner, Owegans will be shuttled over to TimberTops for more Fourth of July fun. At dusk, all of Owego and TimberTops will gather on the tennis courts to marvel at the fireworks display. As campers gaze upon the exploding colors with wonder and awe, they are sure to reflect on just how great of a day this was. And just how much sugar they actually consumed.

 

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Isn’t Camp Life Grand?

July announced its arrival in grand fashion, with another gorgeous couple of days in the wilds of Greeley, Pennsylvania! Almost makes us forget about the Monsoons of Summer 2023.

Almost. Our rain boots are still a little muddy.

The Senior division had the privilege of spending Monday morning at Costas. Go Karts whipped around the track, campers went careening down the waterslides, and golf balls rolled through tunnels and around obstacles as everyone enjoyed leisurely time with friends. Even the counselors got in on the action, racing their campers around the Go Kart track as if canteen depended on it!

Speaking of “Costas,” the Tents spent their first full day in Costa Rica on Monday! They donned helmets and hiked to the Poaz Volcano and La Paz Waterfall. The mountain views were simply grand! Today, the group volunteered at an Animal Rescue Sanctuary, preparing food for the furry residents and helping with other jobs around the facility. Their photos are giving us major FOMO!

Back at camp, it was anything but an ordinary Monday. Designated campers attended a sibling/cousin visit at Pine Forest, our Top Cooks took part in another culinary exercise, and the Grand Owegan embarked on a 3-day adventure.

The Grand Owegan is an overnight trip for the 10th graders. On day 1, the group canoed almost 13 miles down the Delaware River. Last night, they slept in tents in Worthington State Forest and spent most of today rock climbing at Ricks Rocks. After dinner tonight, they hiked to the next campground and set up camp. Tomorrow, the group will hike 6 miles before getting picked up in Worthington for the drive back to Owego. Those are sure to be some tired, but proud, campers!

Our 9th graders have been busy for the past few days with a special activity called “Nine Lives.” On Monday night, teams competed in a cookie baking contest. Each group had to whip up a batch of cookie dough with no recipe, and bake cookies without the use of any measuring tools! This morning, Kyle woke the 9th graders early to grill brisket in the great outdoors. The mouthwatering aroma of cooked meat filled the air as campers were still rubbing sleep from their eyes!

While the 9th graders were busy baking during Evening Activity last night, the Juniors played kickball and the Seniors played frolf (that’s frisbee golf, remember?).

Today’s highlights included a slew of Intercamp games with NJY Camp. This morning, the boys traveled to NJY Camp and competed in 11U baseball, 12U soccer, and 14U basketball. After lunch, the campers returned to their home turf for more Intercamp excitement.

Although our campers are currently spread out not only across the tri-state area, but across the Western Hemisphere as well, the Bonds of Brotherhood remain strong as camp traditions are celebrated in grand style!

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Hasta Luego to the 11th Graders!

Bright and early this morning, with sleep still clouding their eyes, the Tents were awoken for the very best reason — to embark on their long-awaited trip to Costa Rica! Traveling with their grade-level cohorts from Pine Forest and TimberTops, they left on a jet plane from Newark Airport and landed around noon local time. Today’s itinerary includes an orientation by trip leaders, and an opportunity to settle in to the hotel accommodations. As we hear from the trip leaders over the next 10 days, we will do our best to report on the exciting adventures these campers have the privilege to experience.

Pura Vida!

Back on the home front (that is, at the lush oasis we call Owego), the day started with Barbara Black’s delicious smoked salmon at breakfast and featured the first “sibling” visitation of the summer with TimberTops.

The weekly sibling visit is a highlight for our Owego brothers who have sisters and/or cousins over at CTT. Every Sunday, our Owego boys board the bus and travel down Route 6 to TimberTops where the girls eagerly await their arrival. Brothers and sisters hug as if they haven’t seen one another in months. Parents may not believe it, but it’s 100% true! There’s no sibling squabbling here!

As the small family gatherings spread out and find a cozy corner to occupy, everyone shares their week 1 camp stories. “I went waterskiing on Lake Wallenpaupack!” or “I climbed to the top of the rock wall!” or “I tried BBQ chicken for the first time…and I loved it!” This unique opportunity for brothers, sisters, and cousins to visit with one another — without a parent chaperone — is one of the most special traditions at camp. It gives the campers a little slice of home to carry with them for the rest of the week.

Tonight’s Evening Activities included Steal the Bacon for Juniors, Speed Ball for Seniors, and Frolf for Hi-Seniors. Frolf is an interesting one — it’s a variation on golf, but with a frisbee. Teams travel around camp to designated “holes,” each of which has a “par.” Instead of putting a golf ball, however, the campers have to toss a frisbee. Frolf has been a favorite at Owego for a long time!

As the first week of camp draws to a close, we reflect on friendships made, traditions celebrated, and skills strengthened. But this is only the beginning. The coming week will bring Fourth of July festivities at camp, starting with donuts and ending with fireworks! Stay tuned for more explosive fun!

 

 

 

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Sing a Song of Friday

It is said that music always sounds better on Friday. If that’s true, then today’s soundtrack was a mixtape of everyone’s favorite songs. What a glorious day in 18425! The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the temperatures were hovering right around the mid-70’s for most of the day. If we had to craft the perfect Friday, this one would definitely make the final cut.

The morning started off with trips, trips, trips. Bunk Apache headed to the Delaware River on a canoe trip, while the entire Junior division scooted on down Route 6 for a visit to everyone’s favorite Family Fun Park, Costas! While the boys of Apache paddled their canoes under the bright sunshine and swam in the refreshingly cool water, the Juniors split their time between Go-Karts, waterslides, and ice cream!

There were several Intercamp games to keep the rest of camp busy all day long. Basketball (a tough loss for the Hi-Seniors), 15U Baseball (a victory against Pine Forest), and 13U Basketball (described by coach Jonah Sicker as a “dominant win”). On Pine Forest’s courts, no less! Owego boys bring their A-game every time, and they always have fun playing alongside their friends — win or lose!

Tonight was a special milestone for the Tents — their first Shabbat dinner and campfire as the leaders in camp. Prior to a delicious meal of matzo-ball soup, Challah bread, and roast chicken, the Tents circled up in the center of the dining hall and belted out their chant of the summer. That was followed by more boisterous chanting, during which they lifted Junior camper Monte Troup in a chair, Bar Mitzvah-style! The Tents debuted their customized navy blue shirts, on the back of which each camper proudly displayed his unique nickname. Once the chanting ended in a rousing chorus of “Tents 24! Tents 24! Tents 24! “Rabbi” Zach Abramson lit the Shabbat candles and then took the microphone and led the dining hall in the Friday night blessings.

Shabbat Shalom!

Dinner was followed by SFA, then Junior campfire and Senior/Hi-Senior campfire. These Friday-night traditions are punctuated by songs, chants, stories, and sketches. The campfire is the beacon around which all Owegans gather and share in the traditions that their Brothers in Blue established and laid out before them.

This Friday was music to everyone’s ears.

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Double SFA Makes for a Great Day!

A great day starts with late sleep, and today was one of those great days that makes a summer truly memorable. Waking up an hour later than usual, at 8:45, campers arose to sunny skies and a cool breeze blowing across the lake. Late sleep doesn’t just mean extra dreamtime, it also means double SFA!

SFA, or Supervised Free Activity, gives campers the opportunity to meander around camp to different areas where counselors are stationed to oversee these activities. If a camper loves the lake, he may choose to kayak or jump on the Wibit. If he prefers to spend his downtime hanging out with friends, he can play card games or knock hockey on the gathering deck. This morning, campers scattered to tennis, arts and crafts, and gaga. Some relaxed in hammocks while others cast their fishing lines from the dock. Everyone enjoyed the glorious weather and leisurely pace.

After a lunch of B’s and D’s (that’s burgers and dogs to non-Owegans), Top Cooks set out on another culinary adventure while the Tents visited Walmart in preparation for their trip to Costa Rica. Elsewhere, Owego’s U13 soccer team defeated Pine Forest in an Intercamp match-up, and a group of campers embarked on a river trip to the Delaware. Such a restful morning followed by a busy, active afternoon!

Tonight’s evening activity for the Juniors was Capture the Flag, while the Seniors and Hi-Seniors traveled down the road to TimberTops for a social. The flannel pants came out in full force and the campers danced and mingled the night away.

Today was the kind of day that camp is all about — spending quality down time with friends, competing side-by-side on the field, cooling off (and goofing off)    in the water, and enjoying push-up ice pops for dessert. What more could a kid ask for?

Stay tuned tomorrow for a “vlog” — or video blog — version of today’s SFA activities!

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A Moment in the Sun for Clean Socks

Whew! Today was a hot one!

You’d never know it, however, by the level of energy and excitement at camp. There are a variety of optional activities starting up, and the campers are busier than ever! Those who want to improve their skills on the court have begun private tennis lessons with Owego’s outstanding staff. Fitness training sessions are very popular, as are golf lessons — both small-group and private. Our horseback-riding enthusiasts have already been over at the ranch, and Top Cooks spent the afternoon in the Pine Forest kitchen, baking sugar cookies with sugar icing! Each Top Cook returned to camp with a tray of cookies, presumably to share with grateful friends! Thanks to Elliegant Cakes in Shohola for leading this scrumptious Top Cooks session.

One of the most popular “optional” activities at camp is Scotty’s show! The first session show is “Seussical, the Musical,” and campers have already auditioned and been cast in their roles. Practice is underway, as campers work tirelessly to learn songs and memorize their lines in preparation for the July 9th performance. Not to worry — the show will be recorded and posted on camp’s You Tube channel later in the summer!

Today was a big day for socks and underwear at camp — Laundry Day!

The first batch of camper laundry was picked up this morning, which means beds were stripped and remade with clean linens (no doubt, in such a way as even Mom would approve). Campers will now be wearing clothing you haven’t yet seen in photos! Clean laundry will be delivered to camp tomorrow, and campers will begin sorting through the returned items in an exciting game of “Is this your UnderArmour shirt or mine?” There’s a reason why parents are asked to label EVERYTHING!

A dramatic thunderstorm moved through camp this evening, throwing the plans for Evening Activity into a bit of a tailspin. But the Owego staff always rebounds with ingenuity and flexibility! Juniors headed to the Stage area for an all-time favorite, Go Bananas. Seniors and Hi-Seniors gathered in the HBC for a game called “Guess Your Best,” where campers and counselors wagered points on who would win a particular competition. Think your counselor has what it takes to do more push-ups than his opponents? Go all-in with your points and hope he ate his Wheaties this morning.

Rain or shine, we find the fun (and clean socks and underwear)!

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