Here are some posts related to some of our activities from the fantastic counselors who help lead these activities. Enjoy! Renewable Energy, by Christine Puopolo Second session is off to a great start in renewable energy! With the wonderful enthusiasm of the campers, we have been able to learn about the many different uses of renewable energy and sustainability at Chewonki. The campers learned about how they can help the camp’s Zero Waste challenge by recycling and composting in the cabins. In addition, they had the opportunity to do a renewable energy scavenger hunt around camp to see places like the biodiesel shed, the wind turbine, and the solar panels in the dining hall. After they had learned about all the different kinds of renewable energy, they were able to build their “dream green homes” out of cardboard and other repurposed materials. We had some very creative home ideas, even some that were located underwater! Along with exploring the different types of renewable energy systems here at Chewonki, they have also been able to do some hands-on projects with different renewable energy systems. Last week, campers were able to figure out which shape and size turbine petals were most efficient by experimenting with model wind turbines and fans. In the past few days, they put together a full size solar panel and solar water heater to see how the sun can be used for energy. Once they finished assembling the solar kits, they were able to roast marshmallows over our solar death ray (incinerator) as a nice snack! Coming up next week, some of the campers will have the opportunity to assemble their own solar powered battery charger and solar powered iPod chargers! This is usually renewable energy’s hit activity for the summer so the campers and staff are very excited for it! Overall, their participation and curiosity has been extremely impressive and we are all looking forward to what the rest of the summer will bring. Pottery, by Karen Blakelock The pottery activity has been filled with enthusiasm and discovery for both the pottery staff, and for the campers who choose to spend their days experimenting with clay in the Pottery Barn. We started out with period one and two making horns from coil pots. The ideal model of these hand made instruments produces a deep blast. However, noise emitted from the horns made in the pottery barn over the past few days is more closely related to that of a duck, than a musical instrument. Nonetheless, we’ve enjoyed ourselves as we stand at the windows that overlook the field sports activity and sound the horns (impersonate ducks) for the athletes running around on the lower field. For third period, Farm and Pottery have joined forces to put on an entirely homemade tea party. On the first day, each camper fashioned his own teacup, as large or small as desired. For the second day of the block, the teacups were glazed and campers were taught about harvesting tealeaves and drying them to make tea. we’re greatly looking forward to the third day, when our work will pay off and we can enjoy homemade tea out of handmade teacups. Over the past few days, campers have also been experimenting with carving clay into small figures such as bears or elephants. This project has caught the attention of quite a few boys, who enjoy the challenge of picturing the desired form within the solid block of clay, and working to shape it. General Swim, by Michelle McWade General swim is a time everyday that allows campers to choose different activities. They can participate in daily offerings like tennis, swimming, and soccer. Some days offer other speciality choices, like feeding the baby cow at the farm, visiting the aviaries, or even the “Weeksy Workout”. This week being the first time for some boys at camp, they haven’t seen most of Chewonki, including Pineapple Forest and Pump House. A group of us decided to head out into the woods during general swim to explore the natural offerings of Chewonki Neck. The first spot we went to was the infamous Pineapple Forest, which, prior to contrary belief, is not filled with Pineapple trees. It gets it’s name for the abundance of pine and apple trees that seem to be almost perfectly spread out and the ground is covered in ferns. Even some returning campers have not ventured into Pineapple forest during their previous years here, so it was an exciting expedition for all. It’s unlike anywhere else on Chewonki Neck, with its almost a dreamlike feeling as you walk through. After our time in Pineapple Forest, it was time to head off the trail to Pump House. We took a break once we got to the top of Blueberry Hill, which is the highest point on Chewonki Neck. And unlike Pineapple Forest, there are actually blueberries ontop of Blueberry Hill. It was a 20 minute hike to Pump House, but in that short time we saw drastic differences in the landscape. While Pineapple Forest is relatively flat with evenly spaced tall trees, Blueberry Hill is very rocky with small bushes covering the ground, and Pump House has large rolling hills and deep ravines. It was a quick hike around a small portion of Chewonki Neck filled with stories of how the landscape used to look years ago, lessons about our Hoc/Sag tradition and scouting games, and an exploration for what is out past our cabins. But there is so much more that Chewonki has to offer and for even some long time campers and staff, there are many areas of Chewonki Neck that are left to be explored.