We’ve turned the calendar to August, but if the last few days are any indication, we still have a lot of summer fun ahead of us! We have a lot of happy kids here right now. I must give so much credit to our counseling and activity staff. I am very proud of them for their dedication and leadership. The days are flying by. Each day I think I will find a moment to write and end up missing out as I’m having too much fun with the day to day life here at Chewonki. We’re in a really good groove right now as our second session campers have been here for two weeks and our second batch of 10-day Puffins in Stockade are here and settled into our routine. Our 7-week Ospreys have returned from their two night encampment on Hungry Island, a Chewonki-owned property in Muscongus Bay. Highlights included clearing of brush as a service project and an overnight solo, sleeping under just a tarp. They are now focusing on finishing construction on their boats. We have some great photos here. Many of our cabins are out on their wilderness trips right now, including Pete Gillies, Ranch House, Orchard House, and Binnacle. Boulder departs on Monday for Acadia National Park, and New Hall leaves on Tuesday for 4th Debsconeag Lake, the site of our former girls camp. Also departing on Monday is a special trip for some of the boys in Quarter Deck and Outhaul who wanted to go on a third wilderness trip. They are headed for our Big Eddy Campground on the West Branch of the Penobscot River and will do some day hiking in Baxter State Park. They will return on Thursday. Some great things have been happening in our woodshop this summer. Here is an update from our woodshop activity leader Forest Taber. Let’s talk wood. This first summer in the Chewonki woodshop we made some really beautiful work. We crafted sturdy benches using traditional hand tools like the block, the spokeshave, and the Japanese saw, to name a few. Our older campers embarked on an epic journey of self discovery when they confronted the modern enigma that is paddle making. These intrepid explorers of wood exemplified the Chewonki spirit in their dedication to fine details and the manifestation of a completed project through hard work. Those campers new to the Chewonki woodshop fashioned a Chewonki staple, the mini wanigan. We love these little boxes. So much so, in fact, that on one particular day we set many of them alight with a propane torch. No, dear readers, we are not fostering a sense of pyromancy in your children, rather, the use of a flame accentuates grain patterns and pairs wonderfully with our Chewonki fire brand–especially with a generous coating of clear poly lacquer. Among the many projects we completed during our first session, the humble bird house had to be one of the most fun. Campers were given time to consider the feng shui of their avian abodes before listening to a brief lecture about the properties of a birdhouse and how they directly and indirectly related to the different types of birds that may or may not choose to live in them. The finished houses looked terrific and should I have been born a bird, I may well have considered making one of them my home. In all, campers were given the opportunity to pursue self expression through the manipulation of wood in a safe and positive atmosphere. How fun it all was. Here’s to another great session!