In the Wilderness with the Guides I spent Thursday afternoon, evening and Friday morning with the Guides on their wilderness trip. The Guides are our counselors-in training, a veteran group of seven former campers and trippers who are now making the transition towards becoming our future counselors. They were a part of our staff-training week in June, and proceeded to earn their American Red Cross Life Guard certification during the first week of camp. Since then they have been learning how to teach activities and help coordinate our July 4 events. On Monday they departed for their wilderness trip. All cabin counselors help to lead their cabin wilderness trip and strong wilderness skills are needed. Our hope is that our Guides hone their wilderness skills on this trip while having some time to prepare for their transition into a cabin during the second session for an internship as a cabin counselor. The trip has been a wonderful success, with the group summiting Mt. Katahdin on Tuesday. I joined them at our Big Eddy Campground on Thursday afternoon as they were making the transition from the hiking part of their trip to the canoeing part of the trip. We practiced our whitewater canoeing skills just below the Big Eddy; ferrying across the river and eddy turning. We then enjoyed an excellent veggie stir-fry for dinner before discussing their transition to the cabins for the second session. They group plans to canoe the East Branch of the Penobscot River starting on Friday before returning to Chewonki on Wednesday. I dropped them off at Chamberlain Bridge at the intersections of Chamberlain and Telos Lakes as they began their canoe journey. A part of me wanted to stay with them for the trip, but I needed to return to Chewonki. The Guides are our future counselors and it is important for me to invest some time and develop a strong relationship with them. I must say I was most impressed with their individual and collective skills, supported by our Guides Director Jason Chandler and co-trip leader Matt Lunt. We always attract quality counselors, but I know that next year’s class of first year counselors will be exceptional due to this group of Guides. Crab Fest 2010! On Saturday, July 10, we enjoyed a special lunch, courtesy of John Williams of the Atlantic Red Crab Co. John lives next to Chewonki on Westport Island and his son Ben is a counselor with the Ospreys. John donated crab legs and meat to us from his company, the only sustainably certified crab company in the world. We enjoyed a true appetizer of Atlantic Red Crab legs and cocktail sauce out on the lawn behind the barn before proceeding into the Wallace Center for a lunch of crab rolls, chips, blueberry muffins, and salad. After lunch, John explained to us what makes his business sustainably certified, and our campers had an opportunity to ask him questions about the crabbing industry. It was an amazing lunch and learn opportunity, and I was very impressed with the quality of the questions asked by our campers and staff. Don’t be surprised if your son comes home asking for crab, and be sure to support the Atlantic Red Crab Company. Ask for it wherever you buy your seafood! Thank you, John! Finally, I just wanted to encourage you to consider joining us for Family Camp from August 11 – 15. Family camp is a great way for you and your family to enjoy all that Chewonki has to offer. Click the link above for more details.