We’re enjoying a perfect start to camp- very good weather, exciting activities, great food and happy kids. I had fun getting out and observing some excellent activities this morning and I was reminded of how much I love mornings at Chewonki. Enjoy the blog post, and your July 4th holiday weekend. I’m a morning person, and mornings are a glorious time of day here at Chewonki, so it’s a pretty good fit. I almost always start my day with by going running before the camp is awake. The quiet and calm of the early hours stand in sharp contrast to the usual lively bustle of the rest of the day. As I work my way back from my run, I see more signs of life. This week, I’ve seen staff naturalist Lynne Flaccus out with a group of curious young naturalists on bird walks with field guides and binoculars in hand. Our first bird walk of the summer saw 31 campers participate! Lynne is a master at this- who else could get 31 campers to willingly get up from bed starting at 6:15? Another frequent early morning sighting is our Polar Bear swimmers who start their day with a quick swim at our waterfront. I must admit that aside from my morning runs, Polar Bears are my favorite way to start the day. On my way back to my cabin, the kitchen is coming to life with cooks, dishwashers, and camper waiters and table setters all springing into coordinated action shortly after the 7:00 am wake up bell. The rest of the camp arrives for lineups at 7:20 before proceeding in for the legendary Chewonki breakfasts. Today we had a first course of cereal, bananas and strawberries followed by a second course of scrambled eggs and home fries; just the fuel a young boy needs to get them through the morning. After breakfast, the campers head back to their cabins for morning cleanup and inspection. Cleanup involves getting the cabin organized and neat, as well as taking time for brushing teeth and washing up. I’ve been inspecting the Ospreys this week, and I have been very impressed. This group really has it down! The cabins are in great shape and I’m pretty sure they are keeping their cabins cleaner than they keep their rooms at home. I almost always pass a few groups returning from an overnight camping trip. Last night, Jungle, Quarter Deck, and Boulder ventured out for their overnights. Activities start at 9:20, and today I had the pleasure of visiting and observing the Woodcraft, Art and Challenge activities this morning. Our Woodcraft leaders Aaron Liebman, Devin Littlefield and Will Trumper had their groups engaged in building a campfire with materials that had been soaked in water, including birch bark. With the help of their counselors, the campers were able to figure out how to get a campfire going, a skill that I am sure will come in handy on their wilderness trips. From Woodcraft I ventured out the southern tip of our peninsula known as The Point where the Art activity under the leadership of Emma Weeks was engaged in watercolor painting of the natural landscape. What an inspiring place to paint, especially on a glorious day like today. From the Point I ventured to the Gulch, where I encountered the Challenge activity under the leadership of Michelle McWade and Matt Weeks. Crossing the Gulch involves sliding along a rope suspended between two rock outcroppings over a tidal cove roughly 15 feet in the air. The group was very excited to make the crossing. This perfect morning is now fading into the afternoon, which I know will hold many special opportunities for our campers. And tonight we’ll get to enjoy our first Campfire of the summer. I can’t wait!