We’re hit that point of the session where everyone is feeling very comfortable and settled. It’s a wonderful time to be here as the magic of Chewonki begins to take over. So much work goes into creating a space where our new campers can feel successful but once they do, it’s fun to see what happens. Friendships begin to solidify among our campers and our counselors have really gotten to know their campers and the best ways to support them. Our Osprey campers have become “big buddies” to our younger Puffin campers. Campfires and Sunday Services become times for celebration and genuine community building. Through all of this, we are a community in transition as our cabin wilderness trips have campers coming and going. Our 7-week campers have returned from their wilderness trips with a true sense of accomplishment after their second extensive trip. Long Hall, Juniper, Jungle and New Hall have returned from their trips, and Ranch House and Pete Gillies are now away on their respective trips with South Hall close to follow. We postponed the Puffin trip for a while to give the Puffins more time to get used to life in camp, but are aiming for them to depart later next week. One of the great traditions here at Chewonki is the Natural History Mystery. Our nature activity instructor “Doc” Fred Cichocki share his insights into this wonderful tradition. “Good afternoon Camp Chewonki. It’s time for the Natural History Mystery!” It’s a mantra that rings out daily through the Dining Hall after every lunch at camp. And so it goes, as our boys make the acquaintance of another oddity of nature to be found on Chewonki Neck, some amazing mystery to be grappled with and hopefully solved. I’d like to share one of our recent mysteries with you as an example. “Today, in a small bowl of water from our waterfront on Montsweag Estuary, we find bobbing around several apparently inert blobs that are in fact living marine animals. The mystery reads: ‘Among the myriad life forms you swim with everyday at the Waterfront, are these strange animals. You’ll find them everywhere attached to the swim float and boat dock. What are they? How are they related to you?’ After presenting the case, we direct the boys to the Chewonki Nature Museum, one of Chewonki’s oldest activity spaces, to closely examine the mystery animals, to think about the mystery and submit a solution (written on a special slip of paper.) The idea is to get as many campers involved in solving the Natural History Mystery as possible, sometimes by offering an extra incentive. By the following lunchtime, the Nature Activity staff will have tabulated their responses and reveal the mystery’s solution to the assembled camp. The Natural History Mystery offers a unique learning opportunity–an ideal way to present our boys with some fascinating tidbit of natural history in a thoroughly engaging way. Check back soon for a solution to this mystery, or better yet, ask your son what the solution was. It will make for a fun conversation. -“Doc” Fred Cichocki See more photos of Chewonki Camp for Boys Summer 2016 here.