Second session is cruising right along. A stretch of hot and humid weather has passed, and we are now enjoying crisp and clear weather for the next few days. Our new campers in Stockade and Long Hall have settled in nicely. We’re off to the beach tomorrow for Tent Day before resuming activities on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday morning, as well as our annual Carnival on Friday afternoon. Most of our cabin trips have returned, although a few cabins remain out on their trip including Crow’s Nest, Orchard House, Osprey Lodge, Binnacle, South Hall, and New Hall, with Fenway departing for the Camden Hills on Tuesday. It will be wonderful to be together as a full community for the last few days of camp. I have a few more activity updates that I would like to share with you. In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful August weather. Sincerely, Garth Altenburg From the Woodshop by Sam Pelgrift We’ve been having an excellent summer so far in the woodshop. The combination of boundless enthusiasm plus some newly learned skills and a little patience has led to the completion of some truly impressive projects. For our first activity block this session we made canoe paddles. Campers started with pieces of poplar, pre-cut into the rough shape of the paddle and proceeded to carve them to their final form using block planes and spoke-shaves. Their first step, planing the rough-sawn faces of the paddle blade flat was easily the most difficult as they got used to the feel of the tool and the wood. I enjoyed watching them labor for an hour or more on the first side, then flip the paddle over and finish the second side in half the time, applying their newly-learned skill. The finished paddles are beautiful pieces of work and the boys are justly proud of them. Some may even take them on their cabin wilderness trips. Our second activity block was all about whittling. We brought the benches outside behind the shop and sat in a quiet circle, sharing stories and laughs as we carved. Campers made all manner of awesome projects, from back-scratchers to forks and spoons, to chess pieces, to little animal figures. Some even took up the challenge of carving separated chain links from one piece of wood although none have yet succeeded! Coming up we have mini-wannigans (smaller versions of the iconic wooden boxes we use to carry gear and food on wilderness trips) which were a huge success first session. After that, for our final activity block we’ve got Open Shop, where campers will submit plans for a project of their own design. First session projects included a three-legged stool, a bird-house, model boats, and a number of cabin plaques. This block is a wonderful opportunity to let their imagination and creativity shine. Overall, I have been truly impressed by the enthusiasm, patience and workmanship that our campers have displayed this summer and I’m looking forward to our final two weeks in the shop! A Trip to Fort Popham, by Henry Heyburn On Friday, July 27th, most campers and counselors headed to Popham Beach State Park for a “tent day”. This description is a holdover from the days when campers lived in tents and took one day a week to take their bedding out of the tents and let everything air out while they went off on an adventure. Friday’s trip, “Tent Day # 4”, began auspiciously with rain and overcast skies. As the day progressed however, the clouds dissipated and the sun came out; it turned into a beautiful day. Once at the beach a group of 25 campers and counselors walked one and a half miles down the beach toward the mouth of the Kennebec River. We then turned upstream and continued along the beach, past the old Lifesaving Station, to Fort Popham, a spectacular example of 19th century coastal defense architecture. Construction on Fort Popham began in 1861 with granite quarried on Fox Island. The mouth of the Kennebec is well known for its strong and swirling currents so any ship attempting to get past the river’s mouth faced several obstacles. The fort’s construction features precisely cut and joined granite blocks and beautiful brick vaulted ceilings. Once we’d returned to the rest of the Chewonki group it was time for lunch, a brief rest and then some swimming before heading home.