Monthly Archives: January 2016

around the block

Block parties

Originally designed to mix our campers in new combinations, offer large group activities that allow more participation, and to foster a sense of neighborhood – block parties also turned out to be a lot of fun.  We did find that starting planning just before camp meant that a few people did a lot of the work.  It also required a busy email conversation right before camp.  People felt overwhelmed.

I think we’ve learned that the block parties can be successful without a crazy amount of activities or preparation.  So hopefully this summer we’ll be less stressed.

Based on what I noticed last year I’m making a few changes.

In 2016 I want to decide the themes ahead of time.  I’m guessing some people may want to choose their housing based on that floor’s theme  (if one strongly speaks to them).  Having themes in place will allow for that.  Also it gives people time to come up with block party activities, decorations or entertainment ideas over time.

BTW there will be a new team called ‘connections’ this summer.  Among other things, that team will be able to help with block parties.

The ideas we’re picking from were selected from those that came up in my surveys last summer.

(NOTE: poll is now closed – thanks to those who voted.)



BONUS:  Want a sneak peak at some of our morning groups?  

~furtively glancing around and opening my trench-coat to reveal a bunch of webpages hanging from the lining~ 

Lookie what I have here

Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark

Hello from the depths of dark January.

It seems like as good a time as any to start shedding light on things….but first let me share a quick story.

Once I had a crazy idea. (If you immediately jumped to thinking “only once??!” you may know me a little to well to want to read further.)

The one crazy idea I have in mind for this story was way up in the top ten percent of ‘crazy’.

One day I started thinking that maybe I could run the magical summer camp called SaugForAll.  Even crazier I sort of thought maybe I should. If you met me in my early years at camp, you’d probably never have suspected that an idea like that would ever occur to me.    But it did.       And in spite of some big misgivings I offered to take on running camp.

Did I mention that this was a very crazy time – when our camp was in a great transition?

Now there was a wonderful woman that had been running the camp.  She had been conjuring up our week in the sun successfully for many many years.  She was ready to take a break and she gave me her blessing and was VERY happy to quit.   (Everyone loved her. She was going to be a tough act to follow. )

She ran out the door before I could change my mind muttering something about finally getting to be ‘just a camper’.  Just before she disappeared from sight to enjoy her freedom and post envy-inducing travel pictures on Facebook, she turned and told me something.   She told me that running camp would be ‘fun’.

She said I’d have fun doing it.

I was skeptical

                                                                      I didn’t believe her.

I knew it would be worth doing.  I hoped I’d be relatively good at it.  I hoped it wouldn’t suck too badly to deal with all those details and steer the ship too.
But fun??……

Camp planning started and I forged ahead… and it turns out

Yes.   OK.   She was right.  I do find that running camp is fun.  It’s exhilarating when the magic pulls together.  Whoever runs this camp gets the great blessing (and occasional curse) of knowing almost everything that is going on.

I have found that there are other people that find planning camp and knowing the details as fun as I do.  Maybe you are one of them.

I’m guessing that there are some of you that’d be interested in hearing more camp details.  It’s hard to tell who you are. Emailing details about camp has gotten mixed results. Some people really appreciate it and some don’t.   Some people may love it one week, but the next month be swamped by real life.  I’m like that myself.  Hopefully this blog form will work better – here when you are interested, and unobtrusive when you aren’t.

I’ve always shared bits and pieces.  I always have had a few go-to people to go deeper and play with camp ideas.  Who those people are varies from time to time, but at any given moment it’s always been only a few.   That changes here.  Now you can all be my go-to people, if and when you want!

I’m going to be writing from time to time about things I know about our camp.  This might include plans, polls about smaller decisions, previews of website changes, things I’m trying to figure out, problems to solve, things to celebrate, and more.

I’m stepping out of dark days of January and camp planning my way toward the light of summer solstice and a roaring campfire.  You are very welcome to join me on this journey.


Notes and disclaimers:  

  • If I mention anyone else I’ll get their permission.
  • I won’t share any confidential information.
  • I’d love to have your feedback.  I do ask that all comments here be respectful.  I’d love to hear if you agree or disagree with me (or anyone else).  As long as you write with kindness  your comment is welcome and will be posted.
  • If you are on facebook I’ll post on our SaugForAll page when a new blog entry is up.  If you would like an email notification of new posts, please comment below.  Thanks!