Monthly Archives: May 2016

Full speed ahead

So if you’ve missed the last few blogs, here’s a summary:  Our camp has gone through a bunch of changes in the last few years.  Many changes were in direct response to our needing to get used to new spaces.   Many more were based on a request or suggestion from campers.   Some were due to my own choices.

I rarely change something at camp without having a reason.  I  do try and watch and get feedback to try and see if a change helped or hurt or made no difference.  I’m open to hearing what you think, whether by the polls I offer, in person at camp, by phone or email between camps.  This is a collaboration.  I’m just setting the scaffolding and waiting for the rest of you to fill in the spaces.

In the past I haven’t usually told many others the changes I plan ahead of time.  But now that I have this blog…..          Here’s some of the changes I know we’ll have this summer.

Obviously the biggest change this year involves the spaces we will stay in and play in.

We’ll be at a place called Dekoven in Racine, WI.

Dekoven, like Nissokone, is similar to Saugatuck in many ways but of course also different.  We’ll be back on Lake Michigan shoreline. We’re just on the other side of the lake!  We’ll be near dunes, though not nearly as many.

Dekoven has more comforts than we’re used to.  They replaced all their mattresses last year and none of them are wrapped in plastic.  There are two pillows per person, fans in every room, screens that work and comfortable chairs.  They supply coffee, tea and other drinks all day and night long.  They supply towels and sheets. They are used to creating food for adults, even adults with allergies and special diets.  There’s wi-fi access.  There’s comfortable furniture all over.  And I’m betting the hot water will work…it did when I stayed there last summer.

The grounds are not as rustic as our other camps.  We’ll be in a beautiful park-like setting with flower gardens and mature trees.  We won’t be in cabins, we’ll be all together in Taylor Hall.   Also for the first time in SaugForAll history alcohol is allowed.

Just like our first time at Nissokone it will be an adjustment getting used to a new place and who we are there.  We’re likely to run into some surprises.  One big difference from that first Nissokone year is that more of us have seen and even stayed at Dekoven.  I’ve visited there 3 times, always in the company of other campers and I’ve even stayed overnight.  Because of that, I expect fewer unpleasant surprises than we had our first summIMG_0205er at Nissokone.

There aren’t a lot of changes this year other than the location.  Here’s what will be new:

I’m adding one more involvement team.  That’ll be the connection team.  At Dekoven they’ll help ferry anyone who needs picking up/dropping off at the bus or train station near Racine.  This team will also help connect campers, looking to fill the gaps and make sure everyone feels welcome and part of camp.  They’ll help out with block parties.

A few slight changes apply to Morning Group Leaders.  First I’ve asked them to fill out an application form this year so you’ve probably noticed, I’m able to share much more detailed information about each group to help us all understand the choices better.  Also I’m asking the Morning Group Leaders to be on an involvement team.

Breakfast will be more of a drop in meal – without grace or announcements.  This is partly due to the space constraints at Dekoven.  There are 2 dining areas.  The one near our rooms is ideal for breakfast, but won’t fit all of us at once.  The other two meals will be all together in the bigger hall across campus.

Things that were new last year and we’re doing again:
We’re keeping those new names Rendezvous and Cafe (for hospitality and happy hour)
We’ll have another Moth cafe
Block Parties ~ see this blog post for more info
Intermission at coffee house and camp show – with dancing music
Offering a meditation room – there was one last summer, but I’m not sure anyone used it other than a morning group
schedule – post one board for weekly, one for daily
Announcement forms (and Leonard the Gator squirt gun will likely make a return appearance to enforce announcement guidelines)
Gratitude, Logistics and Creative teams
market day (likely expanded to longer than a day)
dress up for dinner (if you like) Friday evening
registration is being done by the online interactive form
scholarships will be available
we’ll keep using the great new fabric mailbags

What isn’t new?  Me!  It’s my third year and after experimenting and observing carefully for two years I feel a lot more confident.  I’m not one to ever stop experimenting and adjusting, but I’m personally pretty happy with the direction we’re headed.

Thanks for dancing through these changes with me.  May we continue to gracefully adapt together.

'The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.’
 — Alan Watts