Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It WILL Be Spring

By: Sara Knutson
Program Director

You may have noticed by now that we’re all about the weather here at Camp Gray — it’s hard not to be when you’re constantly outside. The signs of spring are unmistakable, both in the warm air and in our retreat schedule. Our first environmental retreat of the spring is next week!

To prepare, the retreat team and I reviewed much of our environmental knowledge last week, culminating in a bushwalking hike off the yellow trail toward the stream (roughly behind the office, for those of you with especially good knowledge of camp’s geography). We identified trees and deer beds, scat and tracks, and even built a fire amid the snow!

The volunteers’ favorite part, though, was probably watching the water surging beneath the rapidly dwindling layer of ice on the stream. Tossing sticks to break the ice was especially satisfying, as Rachel found:

Her (now) famous words: “It WILL be spring!”

The moral of this story? There’s definitely fun to be had any time of the year at camp, even as the seasons are in the middle of change!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Last (?) Snowy Picture of Camp

By: Sara Knutson

Yesterday was a crazy mix of rain, freezing rain, sleet, and (finally) snow! I snapped some photos of camp — it was especially gorgeous this morning, before any plowing or tracking in had been done.

It's probably not time to start filling the pool quite yet...

In just three months, we’ll be having campfires again! But for now, the snow-draped cross is beautiful as is.

Have a great week, everyone, and remember to live each day well (but look forward to summer camp, too!).

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Reality Check: I May Be Addicted to Coffee PART I

By: Jenna Keller
Administrative Coordinator

This is the story of newbie blog poster and how she came to a topic-of-choice decision. It runs through the timeline of many action packed moments during Jenna’s day leading up to her big decision.

8:45 Today I woke up knowing I needed to actually write my first blog entry and panic ramped up my adrenaline being as I had no clue what I would write about.

9:30 The panic subsided as I realized that Mother Nature seemed unsure as to what season she was in, here in the great state of Wisconsin, and that would make a fantastic topic. On my normal morning stroll to the office I busted out my camera and captured the beauty which surrounded me, and was finding its way, as a very wet and cold form of melting snow, to the top of my head and then down my neck…talk about shivers!

10:15 If you’ve ever been inside the Camp Gray office, you probably noticed that it lacks a few things: a bathroom, bubbler, coffee maker, and most importantly, space. Since we are all within 15 feet, at most, of each other, it’s easy to overhear conversations. Well, at approximately 10:15 this morning, it was no rare occasion that I happened to overhear Rebecca and Chris talking about the picturesque form of camp and the need to take pictures to post on our blog today. Sometimes I refrain from giving my two-cents, but today, I figured I’d jump in. I let both of them know that I was going to be posting on the blog today and had already taken pictures to capture the beauty and share them with all of the camp community. “Fantastic,” they both replied in unison. So it was official; my first ever blog post would be about the changing weather. Since it was official, I was officially relieved…or so I thought.

10:45 Since on my walk in to the office I didn’t get as many pictures as I had originally wanted because my batteries died, I decided to take more pictures on my walk out to the mailbox – a journey that roundtrip is about one mile. Therefore, it was plenty of time to get the necessary shots, ideas, and video recordings of the raining melting snow coming from the trees.

11:20 Sara came to the front of the office, probably to make copies, so I proceeded to ask her a nitty-gritty question about posting the blog. She responded, “Oh, then there will be two blog posts today!” Curious what she wrote about, I asked, and her response was one I dreaded: “I took some pictures of the snow and posted them.” Now, there was momentary panic. What on earth would I write about now? But moments later, we decided that I could post about the same thing and try to make it funny about how Mother Nature was confused as to what season it actually was. (Yes folks, this is what Camp Gray looked like just hours after my initial walk to the office.)

3:13 I was sitting in Tricia’s part of the office, checking her emails, when Chris decided to pop his head in and let me know that Sara had actually posted about the weather, but that I should still consider writing a post. I kindly told him that Sara and I felt as though we both could post about the same thing, but I quickly realized maybe that wasn’t the best idea. Again, a moment of panic came upon me. Chris quickly jumped in and told me, “You can write about anything. You could even write about your love of Starbucks!” We joked about it for a short period of time, but in my head I had already written it off as an idea. I wasn’t going to let the world know about my “addiction” to Starbucks.

4:03 Gmail is wonderful. Not only is the email portion of it superb, but its many additional features simply place it above and beyond any sort of competition. I was chatting with my good friend, Lindsay, on g-chat when I brought up the fact that I had no idea what I was going to do with my Monday nights now that The Bachelor season was over. She quickly asked, “Did you find out who is the newest girl on Dancing with the Stars?” I told her I had not; I hadn’t even heard that they needed a new contestant. Well, the answer to that question: Melissa, the girl Jason dumped on The Bachelor after he had proposed to her…talk about drama. I really truly didn’t want a reason to watch Dancing with the Stars, but since Melissa was going to be on it, and I was rooting for her all along during The Bachelor, I felt as though I now needed to watch the season.

4:11 I had left the office early today, since I was planning on going to Starbucks to write this here blog entry, but after realizing I had forgotten the laptop, I returned to grab it and to ask Sara if I could watch Dancing with the Stars in her apartment, since the Day House doesn’t have a TV. She enthusiastically agreed to let me watch it there and I told her and Chris the latest news regarding the show. After getting excited about the latest news, Sara jumped online to ABC’s website to check out who else would be on this season’s cast and Chris informed us that he considered watching it because of the stellar cast line-up.

4:16 Out of the office I went, with laptop in hand, as I drove out of camp to Starbucks I knew what my topic was going to be.

4:33 I order my typical Starbucks beverage…first sip: it’s delicious, as always. Now you may be asking yourself, “Self, how on earth do all of these mini-stories combine into one blog topic?” Well, it may be two topics that I managed to tie together, but stay tuned and you’ll find out soon! Oh, and don’t worry, I’ll reveal my drink of choice, so you don’t have to hold your breath.