Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In Training

Many of the things we do at Loll are very difficult. Mastering the how to takes a lot of training and preparation; it is well worth the effort. Learning to do these things makes it possible for the staff to share with the scouts when they arrive.

A visit to Union Falls is a wonderful experience for a staffer or a scout. But the trail is long and hard, there are many chances to lose one's way, there are other dangers, and there are a host of Park Service policies to learn and obey. Thus the sixteen mile, day long training hike to Union Falls and Scout Pool are a must.

Justin and Lauren Hansen are among the great leaders who share their expertise and enthusiasm with the new recruits.

Mitch is an "old hand". This summer he will often be the Ranger on duty at Union.

Scout Pool is always a highlight of the hike. Eight points of safe swim defense in place, Justin shows us how it is done.

All too soon, the crew is on its way home. Much wiser and full of the confidence they will need to lead.

Another demanding Loll opportunity is rappelling and climbing at CHEYHO Basin.

You can't put a wall like this in a sports mall!

The entire staff goes for it. Our High Adventure/Climbing Director is teaching his staff how to give this demanding and confidence building experience to a summer full of eager adventurers. Here Nelson learns and trains others at the same time. Check out those great climbing shoes. Oh Nelson!

Here goes Peter.

Teaching others to climb and rappell can give you a chest to grow hair on.

Another important hike from Loll is to Survey Peak. This demanding hike is into the National Wilderness and requires a lot of specialized knowledge. In late June there is still plenty of snow. Once across the stream the crew must spread out and leave no trace, but they must keep in contact with each other at all times. Getting there is easy. The real challenge of Survey is getting home. Then you must know and trust your compass.

It's always best to have an experienced guide.

Check SpellingPhantom Falls when it is not a phantom. This over 200 foot rappel is available to Loll's In Camp High Adventure groups.

All the staff must be ready to guide a troop to Survey and back.

At the top of Phantom Falls, at the top of the world, where there is still plenty of snow as July begins.

Then there is the peak itself. Quinn leads the way.

Justin is our Marine Corps.

A swim check in Lake of the Woods is a wonderful experience, so much to learn.

At Loll it's always ladies first.

Like the Spartans, Loll women are as tough and as prepared as the men.

But can anyone ever really be prepared for this?

All one can do is get in,

and swim. Yes it hurts that much, this is how one grows strong, and learns what the scouts must also face.

Cory and Dan do it too.

Getting out is almost as hard as getting in but they can do it. Just ask Jon.

Ask any of them, once they have learned that they can.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Midsummer's Night

For a Summer Camp, of course the most important holiday is Midsummer's Night. June 21st - check out the snow!

All the revelry centers around the Sacred King. Our Sacred King prepares to serve his people.

His clan stands by to receive his sacrifice.

The bonfire forms the living heart of the ceremony.

King Wes

As darkness falls, the dancers begin to circle the flames.

Round and round the flames the dance.

The kilts and woad pay reverence to our Celtic past.

The King and his Tanis sit upon their thrones awaiting the moment of truth. The truth is that service brings love, and love brings joy.

The flames grow higher.

The King joins the procession, borne on his throne of pine.

His tanis follows. Remember - there are always " two, two lily-white boys."

Our tanis was Mitch

Born on the shoulders of their grateful subjects.

There is plenty of singing, "Green Grow the Rushes Oh", "Soul Cake", and "Myra Myra Many Boats" and more.

It is a most savage celebration.

The "boys" prepare for the final sacrifice.

The people call for the miracle.

Wes adds the ashes of last years King to the fire.

King and tanis burn their crowns, symbolic of their gift.

The flames mingle past, present, and future.

He is the Once and Future King.

Watchers in the woods.

We seek the blessing of the summer.

The joy of service is the blessing we all seek.

And over all the Mother keeps watch.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Camp Staff Alumni Reunion

Calling all Camp Loll Staff Alumni to attend the Alumni Reunion on August 7th and 8th 2010. Please plan to arrive on Saturday anytime after late morning. Lunch will be at 1:00 pm. Please bring a current BSA medical if you want to swim or boat. We will have all the program areas open Saturday afternoon. Dinner will be at 6:00 PM, followed by a flag ceremony and a campfire program. Sunday, breakfast will be from 7:00 to 9:00 AM and Church will start at 9:30 AM. There will be time to visit and to have our anual meeting after church. Lunch will be at 1:00 PM so that everyone can be on their way in the early afternoon. Please bring your own your tents, food will be provided.

If you are a Loll Staff Alumni, and have read this, please contact other alumni and encourage them to attend. We look to see you at Loll this summer.

Please RSVP by the last week of July. You can contact Camp Loll by commenting on this post, by phone at (801) 475-8466 or by e-mail to d_conner@comcast.net.

A Tough Swim Check

On June 19th, 2010 - The Camp Loll Water Front staff and some friends took their swim-checks.

You might think that a hundred yards is not so far to swim. The guys told me there was ice on the water, but I can't see it.

Of course the snow on the bank might intimidate some.

But not these guys. Some times I feel like bragging that they are tougher than your average camp staff, but then, doesn't that go without saying.

"A Tribe called the Sacae . . . have never been reduced to subjection . . . living in high mountain country, well-wooded and covered with snow. They are also formidable warriors." ("Thermopylae, The Battle for the West" by Ernle Bradford)

Some years ago I spoke with a Captain in the Marine Corps. A hero of the Battle of the Euphrates; he explained to me that he had faced many challenges as he progressed through his service in the Marines. He told me that he swam a mile in Lake of the Woods in 1986, and that not matter how difficult things got, he always reminded himself that however tough the challenge was, at least it wasn't as hard as swimming a mile in Lake of the Woods. Facing and overcoming the difficult makes us strong.