Posted by: Birch Rock Camp

McWain day was so fetch, but before I tell you about our day let me introduce myself! My name is Matt, I normally teach Woodshop and Swimming and I am an engineering major, so writing is not my forte, but I’ll try my best. While studying up to write this blog, I saw that there seems to be a bit of playful banter between our other writers, so I’ll try to pull a Switzerland and remain neutral, but I’m willing to break that if necessary.

As I said before, McWain day was a blast right from the start! As Jack’s beautiful song goes, 

“If you’ve been a good wee troll,

on McWain day you’ll get coal.

But if you’ve been a bad boy,

on McWain day you’ll get toys.”

Thankfully, all of upper camp awoke to their stockings full of coal! As is customary on McWain day, the kids kept their coal with them all day until the closing events.

Armed with coal filled stockings, everyone made the best of our cold overcast morning. Kayaking mounted a “research” expedition to the end of the lake and collected water samples while floating back home, and boating in conjunction with nature surveyed the waterfront to determine areas of danger for erosion and plan ways to prevent it. Although the kids playing basketball and soccer may have been as far from McWain as possible, they continued to celebrate by practicing David McWain’s well-documented calisthenics routines from 150 years ago when he first settled what was then called, Long Pond.

Although this years weekly Pizza Friday race starts with a thorough pit stop at the wash house sinks, campers still managed to give quite a show as the senior campers came bounding down the office steps in a dead tie with MWA rounding the curve of the driveway to get in line. Fortunately, there was plenty of Hawaiian pizza (we all know the best topping) to go around, and most kids completed 2, 3, even 4 laps back to the buffet line for more.

In the afternoon, our friendly neighbor Bruce Whichard came over to teach us all a little more about McWain and the surrounding land.

Top 5 facts about the lake

  1. “Lake” McWain is 47 feet at the deepest and is legally considered a pond because it is too small.
  2. Our neighbor David Sanderson is a descendant of Dave McWain, the original landowner.
  3. Dave McWain was given the land by the government as payment for time in the army.
  4. There were originally 5 camps on the lake, but there are now only two camps and one family camp.
  5. There are documents describing a large aquatic creature that was occasionally sighted throughout the past 150 years.

Finally, we had the closing events for McWain day! The senior campers lined up with their coal-laden stockings in hand and threw them over their shoulders into the lake before counting to six and jumping in to retrieve their stockings. No one knows exactly what the meaning of the closing ceremony is for McWain day, but like everything Birch Rock… traditions are traditions.

To put a cap on a perfect day, we opened the BRC Cinema, showing MWA, old film of the lake and its changes, while the upper-campers watched Mean Girls, I’d sure call that equal! Be sure to check back in Wednesday when we wear pink!

Best cabin: ‘Zig House

Best bed: Jonah K.

Supercamper: Josh R.

Today’s haiku:

What does the lake hide?

Deep below McWain’s surface,

Fun and games for all.


– Matt Rotman