Ivan, the Friendly Ghost- July 12th Blog
For all the beauty that Lake McWain has to offer, there is also mystery. All through yesterday, a
strange crate perched on the raft, daring any swimmer to approach. Upon further inspection by
the waterfront director, the staff realized that the box was addressed. The label read:
To: The Staff
From: Ivan Skinner
Caution: Contains TNT
Thankfully the staff acted quickly and took the device to the bottom of the lake where it was
safely disposed of. In the morning, the waterfront director found a message in the bottle from
that very same Ivan Skinner, who claimed to be the old maintenance man from the 1930s at
nearby Waganaki. Veterans from 2020 Leadership Camp remembered a strange, hooded figure
called ‘The Spirit’ who appeared at dusk and dawn holding a lantern. The waterfront director
warned the camp of his presence at breakfast but notified the community to “fear not”. Ivan
Skinner claims to have invented the phrase “Help the Other Fellow” and falls under the genus
of ‘friendly ghosts.’
Other than that, it was a completely normal day at Birch Rock Camp. All but four of the oldest
age group, the Bears, departed for their four-day, three-night trips this morning. The Bears
either elected to go on a canoeing trip on our nearby lakes or hike the most difficult ridges of
the White Mountains.
Without the Bears, camp had a different feel but perhaps gave some of the younger campers a
chance to shine. Buzzard’s Roost earned the responsibility of waitering during the day, and
many of the Moose (13-15 years old) achieved badges, like Erik T. who completed his Loon, and
Dylan S. who earned his Junior Music and Junior Campcraft badges all in one day.
The afternoon was quite hectic. The staff was mostly eyeing the potential thunderstorms
expected to arrive at camp late, but the campers carried on. Noah B. flew through his Loon and
Leo B. achieved his Duck, both smiling the entire duration.
Although we needed some rejuvenating rain, not a drop fell, and the humidity did not relent.
Always prepared, the boys of Birch Rock ate dinner inside to be safe as opposed to eating in the
grove. Pre-pandemic, dinners were held in the dining room, and it was a welcome return for
some veterans. The cheers for Nick, the field director, on the brink of announcing evening
activity, ricocheted loudly off the plaques of past campers.
Evening activity was a blast. The camp classic, Quorum, features shirtless campers and staff
frantically running past a backdrop of haybales to avoid getting tagged. The first ‘taggers’ of the
game are known as Quorum Masters, and tonight featured some stellar combinations. Owls
Perch, the CITs, and finally the brothers of Birch Rock. Despite the threat of storms and
disembodied spirits, the community whipped up an A+ day.
Best Swim Spot: Solomon S.
Best Bed: James B.
Best Cabin: Hornet’s Nest
Super Camper: Jasper R.