News & Stories

Loppet Adventure Camp Wraps Up Another Great Summer Adventure
August 28, 2014

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IMG_3902This year there were eight weeks of Loppet Adventure Camp, including one week of a girls-only camp. By comparison last year there were five weeks, which had been the highest number until this summer. Over the past three years I have found that I learn something new from each Adventure Camp week. Needless to say this year I learned A LOT.

Even with all of the planning that goes into Loppet Adventure Camp there are always things that are not planned that arise through the course of the summer. Sometimes those unplanned events create the greatest rewards…after all we are all about adventure at the Loppet Foundation! Some examples:

  • One day two campers caught two enormous carp, and we kept them alive in our garbage can until Coach Jon came to retrieve them.
  • During a “counselor hunt” game when counselors Jessie and Ian pretended to fish off the dock, and it took over 20 minutes and a tip-off to find them.
  • The invention of “tree frisbee,” a game in which campers climb trees approximately 20 feet apart and toss a frisbee back and forth in the air.
  • The creation of an all-camp slip-n-slide out of plastic garbage bags and giant puddles on a rained-out camp day.
  • The evolution of the week’s-end Adventure Race, which was largely inspired by a group of campers telling me about their dream Adventure Race.

IMG_0252(1)I give exclusive credit to our creative and talented staff, as well as the endless imagination of the campers. It’s these Adventure Camp moments that make me chuckle because I know that we have filled the week with endless activity, movement and learning but at the same time gave the campers and the counselors the freedom to come up with some new adventures.

I am so thankful for our really strong team of staff this year. We had a good mix of new and returning counselors that helped to create a great energy at camp this year. We ended each day brainstorming how to make the next day even better, and I fully believe that the last camp of the summer was significantly better than the first camp.

Something for everyone

IMG_1024(1)Because we do so many activities at Loppet Adventure Camp – mountain biking, rollerskiing, canoeing, swimming, orienteering, capture the flag, ultimate frisbee and visiting gardens, among other adventures – I feel that there is something for everybody. I am excited by the idea that by the end of the week everybody feels confident enough to take ownership over all of the activities.

So while Jada loves swimming, Wauneen loves the mountain biking pump track trails. Amelia loves everything; Bemeh loves soccer. And Doua is simply grateful to get out of the house and have fun with friends. Thomas loves being on the water canoeing, but is ready for snow skiing! (Aren’t we all, Thomas! Aren’t we all!)

IMG_1105This concept is captured well during our end-of-week Adventure Race, where teams compete in a relay-format race and campers choose their best leg, whether it’s orienteering, canoeing, running, swimming, rollerskiing or mountain biking. The evolution of the Adventure Race is a prime example of how things are constantly improving. The initial thought was to create an event that was a culmination of the week that brought the campers together working as a team and encompassing all or most of the skills they had learned during the week.

The first couple of weeks we put on an epic two-hour race where only two teams could go at a time because of all the equipment involved. I think we only had two teams actually finish! So then we chopped it in half and with that we chopped the epic nature of it in half, too. But that was just okay. Finally, the relay idea emerged from a younger group of girls, and while their version included splash wars in a canoe until the teams sunk, they had some pretty great ideas and the relay will be back next year!

Next year we will again offer eight weeks of camp, including two that will be specified as girls-only camps given the success of the all-girls camps this summer.

So spread the word about Loppet Adventure Camp, and we will hope to see you out there. Given our effort to constantly improve, please extend any ideas or comments to me at rykken@loppet.org.

By Allie Rykken, Loppet Adventure Camp Director