I hope this post finds you all well and enjoying 2015 thus far. Let me introduce myself quickly: My name is Anna and I am returning to Runoia for my fourth summer on the shores of Great Pond, taking on my first summer as director of the wilderness trip program.
My family has a long history at Runoia (some of you may remember my mom, Connie Burton, from her time at camp) and I am excited to continue that tradition. I grew up listening to my mom’s Runoia stories. One of my favorites is one when she convinced a camper to jump into the cold lake water by telling her that the heater had been turned on just for her and that the water was actually warm! I also loved hearing about the week long canoe trips that she lead while working at camp, and it means a lot to have the opportunity to plan and lead trips in some of the same lakes that she paddled in so many years ago.
In between my time in California and moving to Wyoming I’ve been busy working with Pam, Alex, and Abby to get ready for this summer’s overnight trips. We’ve been chatting about program changes, working out the schedule, and researching gear. I’ll make reservations in the next few weeks and the pieces of the puzzle will continue to fall into place.
Since I will have more time in camp this upcoming season I’ve been designing some new activities for camp craft to teach skills that the girls can then transfer to their time on trail. My ideas range from bumping up the Leave No Trace lessons, to introducing various backcountry-baking techniques, Frisbee orienteering, and figuring out a way to teach astronomy during the day.
While there are lots of adventures coming up for me in the next couple weeks, I’ll continue prepping for next summer. I’m already looking forward to paddling around Great Pond and spending another summer full of fine Maine days.
At this time of year with the leaves now gone from the deciduous trees and the ground frozen with the first hard frosts of the rapidly approaching winter, Maine’s state tree stands out tall against the clear blue sky. The Eastern white pine tree is our state tree for good reason as it is plentiful in our mixed growth forests. A tall, long living tree that can adapt to many different soil types it can survive the harsh winters and grows quickly during the short spring and summer season.
We are lucky at Camp Runoia that the pines are interspersed around camp. They provide shade for our shacks and cool places to hang out on the hot summer days. The gummy pitch sticks to our fingers on the ropes course and sometimes leaves a patch on our shorts when we are sitting in the grass or on a rock. The smell of the pine trees gently reminds us that we are outdoors, embracing nature and enjoying every moment of our time in Maine!
Did you ever learn the Maine State song at camp?
“State of Maine Song”
words and music by Roger Vinton Snow
Grand State of Maine,
proudly we sing
To tell your glories to the land,
To shout your praises till the echoes ring.
Should fate unkind
send us to roam,
The scent of the fragrant pines,
the tang of the salty sea
Will call us home.
Oh, Pine Tree State,
Your woods, fields and hills,
Your lakes, streams and rock bound coast
Will ever fill our hearts with thrills,
And tho’ we seek far and wide
Our search will be in vain,
To find a fairer spot on earth
Than Maine! Maine! Maine!
Spring time is a happy time at Camp Runoia. It’s basically a celebration! We are excited about the summer season and everyone arriving and getting busy with camp fun. We are busy as bees buzzing around getting buildings spruced up, lawns and trails cleaned up and ordering equipment and supplies for the fun summer ahead.
New in 2014? Lots of things. Among them honey bees! You may have heard a buzz at Runoia and it’s true. We have two bee colonies located in two hives. Both hives are healthy and producing honey and taking care of their queen and producing more honey bees.
Our honey bees will be pollinators for local farmers (as well as our own farm and gardens) and hopefully they will produce honey we can all taste and share at camp! We are learning as we go and with the help of other bee keepers in Maine, we hope to keep our hives alive and healthy!
Honey bees are hard workers and aren’t the type of bees that want to sting people or animals. They are very busy doing their jobs which include guarding the hive, being field bees and pollinators, nursing the queen and other drone activities. If you are worried about a friend who is allergic, we will let you know where the bees are and how to avoid their area! Meanwhile, if you are a bee enthusiast, feel free to share anything with us at Camp Runoia about bees if you’d like to. We are all learning together!
This summer campers can don the bee costumes and learn more about bees. It will be a fun time on the Runoia farm!