Dear Wigwam Families of the 2021:
It is autumn in Maine, a rather peaceful time of year that offers quite a contrast for this camp Director from the “frenetic” energy and fast-paced ardor of a mid-summer day. The fall season offers crisp morning temps, often with a hazy sun burning through the chilly morning mist. The peaceful forest no longer reverberates with the sounds of bugle calls and cheering voices, but rather with the cry of loons and gusting winds drifting through the pines. Hot cider, brewed from newly crushed apples replaces “bug” juice, and colorful leaves of every hue dot the landscape where tennis and dodge balls used to roll!
As many of you might know, during the camp season we quite often offer a “word of the day” during the breakfast hour at Camp Wigwam. As we pen this note, reflecting upon 2021 and looking forward toward to the next Wigwam season, we have been searching for the appropriate “word of the day,” to best define our thoughts. Is that word “adapt”? Every member of the “Wigwam community,” campers as well as staff, has had to adapt to the brand new conditions of the last two summer seasons. We re-designed… we restyled… to ensure the success of Wigwam in this new era. The last two summer campaigns presented challenges and hurdles that were beyond imagination. However, in every case, you the parents, as well as our campers and staff adapted beautifully, skillfully, and in turn these past summers proved to be memorable… in so many positive ways.
Or… is the word “transition” the one to land upon. The very core of our program transitioned this season (and last) with carefully planned excursions to remote areas outside of camp, and even sharper focus on our “in camp” structure. Competitive sports play was all within the confines of our own fields, and against our own peers, rather than facing off against athletes from another camp program. This allowed a far greater number of eager Wigwam participants in all of our sporting events, and that in itself was a winning formula! Creative arts programs adapted and flourished in this era of transition, with campers completing projects and creations that might not have reached fruition under more “regular” circumstances.
Well…perhaps the proper word is “blossom.” The Wigwam Spirit, indeed the very essence of the legacy of the Wigwam experience, has “blossomed” like never before in this new age. During the very early stages of the 2020 and 2021 seasons, our “tribal week” (limited interaction… age group cohorting) allowed for expanded opportunity of bonding among all peers and staff. Our “bubble” allowed us a real sense of normalcy, season-long, that did not, could not, exist outside of the Wigwam gate.
It’s possible that the best word to apply to our storied camp is … “amazing.” It’s amazing that we operated at this level during the pandemic, amazing that Wigwam remains so vibrant so vital, and truly amazing that, as the reflection of those autumn leaves sparkle on Bear Lake, we now prepare for the 112th consecutive Camp Wigwam season!
Jane and I welcome you to jump on board as the 2022 Wigwam Express begins its journey. All forms and newsletters are currently available on the Wigwam website (see directions below to access the 2022 Family Tool Kit) and applications will be mailed to you within the week.
Let’s do it all over again… here we go!
Bob & Jane