Our summer schedule is packed with special events. Some of these are evening programs and some are all-day blowout events! Although at Nebagamon we downplay competition and instead focus on skill building and fun, there is one mega day in each session when we really let our competitive juices flow! Here is a sampling of some of these events:
Paul Bunyan Day
The North Woods of Wisconsin is Paul Bunyan territory. Long ago, in the days of yore, Paul and his giant blue ox, Babe, wandered these woods and were the source of many legendary feats of skill. Hence, it probably comes as no surprise that our first session day of competition is named after the Bull of the Woods, Paul Bunyan. On Paul Bunyan Day, camp is divided into four lumber companies that compete for domination through such events as relay races, tug of war, fire building competitions, chess matches, and athletic events.
The Grand Pursuit
This special event, held during the second session of camp, hearkens back to the 18th and 19th centuries when Voyageurs transported fur by canoes to important trading posts in the upper Midwest and Canada.
Camp is divided into four trading companies that compete in a variety of athletic, cerebral, and downright silly events to win “pelts” which can be traded to make moves on a giant game board. To earn the honor of the most successful trading company on this day, teams must strategize wisely in order to garner the best territories.
4th of July
Camp Nebagamon may be the best place on earth to spend the 4th of July! No kidding. It is a true all-American celebration. Of course our day starts out with Nebagamon’s traditional 4th of July breakfast of apple pie and ice cream! (Ok, not TOO traditional, but what better way to start off the 4th of July?!) After a special flag raising, campers spend their morning at projects. In the afternoon, we all walk to town together to experience the village of Lake Nebagamon’s 4th of July Parade, a quintessential small town celebration. Not only do our boys get to attend the parade, but those that wish to can work with the art shop to create the float and then be a part of the parade itself.
Then it is back to camp for some time to cool down at our waterfront. In the evening, we head to the Upper Diamond for the annual Junior Counselor vs. Senior Counselor softball game. This is a softball game like none other including announcers, inter-inning entertainment and games, hot dog and popcorn “vendors” and it is all topped off with our famous, made to order, Feed’Em Freedom Sundaes (all funds raised going to local charities). But, what really makes the day is watching the Village of Lake Nebagamon’ s fireworks display with your best friends in the world from the docks of Camp Nebagamon with your feet dangling in the calm waters of Lake Nebagamon. The 4th of July at its very best.
Decades before the television show Chopped was even an idea, Nebagamon has been hosting its own annual outdoor cooking competition! Each cabin selects a head chef and assistant chef who use the skills they have learned at CNOC, on trips, and during cabin cookouts to prepare the best meal in their age group. The chefs (with help from their cabin mates) are responsible for creating the cookout site, chopping wood for the fire, and preparing the meal over that open fire. Staff judges determine the Chef’s Cap Champion based on site aesthetics, food taste, presentation, cabin support, and cleanup. Camp Nebagamon’s 1973 Chef’s Cap winner, Danny Meyer, is now a famous New York restaraunteur. Who knows where this experience will lead?
There are a number of camps in our area which have a philosophy on competition similar to Nebagamon’s which makes it fun to have a few inter-camp tournaments throughout the summer. Since Nebagamon has the largest number of tennis courts, every summer we host the Northwoods Invitational Tennis Tournament. We also host, on alternating years, a multi-faceted competition with a neighboring camp, competing in a variety of activities such as sailing, cross country running, chess, archery, and much more. This is a great way to meet some new people, try out our skills, and have a lot of fun.