F is for fall (fun)

Fall is always a great time of year in New Hampshire…especially for a camp director just coming off of a spectacular summer of “work”.  Having grown up here in the granite state I have a passion for all things outdoors.  I have been lucky this year that the weather has been great, the foliage scenic, and my hiking companion has four legs and can’t say no to a day in the woods!

Looks like new! Only 500 hours of use...

Looks like new! Only 500 hours of use…

The first day of fall for me does not come on a certain date; it is the day I wrap the boat up for the season. This year we had a blast during “summer 2.0”, – what we call what is left of the summer after camp is over – surfing, riding, and occasionally slaloming well into September. At a certain point, though, the water and the sun are no longer warm and it is time to throw in the towel. After eight hours of cleaning, waxing, and winterizing, the Centurion was ready to hibernate until the spring.

Pause. Breathe. Let's go.

Pause. Breathe. Let’s go.

Mountain biking has been taking up a lot of my time this fall as I discovered a fantastic network of trails just minutes from my house. Bear Brook State Park has miles and miles of terrain of varying difficulty and great spots to catch your breath and take it all in (see above). It is easy to waste away a whole day cruising the trails.

Squam Lake as seen from a mountain peak.

Squam Lake as seen from a mountain peak.

Of course, New Hampshire is famous for its hiking and I have been trying to get up to the mountains a few times a week to conquer some peaks. This year the foliage has been on full display with limitless views in the mountains of yellows, reds, and oranges.

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I do not see a lot of wildlife these days as Tuckerman, my hiking buddy, is not a stealth hiker. He is only ten months old and still has limitless energy which makes enough noise on the trail to scare almost everything away. We have had some great days hiking smaller NH mountains as I get him ready for higher peaks and his namesake trail on Mt. Washington next spring.

Of course fall fun does not have to be confined to your home base. I was lucky to have spent a couple of weeks in the Caribbean earlier this month and got to scuba dive, sail, and lounge in the sun.

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Ripping the Hobie Cat off the Caribbean coast!

It is hard to look cool in a foam life jacket but rules are rules right?

I hope that you all are having as much fun this fall as I am and feel free to send over some pics (evan@watermonkeycamp.com) of what you have been up to and maybe we will feature that on the blog!

2014 season recap

The 2014 season of Water Monkey Camp is history and – with no hyperbole – could be described as epic.  Each year I leave camp thinking it was the best summer ever and the next summer just blows it out of the water.  Many thanks to all of the campers (and their parents), staff, and my friends and family for helping make it all possible.

This year we had a 100% fresh staff which included all new instructors and a first time chef.  I was constantly impressed with the quality of work they all produced and the height to which they raised the bar for the Water Monkey Camp program and any camp that hopes to teach water sports.

2014 showed that we are certainly not lacking in top notch students to teach on the lake.  The guys and girls we have welcomed to camp have come from all over the U.S. and the world and each bring with them their own unique backgrounds, water sports abilities, and personalities but all share the same desire to have fun, learn, and make the most of their short time at camp.

Here is a breakdown of the 2014 season:

  • We filled 68 out of 70 spaces this summer over seven weeks of camp
  • Campers came from 12 states (California, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas) as well as France and Canada
  • The average age of our campers was 13.849
  • Campers were 74% guys, 26% girls
  • Peak sustained water temperature was in Week 7 at 81 degrees
  • Lowest water temperature was in Week 1 at 74 degrees
  • 10,828 unique visitors to www.watermonkeycamp.com in the past 12 months
  • Served up 2,205 meals (and almost infinite snacks)
  • Taught eight campers how to do back rolls or tantrums
  • Racked up another 200 hours on the Centurion odometer to bring us to 500 hours of fun!
  • Burnt through 940.28 gallons of gas producing 8.344 metric tons of CO2…offset by planting 150 trees through www.CarbonFund.org! (we planted an extra 60 trees to offset some of the camper travel to/from camp)

It is too early to tell what the 2015 season will be like for Water Monkey Camp.  We hope to move to our new property but are still facing a long process obtaining zoning approval.  Having turned away more than 60 campers this year we desperately need to increase our capacity in order to make Water Monkey Camp accessible to more kids.  To that end we are purchasing a second boat (we have narrowed down the new boat options to two companies) and already started recruiting additional coaches so that we will be able to instruct 20 campers per day for the length of the summer.  One thing we can guarantee is that camp will continue to deliver the same experience that our campers know and love.

Keep in touch throughout the year and we hope to see you back at camp in 2015!

Sincerely,

Evan Goldner

617-855-WAKE