Spring is a busy time for Water Monkey. We have been hard at work getting camp ready, working out logistics with campers and staff and doing lots of private lessons on the lake. Yesterday afternoon I took a breather after covering the boats for the day. Our spot is perfect...
Well we made it…Water Monkey Camp just wrapped up its fifth season of wakeboarding / waterskiing / wakesurfing / wake skating fun on the lake. While it has taken a lot of work behind the scenes to make it all happen, the credit goes to all of our loyal camper families for continuing to trust us to give your campers an amazing experience each summer. (At the bottom of this post are links to all of the 2016 pictures)
Year five was also the second year at our permanent property and we are really starting to get comfortable now. Seeing campers and staff take advantage of our epic location by playing Spikeball on the beach, having flipping contests off the dock, lounging in the hammock chill zone, or engaging in intense ultimate Frisbee matches on the field is just an added bonus beyond the time spent on our ridiculous boats.
Speaking of boats, the 2016 Mastercraft NXT22 was the perfect addition to our program. It is versatile and ideal for teaching and shredding! We told everyone this summer that we would be replacing the 2015 Axis A22 for next year but, by overwhelming popular demand, we will be running it for one more summer. It is just loved by so many of our staff and campers that there is no rush to get rid of it yet.
Now some fun 2016 stats!
- 103 campers over 7 weeks
- Each camper stayed an average of 1.5 weeks at camp (longest stay by any camper was 4 weeks)
- Average number of campers per week was 14.71
- Campers were 61% boys, 39% girls
- Average camper age was 13.9
- 33% of campers were returners, 67% were new (huge growth summer!)
- Campers came from 13 states (AS, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, MA, MD, NH, NJ, NY, OH, VA) as well as Canada, China, Dominican Republic, France, Hungary, and Turkey!
- 17,068 unique visitors to watermonkeycamp.com in the past 12 months
- 9,308 pictures uploaded for parents and campers to enjoy
- Average water temperature during camp was 76 degrees
- 4 broken screen doors (campers like to just walk right through)
- 1 black eye
- 608 homemade meatballs
- 1,200 water balloons for 1 brand new camp game – Monkey Ball
- 25 flotilla swim parties
- 250 hours on the Mastercraft and 230 hours on the Axis A22 (for a total of 430 in 2 seasons)
- 2,300 gallons of gas consumed on the lake producing roughly 20 metric tons of CO2 offset with a contribution to Cool Effect (cooleffect.org) Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative to protect land in Peru from deforestation. (We offset an additional 10 metric tons to cover camper transportation to/from camp.)
Next summer is a ways off still but it is not too early to start planning! Enrollment is officially open and some families have already reserved spaces for their campers. As you start thinking about next year I hope that you will keep us in mind for a week or two of camp for your camper(s). Word of mouth is far and away our biggest recruiting tool so please help us fill our bunks and take advantage of our $300 referral bonus for each camper you send our way who enrolls for at least one week.
I hope you all have a terrific year until we see you again and feel free to e-mail, call, text, write, Skype, or visit any time!
We are into our first ever fall at the new property! That means crisp, beautiful days, a lake all to myself, and thousands upon thousands of falling leaves. I have always loved fall clean-up time and the instant gratification you get from making the property look great one last time before it is blanketed in snow.
Step one is raking. Step two is raking. Step three is raking some more.
After building 50+ piles of leaves around the cabins and fields I went to work transferring them to tarps and dragging those tarps to the woods to dump. The whole ordeal only took about 20 hours over three days and now the place looks great just in time for Thanksgiving.
Fall clean-up is just one aspect of getting the property ready for the winter. Here is everything else I have done!
- 'Winterize' the pipes - because most of the buildings at camp are not heated we have to drain all of the water pipes, toilets, sinks, etc. That requires going under each cabin with an air compressor, blowing out the lines, and using a bit of antifreeze to make sure there is no water trapped anywhere that could freeze and break the pipes.
- Deactivate the fire alarm system - we have a state of the art fire alarm system in our cabins and buildings but it has to be turned off for the year when we are not around all of the time. This was fairly straightforward after reading the manual and inspecting some diagrams. I had to disconnect the back-up batteries and the turn off the electrical circuit powering the system.
- Pull in the docks - our fantastic deep-water docks cannot stay in the lake all winter so we have to disassemble and remove them from the water. There are two large sections that we detach and float to the marina to be hauled on land for storage. The last piece we manually pull up onto the beach.
- Storage - everything from the outside gets moved in. That includes picnic tables, sports equipment, chairs, paddleboards, etc.
- Winterize and store the boat - You cannot just plop the boat on land and leave it until the spring. Because the engine uses lake water for cooling it needs to be drained and flushed or else trapped water could freeze and burst portions of the engine. We also have six ballast tanks and bags that fill with water to create our epic wakes which have to be flushed with antifreeze as well. This year the boat is being stored indoors so no shrink-wrapping!
I will post more pictures throughout the winter! Happy Thanksgiving!
We were finally able to move to our new, permanent location and it blew away all of our expectations with campers and staff making the most of it each day. The extra space, idyllic lakeside location, and upscale cottages gave everyone something (or many things) to be constantly smiling about...not to mention the two ridiculous wake boats on our private beach and dock with boards and gear for days!
(At the bottom of this post are links to all pictures from 2015)
Our pristine lake and gorgeous setting are part of what makes camp amazing so we do everything we can to keep camp 'green'. This year we saved over 4,800 miles of driving and 300 gallons of fuel by moving to our new property and not driving back and forth to the lake each day. Our boats still consumed 1675 gallons of gas over eight weeks which produced roughly 15 metric tons of CO2. We offset that pollution by planting 200 trees through CarbonFund.org (50 extra to help cover camper travel to/from camp). On top of that we also changed all of the lightbulbs on the new property to CFLs or LEDs, reducing approximately 80% of the power required to light the camp at night.
Many thanks to all of our campers and their families for coming to camp, to my all-star staff for working 24 hours a day to give our campers the time of their lives, and my friends and family for endless support and unpaid manual labor.
Here are some fun stats:
- 60% new campers, 40% returners (big growth year for us!)
- Campers came from 12 states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Vermont) as well as Canada, Colombia, France, Italy, Mexico, and Switzerland!
- Campers were 70% boys, 30% girls.
- Average camper age was 14.02702.
- Average number of campers per week was 11.02 (that means lots of boat time for each camper).
- 0 hospital visits!
- One (almost) runaway camp fire.
- Infinite jokes.
- 14,218 unique visitors to www.watermonkeycamp.com in the past 12 months.
- 3,195 meals served by our amazing and creative chef Jessica!
- Approximately 1,440 eggs cracked (give or take a dozen).
- 56 gallons of milk poured (give or take a few gallons).
- 205 hours of shredding on the Axis A22 and 135 hours on the Centurion!
- 35 group stretching sessions.
- 1 sighting of the Aurora Borealis.
Next summer is our 5 year anniversary and we are gearing up for our best and biggest season ever. We just purchased a brand new, 2016 Mastercraft NXT 22 (http://www.mastercraft.com/boat/detail/nxt22) to go along with our 2015 Axis A22. This boat has a mellow but crisp wake for wakeboarding and the Mastercraft Gen 2 Surf System for perfect waves. I know that our campers will love this boat! On top of that we just ordered a new quiver of wake surf boards from Phase 5 and a whole new line of 2016 wakeboards and bindings from Liquid Force.
Word of mouth referrals are our greatest recruiting tool so please spread the word to friends, family, coworkers, and strangers on the street who may enjoy our program!
Feel free to call or e-mail any time and when you are ready to book your week(s) for 2016 hit me up and I will get it sorted!
Evan Goldner (owner/director)
Links below to pictures from 2015!
I have always said that September is the most underrated month in the Lakes Region in New Hampshire. The water is still in the 70's, the sun is strong during the day and, best of all, no one is out on the lake! I have been having a blast up on Merrymeeting offering private lessons to individuals, groups, and families as well as doing a lot of stand up paddling. I found the below article on WMUR this week...it is good to see other people having some fun as well!
Enjoy the fall!