I was up at camp this past weekend checking things out and doing a few small projects. While I cannot wait for spring and boats and good times I do love how nice and clean the place looks all covered in snow.
Happy New Year to all of our campers and friends! We have been busy these past few weeks assembling our new staff and helping parents sign kids up for camp. Paperwork is not always fun so I try to get to the lake and tinker around a few times a month during the winter. I was up there the other day and things are looking icy!
So far there is not much snow yet and, weirdly, the lake is still mostly unfrozen but there is a glaze over pretty much everything else!
Someone definitely appreciated the open water:
Hit us up any time!
Camp is always gorgeous but we are currently in that not-so-sweet time in NH after the leaves have turned brown and mostly fallen and before the snow has covered the ground.
Tomorrow I will be getting started on fall cleanup around the property and then hopefully we will have a fresh blanket of fluffy snow by the weekend!
This is always a fun time of year for us at camp. There is a brief window between our busy summer season and winter recruitment where we can focus on our long property maintenance to-do list!
Last week we tackled a project that has been on the list for years: a brand new fire pit. Campfires are always a good time at camp and our previous spot was not 100% ideal.
Step one was removing the big rocks that lined the old pit and filling it in with dirt.
We rented a tractor to do the heavy lifting for us on this project. It took a ton of work to move the big rocks and then five full scoops of dirt to fill in the old fire pit. The above pictures show where we dumped the rocks, the old pit filled in with dirt and a POV shot of us scooping dirt!
Next was prepping the future fire pit area. Previously there were two giant piles of stone and dirt which we smoothed out to create a flat spot to build the fire pit. We then used the rocks from the old pit to create our new one (with the tractor’s help of course).
The finished product! The new fire pit is way in the corner of our field overlooking the property. We are ready for fires, s’mores and ghost stories next summer!
These were my helpers for this project. Finn and Kai may not be driving boats yet but they are awesome tractor operators!
Our season just ended and it was the biggest and baddest since I launched the camp seven years ago. In 2018 we had my favorite staff of all time, so many awesome campers and the two coolest boats I could imagine. Many thanks to everyone involved for helping make it all happen.
In this recap I want to focus on friendships at camp. Seeing new friendships form, grow and continue for years has easily been my favorite part of running Water Monkey. So many of our campers have made friends here at camp and then brought those relationships back home by meeting up during the year (even flying and visiting each other as far as Europe from the U.S.), coordinating vacations together, going to the same college together and keeping in constant contact via social media.
On the first day at camp most of us are strangers. After seven days together on the boats, at meals, playing sports and having fun it can be difficult to say goodbye. I always knew that Water Monkey would be a special place where like-minded campers and staff would meet and get to know each other but I guess the extent to which it has surpassed my expectations is a testament to how unique our camp program is.
Water Monkey Camp as a whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts...you can buy yourself an epic boat and some gear and spend a week out on the lake but you’ll me missing a bit of magic that happens here each summer.
Now some fun 2018 stats!
126 campers over 7 weeks!
Campers stayed an average of 1.21 weeks at camp (longest stay by any camper was 4 weeks by Stan tha man)
Average number of campers per week was 18 (we limited each week this summer to 18 campers and were full every week)
Campers were 68% boys and 32% girls
Average camper age was 13.9
57.9% of campers were returners, 42.1% were first timers
Campers came from 15 states (CO, CT, DC, GA, IL, MA, ME, MT, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VA and VT) as well as Canada, China, France and Italy!
2,055 gourmet meals prepared and served by amazing Chef Rebecca
400 pounds of food scraps and waste diverted from the landfill to local hungry pigs!
10,804 unique visitors to watermonkeycamp.com in the past 12 months
10,363 photos uploaded for parents and campers to enjoy
3 baby loons on the lake
1 Taylor Swift concert at Gillette Stadium
Infinite smiles, laughs and good times
Average water temperature during camp was 78 degrees
Merrymeeting Lake is 1,100 acres and the cleanest lake in New Hampshire
24 hours spent cleaning boat insides during the season and 20 hours spent washing and waxing the outsides
254 hours on the Calypso Green MasterCraft NXT22 and 234 hours on the Jetstream Blue MasterCraft NXT22 for a total of 488 hours of boating this season!
2,800 gallons of gas consumed on the lake producing roughly 25 metric tons of CO2 offsett with contributions to cooleffect.org (specifically the Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative) as well as the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire who, along with many Merrymeeting Residents and the US Forest Service, is attempting to raise $1,500,000 preserve 2,000 acres of forest surrounding our perfect lake. Our total contributions will offset about 50 metric tons of CO2 this year with the extra going towards camper travel to/from camp.
I hope that all of our campers, staff and their families have a terrific year and that you keep us in mind as you start planning your 2019 summer. Our tuition will be going up next year for the first time in five years but we do not want you to miss out on camp because of that. As always we will be offering a $300 referral bonus for every new camper you send our way who enrolls and new this year by parent requests is the option to set up a payment plan for your camper’s tuition. I am always here to answer your questions so feel free to e-mail, call, snail mail or set up a time to visit and we hope to see you back here next summer!