The Battle on the Board
Alpha Games challenged campers in new and exciting ways this time around! For the first time ever, campers were instrumental in creating part of the Alpha Games. Our theme was Battle on the Board, playing a giant board game across camp! Each team used points earned throughout the session to bid on a classic board game to recreate in a “Giant” way. We saw creative giant versions of Sorry, Clue, Candyland and so much more! Congrats to the Green team for earning a clean sweep of wins throughout the whole summer! Can the green team be unseated next year? We’ll have to find out in Alpha Games 2024… A Battle Through Time!
REMINDER!! If you attended camp in 2021, 2022, or 2023 you will be on the SAME TEAM for the rest of your time at Foley. Make sure to bring clothes that match your team color. If you are not sure which team you were on, let us know and we can tell you! If you have not been here the past two summers, you will find out your team when you are at camp this summer, so make sure to bring at least one green, blue, green, and yellow item of clothing!
Congrats to our Winning Alpha Teams:
1st Session – Green Team
2nd Session – Green Team
3rd Session – Green Team
Late Night Adventure: Camp Jam Carnival
We had another fantastic Late Night Adventure this summer. We brought back two events we had done in the past and updated them to add some extra flair for this year’s campers. Our Foxes and Coyotes took part in a carnival where they played a variety of different games to earn tickets. At the end of the carnival they used these tickets to bid on a counselor to pie in the face! The main attraction of the carnival was the Dunk Tank we rented, which allowed campers to try their best to send different counselors into the chilly water. Meanwhile, our Wolf campers got to take part in Camp Jam, a classic Camp Foley activity. During Camp Jam, campers are placed into teams and compete against each other in a variety of silly challenges to see which team comes out on top. The challenges are everything from mental puzzles, throwing a football through a hoop, to creating a team song, face painting, and making a teammate a mummy with toilet paper. It seemed that every session we had at least a little bit of rain on this night, but nevertheless it was one of the best nights of the session!
4th of July
The 4th of July was back at Foley, and we had many festivities planned to celebrate! We didn’t let a rainy morning stop us, and piled into the barn to start our Alpha Games Competition with a 4th of July relay! Campers lined up in teams to complete small challenges ranging from stacking lifesavers, solving a puzzle, blowing bubbles, and even eating a jar of baby food. The competition continued after dinner with our traditional cabin challenges that have been part of a Foley 4th of July for years and years. We saw campers putting layers and layers of red, white, and blue clothes, dress up like historical figures, race to eat pie and watermelon, and cover their faces in whipped cream to pick up cheese balls! We started and ended the day with Flag ceremonies, and had a staff member serenade us with the Star-Spangled Banner on the clarinet as we lowered the flag at the end of the day. We can’t wait to celebrate next year!
The Cowboy Party was a highlight for many campers who had taken advantage of early registration. Campers learned how to lasso fake steers, had a water gun shooting competition, got assigned their cowboy name, and enjoyed some cowboy themed snacks. It was a great time for all those who were able to attend, and encouraged many to sign up early for camp in 2024 so they can attend the next early registration party.
During 2nd and 3rd session we held a special day to recognize the international community we have at Foley. On one of our special days between activity sign-ups, campers took part in different international games that are played around the world. We played games that originated from Sweden, Ireland, Nigeria, South Africa, Thailand, Guatemala, Venezuela, Scotland, and Australia just to name a few. It was great to see our campers eager to learn different games that kids their age play around the world, as we were able to recognize the fact we have a community that comes from all over the world. Unfortunately, our third session International Games were interrupted by a downpour, so we had to improvise and play some indoor international board games.
Each session the East End of camp held an event to bring all the boy’s together and create a lasting bond from the oldest to youngest cabins. About halfway through the session Skjaldborg (which means Shield Wall in Old Norse) was held to accomplish this goal. Teams (or clans) were created mixing up the different age groups and counselors instructed their teams how to create effective shield walls and march as a unified unit. Next, a fun game was played to determine the strongest most unified clan and then we created a whole East End shield wall and marched through camp as one. Throughout the session you could hear the boy’s chanting “Skol” (a chant that was used to help campers keep pace as they marched together in the shield wall. Skjaldborg was a great way for older and younger campers to meet each other and for all the boy’s to reflect on the importance of supporting and looking out for one and other. It was also gave them a chance to have a great deal of fun together.
Circle of Love: The West End of camp held a special bonus event called “Circle of Love”. The goal was the bring the West End of Foley together and celebrate us! It started with words of affirmation like “I am smart”, “I am powerful”, and “I am enough” and then we made Confidence Posters! Each camper was given special paper and told to write 3 words that their best friends or family have used to describe them. They write these words in marker and then take sponges and water color trays and decorate and embellish the words on the paper. The posters were presented to their cabins and hung them up for all to see by each of their bunks. The last step of our circle was an “I can’t Funeral”. Tiny pieces of paper were handed out, and campers were told to write down an “I can’t” statement that they think about themselves. Campers came forward and threw their “I cant’s” in the fire, burning them up so they can harm no one any longer. Our hope was that every camper on the West End of Camp Foley feel a part of our circle of love.
West End Era’s Tour: While the real Taylor Swift was busy on her own tour, we brought the Era’s Tour to Camp Foley. On one special evening program during 2nd and 3rd session, all the girls dressed up as their favorite “eras” or Taylor’s Swifts music and gathered in the barn for a dance party! We broke out glowsticks, bubbles, a photobooth, and a DJ table! The west end danced the night away and celebrated an artist that has been inspiring Lip Syncs and dance parties since “Tear Drops on my Guitar” was released in 2005.
Our Campfires this summer were a unique experience to say the least! 2 out of the 3 closing campfires ended up in the Wabi after some flash rain drove us from our beloved spot on the beach. But our campers and staff rose to the occasion, and they became some of our most memorable campfires yet. We were also happy to bring back all camp opening campfires! The past few years have seen Opening Campfire happen in pack groups, but in 2023 we were able to gather all together at Lower Mosquito to celebrate the start of camp! Some of our awesome campfire themes this summer included lost zoo animals, aliens invading Foley, Following Alice to Wonderland, Beauty and the beast, and a Rootin’ Tootin’ Cowboy reunion! As usual, Friendship Campfire was a key moment in wrapping up the session. While it is always a quieter and more reflective event, it always contributes immensely to making the Camp Foley experience memorable for years to come.
Self Defense was something unique we were able to offer our campers this year. Kevin Littman, a black belt instructor from Pequot Lakes Total Tai Kwan Do studio, joined us each session for lessons on practical self defense skills. Campers learned how to get out of harsh grips by using elbows and knees to their advantage, and got to try kicking and punching special mats brought by the instructor. All campers walked away with some newfound knowledge of martial arts and personal safety. We made sure to stress the most important rule, these skills are used only when you NEED them. Thank you Mr. Littman for bringing something new to our 2023 summer!
One of our counselors from this past summer, Noah Dunn, is a Lifeguard and Junior Lifeguard instructor. Using his skills, we were able to offer campers the opportunity to become Junior Lifeguard certified. Campers 12 and up were given the opportunity to learn the basics of lifeguarding and what getting certified as a Red Cross Lifeguard entails. Campers who participated were excited to earn their whistles and demonstrate their different lifeguarding skills. They learned different saves that can be done in the water and got to shadow one of our lifeguards and put their skills into practice. Each Camper earned a Junior Lifeguarding Certificate was recognized at the end of the session.