Monday, June 30, 2008

The First Day

For most of us, the first full day of camp began at 6:00 am. That was the time when the campers along with the counselors showed up on the basketball courts and started different games. We played basketball, softball or just threw around different sports balls. Some students took showers and hopefully all of them brushed their teeth. A couple of campers also started cross-country clinic - that's our way to work on skills in different sports. We gathered at 6:50 and ran a timed mile, to see how fast we could do it. We hope to improve each of those times throughout the summer. On the other days we will have a chance to learn how to grow in soccer, football, basketball and swimming. At 7:50 We gathered in front of the main hall for our morning assembly and prayer and after that went to eat some breakfast.
After eating, campers had time to clean the cabins and get ready for inspection. Three cabins got 7 and one 6.5 points out of 10, which wasn't bad for the first day of the camp, however leaves still a lot of place for improvement. Hopefully, we have 5 weeks...
After the inspection, we got ready for the swimming pool, as our swimming skills were to be assessed by a swimming trainer. On the way we learned also how we should get back to the camp in case of a thunderstorm. As the assessment went by, we got back to the main hall and started our first classes. It took us a while to learn how we are going to do that, but by the end of this period we had some work done as well. Throughout the camp we are going to concentrate mostly on writing skills and basic math skills. After we were done with classes we had a couple of minutes of free time and moved to the dining hall for lunch. We also gave a great applause to our first guests to the camp - Mr. Staysniak's grandparents who paid us a visited on their way home from Canada.
We took some rest just after lunch to save some energy for the rest of the day. And we used this energy well during group activities, another hour in the pool and half an hour of free time, which was interrupted by a fire drill - to make sure that in case of any emergency we can quickly gather and follow the evacuation instructions.
Punctually, at 6pm we began dinner, during which we followed the tradition of Camp Monserrate and have everybody weighed - to see how many pounds we gain or loose throughout the summer. Right after dinner the cabins gathered in four spots and they started Group Discussions - part of the day in which campers talk about topic of the day. Mostly it relates to the five characteristics of a Nativity Graduate, but also to other values which are important in Nativity and in everyday life.
At 8:00, the whole camp gathered in the in hall to watch a movie - today was first part of "Remember the Titans." After seeing half of the movie we brushed our teeth and moved to the chapel to finish the day with a prayer.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Beginning

After few hours of riding a bus and watching movies campers finally arrived to Lake Placid. As the bus stopped they were enthusiastically greeted by all of the counselors. Then we unloaded the bus and walked to the camp. Fortunately, the weather was good, so we could play some games to get to know each others names better. After couple of minutes we felt quite familiar with each other.
The next big thing, especially for all of the campers was to get to know who will be their counselor, in which cabin and with whom they are going to be. This year it was to be found through the Cabin Picking Machine, which was operated by Mr. Staysniak and Ari - the Assistant Directors of the Camp Monserrate.
After getting to know who we are going to spend most of our summer time with we took time to set up in the cabins. When it came time for us to eat dinner we flew to the dining room and greeted probably the most important person on the camp: our cook - Val. After a delicious dinner we came up to the main hall to get to know a little bit of the great history of the place, how amazing things happened here  throughout the last 50 years and what awaits us. We also got to know each other better as Mr. Salvatierra introduced all of the counselors. 
Throughout the rest of the evening we got to know better the place, the rules of the camp and played for some time with our cabins.

If you want to see some pictures from he First day - click here!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Getting Ready!

Since Thursday, all of the directors and counselors are up in Lake Placid getting ready for the arrival of the campers. We spent a good deal of time sweeping the main hall, preparing the cabins, cleaning the bathrooms, taking care of the pool and chapel and making sure that all the things are in their right place. One of the last jobs on Friday was hanging the Camp Monserrate sign on the wall of the main hall. There are still things to do, but we are all eager to welcome the campers!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Welcome to the Camp Monserrate Blog!

Please check back often for updates of our summer at Camp Monserrate! If you have any questions or want to be in touch with the director, Matt Salvatierra, please email

Here is a list of clothing and supplies campers will need to take with them, as well as some information about money, food&health and phonecalls policies.

Clothing and supplies:
3-4 pairs of jeans or play pants
2-3 pairs of shorts
1 pair of better pants and dress shirt for Mass
5 short sleeve shirts
3 long sleeve shirts
1 jacket (it gets cold)
2 sweatshirts (one with a hood)
7 tee-shirts
7 sets of underwear
7 pairs of sweatsocks
3 towels
poncho/raincoat (not a winter coat)
hiking boots or shoes
3 swim suits; flip-flops/sandals
2 pairs of goggles for the pool
1 sleeping bag, preferably fleece
1 water bottle/canteen
toothbrush and toothpaste (2)
comb, brush, shampoo, deodorant
soap (4) and soap case
flashlight, batteries (3 sets)
insect repellent
Stamps: (peel off are better)

May-take things
musical instruments, such as guitars;
baseball gloves and other sports equipment;
camera and film.

Not permitted items:
a radio, iPod, CD player,
video games and game system

For the entire camp season, your son should not bring more than $50.00. He will only need $15.00 (lunch money for the trip up and back, and money for an extra ice cream when his group goes out).

Please note that no food or snacks should be sent up during the camp season.
Please let us know in advance of any needs (inhalants, pills, or any medication) that your son has.

Phone-calls policy
You may call your son twice a week only, for no more than 5 minutes at the following times:
8:00-9:00 a.m. 1:00-1:55 p.m. 6:00-7:00 p.m.

This policy is in place because there are 65 people at camp and business calls need to be received. The students will be allowed to make one 5 minute call per week.

Calling Cards will be provided by the camp this year.