Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Challenge Hike 2008

When couple of days ago Mr. Salvatierra announced that the best hikers from each cabin are going to hike the tallest mountain in New York State those two words started to electrify camp. many of 7th and 8th Graders (only they could o on this hike) were asking their counselors about such a possibility. Only 3 or 4 from each of the cabin were chosen to go...

The day before the hike all of the hikers gathered in he dining hall to prepare sandwiches, trail mix and fill water bottles. After that we went to the chapel and pray for a night talk and prayer. While all of the camp was still watching a movie the hikers went to beds to be well rested for the early wake up. We wake up at 4.30 and... The rest is here:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Week 4 Water Fun

This past week, we had many opportunities to enjoy the water up here in the mountains. A couple of groups got to hike to Copperas Pond, a favorite spot of Camp Monserrate where there is a great jumping rock and a perfect pond to swim in.

As well, a number of groups went on Stream Walking expeditions near camp. They got to put on their water shoes and go tromping through the stream up to the dam by Lake Placid.

A finally, those who have passed the deep water swim test were able to go on Canoeing trips on Lake Placid!

For the highlights of our week four water fun, click here.

Campers of the Week (week 3)

Sorry it has been a while since we have posted. Things have just gotten busier as the end of the camp season is approaching. Hopefully we will be able to get out a few more posts before the end of the summer. But we will be boarding the bus to head home officially one week from today! Can you believe how fast the time has passed?

This past week, we awarded some more camper of the week awards. They deserve to be recognized here for their hard work and dedication to the values of camp!

The honorable mentions went to three people: a 6th, 7th and 8th grader. Osaze Wilson was our 6th grade winner,
Alex Tavarez was our 7th grade winner,
and Jorge Aguilar was our 8th grade winner.
Congrats to those guys for their hard word!

This week two T-shirts were given out for Camper of the Week! A 6th grader surprised everyone this week by earning this honor! Congrats to Steven Collado!

And we had one more 8th grader join the ranks of camper of the week! Congrats to Henry Romero!

We're really proud of the excellent effort from all of these guys!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Math Bowl

The second visit of Sr. Connie, who arrived on Sunday, told us that inevitably the Math Bowl was approaching. During Monday math classes we have been revising our math vocabulary to make sure that we are not confusing polygons with proportions and know that the midpoint is exactly in the middle of a segment.
Finally the bell rang for us to grab some chairs and gather on the basketball court. When we were all set up Mr. Staysniak announced the beginning of the First Outdoor Math Bowl.

Campers chosen by their teachers to participate lined up on the side of the court and Sr. Connie started to ask the questions. Unfortunately for each of the participants a single mistake meant "Good Bye" to the tournament. However, after a couple of minutes the line was still quite long... At the end there were two students left on the field of battle: Kenneth and Ed. The fight between a rookie and a veteran was won by the later, as you can see on the picture - much to his surprise...
Congrats Edward!!

More pictures can be found here!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Ironman Weekend

This past weekend Lake Placid was hosting probably one of the toughest sports competitions one can imagine. On Sunday morning more than 2,300 athletes started a race in which they had to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and at the end run a marathon distance of 26.2 miles. It must have been a real challenge--especially in the pouring rain we had on Sunday.

It's been a tradition here, that during the weekend of Ironman Competition in town, campers compete in different sports with the counselors. On Saturday, the counselors' team had to face three teams one after another. On each of those teams were playing all campers from each grade. The counselors took this challenge quite seriously not allowing any of those teams to win. More pictures are here.

Sunday morning began for some of us with seeing the start or the real Ironman Competition in Lake Placid. A group of 9 campers and 2 counselors gathered at 6.10 AM and went to town to see the beginning of the race. As soon as they came back the rain started to fall. And didn't stop until the evening. Because of that we had to postpone another Campers vs. Counselors game and we started to compete in slightly different way...

This time the task was more to show the engineering skills rather that the strength of muscles. Teams of three people, having $5 and a not greatly supplied camp store had to design some kind of device that would help an egg to survive a fall from different heights.

We could use supplies like cardboard, plastic cups, cotton balls or plastic bags. After about an hour of preparing, dropping began. First, from waistline, after that from shoulders and above the head. A Couple of eggs still survived that, so we were moving up - dropping the eggs from standing on a chair, table, loft and finally from the silo (about 50 feet).

Much to surprise of many, three eggs survived even this crushing experience... The designers of these protection devices were Ruben, Joelve and Freddie; counselors, and Awildo - one of the shop owners... Click here to see the pictures.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Prophets (Cabin 5) - Mt. Algonquin (and then some . . . )

The Prophets decided that they weren't going to let just one cabin hike the second highest mountain in New York State. So they decided to hike Mt. Algonquin as well. It was a super windy day as they reached the top, so they had to huddle around each other to each their lunch.

On their way down, a small group (along with Mr. Arte) decided that one mountain wasn't enough. A few of the guys then decided to hike Wright Peak as well. They made it back to camp quite exhausted, but proud of their accomplishment!!

Enjoy the pictures here!

SOGA (Cabin 4) - Giant Mountain

SOGA got an early start on Thursday and hiked one of the hardest mountains we do up here, Giant Mountain. It is not challenging because of the length -- the round trip is about 6 miles. It is most challenging because when you hike up those three miles, it is straight up! These guys rose to the challenge, which included hiking over 3,000 ft. of elevation in three miles; which is equivalent to climbing 300 floors of stairs! The summit of Giant lies at 4,627 ft and it is the 12th highest peak in NY State, one of the steepest hikes in the Adirondacks. The entire cabin worked together to get up and down the mountain safely and were quite tired when they arrived at camp for their dinner.

Enjoy the pictures here!

Campers of the Week (Week 2)

So I realized as I was looking through the blog today, that we never announced to you the winners of "Camper of the Week" from the second week. Since we are about to award it again for week three tomorrow, I thought I should get it up here before then!

Our honorable mentions went to three guys:
Jeremy Jimenez
Draven Chavous
James Mai

Each of these guys have been doing excellent up here! They have been setting a great example for all of us!

And once again, two awards were given for camper of the week, both of them 8th graders. They are:

Onix Graciani

and Edward Urena

Congratulations to them both!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Spartans (Cabin 3) - Snow Mountain

The Spartans got in a great hike on Wednesday! They tackled Snow Mountain. Enjoy the pictures here.

Happy Birthday Onix and Steven!

Earlier this week we celebrated two more birthdays at camp!

Happy Birthday to Onix Graciani!

Happy Birthday to Steven Collado!

Unfortunately, that does it for the camp birthdays. But maybe we can convince Val to make us some more cake just for fun!

Farewell Fr. Jack!

We were sad yesterday to say farewell to a very special person up here at camp. Fr. Jack has been with us almost since the beginning. Many of you know Fr. Jack well. For those that don't, he is a very important person in the history of Nativity. Having served at one time as principal, president, teacher, etc., he has spent time at Camp Monserrate every summer for the past 24 years.

While at camp this year he was our chaplain, saying mass for us almost every day. On top of this he drove the bus for hikes each week. We will miss having him around, but wish him well on the remainder of his summer!

The Magi (Cabin 1) - Algonquin Peak

The Magi decided to go big this week. They started early and hiked the 2nd highest peak in New York State - Algonquin Peak. Armed with plenty of water, trail mix, and sandwiches, they reached the top and enjoyed a beautiful view. Here are all the pictures.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Field Day 2008

On Sunday, we had scheduled that 2008 Camp Monserrate Field Day. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate so we had the rap competition instead. But the Field Day was only postponed one day. On Monday the boys gathered with others from their grade and competed in 6 different events.

The events were . . .

The 50-yard Dash:

The Baseball Aim:

The Layup Competition:

The Long Jump:

The Running of the Bases:

The Soccer Ball Distance Kick:

After all of the competitions were over, we emerged with an overall winner in each grade:

6th: Jason Taveras
7th: Brian Hernandez
8th: Edward Urena

As always, for all of the pictures you can click here to get to the camp photo album.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Prophets (Cabin 5) on Mt. Phelps

This post is a few days late in coming, but here are the pictures from the Prophets' hike of Mt. Phelps. Not an easy climb. Click here for all of the pictures.


Due to not the best weather on Sunday, instead of having outdoor activities we held a Rainy Day Rap Competition.

The Students were rapping in teams of 3 or 4, creating text about rainy days on the camp. After about 45 minutes of preparation they were to perform in front of very strict jury.

After rehearsing 15 teams we had a tie for first place. Two teams were asked to perform one more time. Finally, the Spartans' team of Draven, Michael and Osaze won the competition beating Jorge Q., Li Juan, David and Steven. For more pictures, click here.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

SOGA (Cabin 4) - Wright Peak

It was a beautiful day on the mountain for SOGA (Soldiers of God's Army). Check out all of their pictures here.
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The Spartans (Cabin 3)

Because of bad weather and a hard-to-find trailhead, the Spartans did two short hikes instead of one long one. Check out the pictures here. It stills seems like it was a great day for their cabin!
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The Magi (Cabin 1) - Mt. Hopkins

The Magi had a beautiful hike up Mt. Hopkins on Tuesday. Pictures are here.
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Beautiful Lake Placid

We are quite blessed to get to spend the month in such a beautiful setting. Lake Placid is situated in the heart of Adirondack State Park. There are over 6 million acres of park land scattered with mountains, lakes and forests. This is the sunrise view from the spot where we take out our canoes.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Typical Day at Camp

So I realized, in the midst of all of these posts about special events, that some of you might be wondering what a typical day at camp looks like. It normally goes a little something like this:

6:30am - Our early risers are up either taking showers or on the basketball court. Mr. Salvatierra, Ari or Mr. Staysniak keeps watch over the yard.

7:20am - The first bell rings. Everyone is up and out of the showers getting ready for the day. Our KP and KA staff report to the kitchen to get ready for breakfast. Our 6th and 7th grade sweeping crew head up to the main hall to get it cleaned up for the day. Some students might head out for a morning sports clinic in either cross country, soccer, football, basketball or swimming.

7:50am - The second bell rings and we gather for morning assemble. Here, we hear announcements, say the pledge of allegiance and the Nativity pledge. Following this we start our day with a reading from the Gospel and a prayer before heading into breakfast.

8:05am - Breakfast!

8:45am - Campers hurry to their cabins to get them neat and tidy before being inspected by Ari, Mr. Staysniak or Mr. Salvatierra.

9:45am - Campers head to morning classes. They take classes in writing and math. As well, they all are assigned silent reading books to read throughout the summer.

11:30am - Campers head to the pool to work on their strokes. At camp, they learn freestyle, breaststroke, sidestroke, and backstroke.

12:45pm - After changing out of their pool clothes, campers have a little bit of free time before lunch.

1:00pm - A delicious lunch prepared by Val! Meals go on for a bit in order to encourage community in the cabin and good manners.

2:00pm - A much needed rest period. Students are allowed to rest, read or write letters home. (So if you haven't gotten a letter yet, ask them why not!!)

2:50pm - Group Activity. Cabins play some sort of outdoor game together as a cabin. They are encouraged to help each other and cheer each other on. Sportsmanship is a big part of group activity!

4:00pm - Another trip to the pool! The afternoon pool period is a time when the older students are able to work one on one with the younger students to help them with their swimming strokes. We already have a bunch of great swimmers!

5:30pm - A little more free time before dinner!

6:00pm - Dinner time! At the end of the meal, often times some "shout-outs" are given to students who have had excellent days!

7:00pm - Group Discussion. This is the time of day when cabins talk together about the themes of camp. Some examples of discussion topics are: community, love, respect, trust, desire, and most important, Integrity and Pride.

8:00pm - In order to get their last bits of energy out, we have another short group activity with the cabins.

8:30pm - Students gather in the main hall for about 50 minutes of a movie. Our first movie of the summer was "Remember the Titans."

9:40pm - Students brush their teeth, wash up, and head to the chapel.

9:50pm - In the chapel, we talk about the day and how we are doing as a camp. We pray together before heading to our cabins.

10:00pm - Lights out!

Monday through Saturday normally follows more or less this same schedule. Sundays are always a nice change of pace with Mass in the morning and a campfire at night!