November Update

Greetings Asto Wamah Blog Followers,

Hope October was a terrific month for you!

I trust you have found the photos from this past summer that are now posted on the website in the Photo Gallery.  Hope they remind you of the fun you had and the friends you made!

November has arrived quickly in Columbia.  Leaves are covering the paths and filling the Gaga Pit.   They are not as colorful as they have been in the past, but they do make a lovely ground cover.  On Nov. 1st, the dam on Columbia Lake will be opened starting the 2-week process of draining the lake down 6-8 feet. Once it is at its winter low, the aquarium will be dry and you will almost be able to walk around the front of the main dock.  I will send pictures with the December Blog.

The dates and fees for 2018 have been finalized.  A postcard with this information will be sent soon to each family on the mailing list. Here are the details:        

  1. June 24 to June 30 coed, ages 8 to 12
  2. July 1 to July 14 all boys, ages 8 to 14
  3. July 15 to July 28 all girls, ages 8 to 14
  4. July 29 to August 11 all girls, ages 8 to 14

The 2018 registration fee of $50 is due at the time of registration and it is not refundable or deductible from the camp fee of $495 per week.  We are hoping that a session at CAW will fit into your summer schedule.  The 2018 Brochure will be mailed on January 1, 2018 and registration will be opened on February 1.

Last year’s Camp Reunion had to be cancelled because of snow.  We will try again this year on January 6th from 1:00 to 3:00 at Center Church House (60 Gold Street) in Hartford. Hope you can attend!  An invitation will be sent to each camp household in Dec. via email.  Please save the date!!

Remember, as you ‘spread the word” about Asto Wamah to friends, relatives, siblings, etc, make sure you send me their home and email addresses so they can get the necessary updates and info.

Hard to believe it is already time to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. 

With Gratitude for each of you,

Nancy

October Update

Welcome to October and an update on Asto Wamah!

Our weather in Columbia as of late certainly makes it hard to believe that fall has arrived.  It has been feeling much more like summer.  If you walked through camp today, you would notice very few differences (other than the buildings closed up and the rafts moored at shore) compared to when you last walked the paths.  There are some leaves on the ground, but thinking back to the gypsy moth damage during the early weeks of summer, those fallen leaves do not seem to be out of place.

Due to this warm and dry weather, we have had the opportunity to get some outside maintenance projects started and some even completed.  The Hut closest to the cold water showers has a new roof and a good deal of repaired trim work.  The poles on the Lodge’s lower porch have been sanded and painted.  We are working our way across the front of the Lodge, painting, rescreening, and repairing the 5 doors.  That work will eventually lead to a more attractive front façade.  Our major project focuses on the D.C., the oldest camp building constructed in 1944.  The lake-side wall has suffered from dampness, sun damage, and age and is now in the process of being replaced.  Fall is our best time of year to do outside work and we are keeping busy.

By the time you receive the next Blog, the dates for the 2018 season will be set. Early in November, all camp families will receive a postcard with the schedule and fees for the new season.  If you know of someone who might not be on our mailing list and would be interested in that information, please send us his or her mailing information.

We have partnered with a software company (Ultra Camp) that will be managing much of our “office work”.   Registration, the sending in of health forms, collection of fees, etc. will be a bit different.  It will be our task to help everyone understand the changes and navigate the program.  We believe you will find this format easier than it has been in the past.  More to come on that topic!

Being well informed of the weather issues beyond Columbia, we are grateful for the tranquility we have been so fortunate to have had, and are thinking of all of you who may not have been so lucky. 

Know that all of you are very special to us and we are hoping for your safety,

Jen, Catherine, Chris and Nancy

September Asto Wamah Update

Greetings to all Faithful Asto Wamah Followers,

Now that the summer camping season is behind us and the daily blogs written by Shannon and Sloane (and others) are in the past, you can expect to hear from us at the beginning of each month until June when the daily news returns.  We are sorry we missed September 1st by a day or two. We will try to be more punctual going forward.

Since the last session finished on August 12th and Family Camp on the 26th, there have been some noticeable changes at Asto Wamah.  To begin with it is VERY quiet.  No laughing or shouting even at Gaga!  No hum from the walk-ins. The cabins are all closed up, the clotheslines are down, and boats, canoes, sailboats, and stand-up paddleboards have all been put in a safe place.

If you were to walk into camp today, the first thing you would probably notice is the empty waterfront. Here are two pictures that give you a view from the flagpole and from Little Dipper.  This is our way of protecting the rafts during the possibly stormy and definitely cold months ahead. Columbia Lake will soon be drained down a few feet. We will give you updates on that in future months.

Because the hustle and bustle are gone doesn’t mean things are not happening. Cabin 6 just received (a long overdue) coat of paint on Thursday.  It is a great improvement.  As the weather holds, there will be endless projects to maintain and improve camp.

Hope the end of your summer included spending time with friends and family and enjoying lots of time outside.  Hope you also remembered to share those awesome skills you learned at CAW, including being respectful and Remembering the Other Fellow.  We are thinking of each of you as you return to your back-to-school routine. We trust your new confidence and independence will put you in a good place as you reenter the role of being a student.

Look for the next blog near October 1st!

With still vivid memories of the summer of 2017 at Asto Wamah,

Catherine, Jen, Chris and Nancy

Final Day of Camp 2017

Today marks the end of not only another session here at Camp Asto Wamah, but a whole successful season here on the lake! To start this day we had waffles with peanut butter, then headed back to cabins for cleaning and starting to pack our belongings. For arts and crafts we hosted a game of GaGa Ball, and boating classes were all very helpful in cleaning some boats and putting things away for the winter! Sports classes enjoyed a nature walk around the perimeter of camp property.

After a lunch of Texas Casserole and french bread, we had our normal rest hour and general swim, which was the last opportunity this summer for campers to enjoy the water, some swimming in new areas after passing their level! Instead of having normal class fourth period, we played a game called "Murder by Night." The counselors all have alibis with each other, and the campers go around in groups led by LTs to figure out who is responsible for a (fake) camp murder! Following the game we had a quick activity period, where campers were able to do the Trust Fall on the ropes course, Cornhole, GaGa ball, and many more games!

For supper we had meatball grinders with cheesecake for dessert. Tonight we are having our traditional last night Campfire, which includes singing songs, boating & swimming awards, and eating s'mores! It is a memorable way to end the session.

Pick-up is from 8:30-9:30 tomorrow morning. Your campers are looking forward to seeing you after having a great two weeks here at camp! We've had a great summer and hope to see everyone again next year!!

-Shannon and Sloane

Banquet

To start this busy day, we had bagels and cereal for breakfast and went right into cabin cleanup. Since tomorrow we have to take the boats out of the water for storage, today was the last day for campers to prove to their teachers their abilities in boating, canoeing, and sailing classes! An overwhelming amount passed into the next level successfully.

For lunch we had a variety of sandwich options, including egg salad, tuna, and classic PB and J. After a restful rest hour, we had a general swim where some campers were able to swim in new areas because they passed their swim level earlier in the morning! For fourth period, sports class was able to take advantage of a few of the ropes course elements this morning, including the Whale Watch and the Nitro Swing!

Activity period came around and thanks to a steady breeze, we were able to play Pirates on the water, which is an ongoing battle of our seven Sunfish versus our Hunter. When the boats get near enough to one another, they throw "cannonballs" at one another's sails! It's a fun game to play for all and allows campers the opportunity to get out on the water. 

For supper tonight since it is the second Thursday of the session, we had our last banquet of the summer. Our LTs served stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, turkey, gravy, and other Thanksgiving elements. Once all the tables were cleared, we sang songs and gave year awards to our perspective campers, and have different awards represent how many years they have been at camp for. After everyone had been recognized, we headed outside for our candlelight service. It was too windy to send out the candles on the lake this evening, but it was still just as effective standing in a large circle around the flagpole area. Because of how light is such a universal symbol, this is a beautiful sight and meaningful experience that brings everyone together.

After a last successful banquet of the season, we are all looking forward to one last full day tomorrow here at Camp Asto Wamah!

-Shannon and Sloane

Our Last Wednesday

Today starts the whirlwind that is the last few days of a session, and in this case, the last few days of the summer.  

Today started with corn bread for breakfast, which is a camp favorite.  Swimmers who are in advanced levels had the opportunity to swim to Frog Island- a half-mile round trip- and they couldn't have had a better day for it!  About 12 swimmers went, and although they were tired, they felt accomplished.  Lunch was meatballs and gravy with mashed potatoes, with a special dessert treat- cherry vanilla cake.  

Tonight was eat-out, so cabins ate their custom made sandwiches all over camp!  Eat out is always a fun chance to bond, sing, and just have a relaxed meal.  Evening Program was Step It Up, a game where campers have to play mini games to win "beans" which keep their teams "robot" moving from a starting location back to the A-Field.  It is a game of organized chaos, where everyone has something to contribute!  It's a newer addition to our array of games, but campers love it!  

This session continues to fly by- tomorrow is banquet already, Friday brings campfire, and before we know it Saturday morning will be here.  In the meantime we will keep making memories and having all the fun we can!

LT Carnival

After sleeping in a half an hour later than usual this morning, we had a breakfast of english muffins and cereal! Cabin clean-up went smoothly and we began our first classes of the morning. For some sports classes, we went up to the ropes course! This was an exciting opportunity to work together as a team to reach an end goal.

For lunch we had pork chops with churros for dessert, followed by rest hour and an optional general swim. Only a handful of brave souls went in the water on this windy day, while others enjoyed tetherball, ping pong, knock hockey, and gaga ball by the waterfront! Others were able to practice their rowing and sailing skills during this time as well.

Following activity period, we headed up to the A-field for a game of Run Around Town, which is a combination of kickball and nonstop cricket! Following the game, we had grilled cheese and tomato soup for supper with brownies for dessert.

Currently, everyone is enjoying our evening program for tonight: the LT Carnival! The theme for this year's carnival is "Under the Sea", featuring mini games with an aquatic twist. A favorite is Musical Clams, which is just like musical chairs except there is a "pearl" on each chair that the player has to pick up in order to be safe for the round when the music stops. Everyone is having a great time trying out all the stations!

-Shannon and Sloane

Talent Night!

Breakfast this morning was a camp specialty: waffles with peanut butter! We had to modify some of the first classes of the day due to the weather, but before it started to rain, the senior cabins were able to participate in a trio of elements on the ropes course! Later in the week, we will be doing the trust fall on the ropes course, and everyone is very excited to try it!

Today's lunch was another favorite- shepherd's pie! After everyone got their fill we had rest hour. Instead of a general swim, we hosted a camp-wide game of Nonstop Cricket! The camp was divided just as they were for track and field day: green versus white.

Suppertime came quickly and we all enjoyed chicken patties with applesauce. After supper, people finished perfecting their acts for tonight's evening program: Talent Show! We had many talented campers perform dances, songs, and skits that were all very entertaining! It was a very eventful day today at Camp Asto Wamah!

-Shannon and Sloane

Track & Field Day

Today we woke up to a breakfast of cinnamon bread with cereal! After cabin cleanup, we began our day differently than normal. Instead of having morning classes, we began the events of our annual Track and Field Day!!

The first part of the morning consisted of four events: the running long jump, standing long jump, softball throw, and 50-yard dash! Everybody got a chance to show off their strengths as the white team and green team competed for points.

After these events, we had a general swim to cool down, followed by a lunch of the traditional ham and noodles for track and field day! After a much needed rest hour, we had our optional marathon (that in reality is merely a half mile long, from the A-field down part of the camp road).

Then, the Indian War Relay took place involving everyone all throughout camp! The green team and the white team competed in passing a baton via runners down the camp road, onto the dock to swimmers, then picked up by boaters on the rafts. The boaters then row out to canoers, who deliver it to runners back on land in Hungerford Cove and run it back to the waterfront for the last final stretch of the relay by our senior swimmers! It's an exciting event for all to watch and participate in.

Swim races by area took place after the relay, then we had an activity period for sailors to take advantage of this windy day! Soon after was a supper of shaved steak sandwiches with peppers, with traditional green and white cake for dessert!

For evening program we had a series of relay events involving green and white in head-to-head races, including running a 220 and a 440. Today was an exciting day for all, and everyone is surely to sleep well tonight after a day packed full of activities!

-Shannon and Sloane

August 5th, 2017

Good evening Asto  Wamah Readers! We had a great day here at camp despite some rainy and cloudy weather this morning. Following breakfast of cornbread and a variety of cereals, girls went back to their cabins to switch up their bunking assignments. Campers who wanted to give a top bunk a try were given the opportunity at this halfway point. 

Due to the rain, swimming and sports were held inside. Swimmers played a new version of camp Jeopardy featuring the waterfront and swimming skills! Sports was held in the lodge and the girls made a giant domino train. Luckily, the rain wasn't too bad to keep the boaters off the water. 

Lunch was a camp speciality - lasagna. For dessert we had very yummy peach crisp! We took the cloudy weather as a opportunity to have a bit of an extended rest hour. After that, the sun made a very special appearance! During general swim, girls had the option to go in the lake but many others chose to play games around the flagpole and board games in the lodge. Fourth period followed as usual and activity period options included jumping off the tower, gaga pit, and sailing the Hunter!

For supper this evening we enjoyed hotdogs, chips and carrots with cookies for dessert. Instead of sitting with our normal cabin groups, every camper sat a different table without any of their cabin-mates. Everyone enjoyed getting to know new older and younger campers. 

Right now, everyone is up on the field learning the rules to our evening program game, Pirate Gangs! The game involves treasure hunting and gun battles with guns made from flour pouches. 

Tomorrow is Track Meet! We will take a break from our normal schedule and everyone will be up on the field participating in track activities and relay races. The camp has been split into Green and White teams and the competition is on! 

August 4, 2017

We started off this morning with french toast for breakfast, then went right in to cabin clean-up. While we were cleaning it started to rain, but it stopped just in time for morning classes! Swimming went in the water and boats went out, but sports was confined to the upper lodge because of the wetness of the A-field.

Today's lunch was meatloaf and mashed potatoes with churros for dessert. After rest hour, everyone went in for general swim then right into fourth period. By then the field was dry from the morning rain, so sports was able to enjoy a game of "SPUD" on the A-field!

For activity period today, some lucky campers were able to take advantage of the wind out on the water in the Hunter! We also had a few paddle boarders and sailors out on Sunfish as well.

For supper tonight we had hamburgers with toppings and a favorite for dessert: chocolate pudding pie! Tonight for evening program we are playing "Spies and Smugglers", where one team tries to "smuggle" points up the A-field while the other team tries to stop them.

Although windy (which was great for sailing!), today was a great day here on the lake and we look forward to another one tomorrow!

-Shannon and Sloane

August 3, 2017

Breakfast this morning featured bagels and cereal! Cabin cleanup proved difficult because of the mud tracked into cabins yesterday, but campers went to first period confident in the cleanliness of their cabins.

Most morning classes went on as normal, except sports class stayed in the upper lodge because the field was still wet from yesterday's rain. After a foggy morning, the skies cleared up to be a beautiful day on the lake compared to yesterday!

All water activities took place, including the Hunter being out for the first time this session! For lunch we enjoyed chicken parmesan with sorbet for dessert, then after rest hour everybody went in for a general swim.

Supper featured chicken melts and brownies for dessert, and now everyone is going to the A-field for an evening program of King Dodge! Today's lovely weather was a nice break from the storms from yesterday, and everybody is looking forward to another great day tomorrow!

-Shannon and Sloane

August 2, 2017

For breakfast yesterday morning, we had some delicious chocolate chip bread and cereal! Following cabin cleanup, campers headed to their first classes of the day for sports, arts and crafts, and swimming.

In the afternoon, we had baked ziti for lunch which is definitely a camp favorite! Due to some ominous clouds and distant thunder during rest hour, there was a slight change in the afternoon schedule for the day.

After rest hour we went right into fourth period followed by a quick dip instead of a general swim. We were short on time because we had a special musical guest come to teach us about musical instruments from all over the world!

Usually on Wednesdays we have eat-out at camp, where instead of eating supper in the lodge we go to various places around camp for a change in scenery. Due to thunderstorms, we had to stay in the lodge instead.

It continued to thunderstorm into the evening, so for evening program we played Reverse Scavenger Hunt indoors. This is a game involving mini skits acted out by each cabin, and everyone looks forward to playing it on rainy days at camp!

-Shannon and Sloane

August 1, 2017

We began this beautiful morning with blueberry bread and cereal for breakfast! Campers headed back to their cabins for clean-up, then went to their first classes of the day.

Boaters and swimmers were excited to take full advantage of the calm lake in their morning classes, while arts and crafts classes continued their projects, and sports played some new games!

Lunch today was chicken tenders and rice, with jell-o for dessert! Following rest hour, everyone participated in a much needed general swim. For activity period, counselors hosted various options, including jumping off the tower, paddle boarding, and many more.

For supper tonight we had pizza and salad, and then everyone went to the A-field for an evening program of a camp classic: Capture the Flag! This game has a twist because it is played partially in the woods. We are looking forward to more beautiful weather for a full day on the lake tomorrow!

-Shannon and Sloane

July 31, 2017

Today proved to be a great first full day here at camp! With beautiful weather from the wake up bell to bedtime, campers and counselors had a day packed with fun and excitement. Boaters began their learning of rowing, and swimmers started to improve their strokes. In Arts and Crafts, some were lucky enough to start making projects with our talented basket weaver, Carol!

After a lunch of ravioli with french Baugettes, everyone had a quiet rest hour followed by a general swim. During sports, tradition was carried on by playing a game to help everyone learn each other's names quickly and effectively!

Today we also started sign-ups for different activities at camp: The Hunter (our largest sailboat), the Sunfish (our fleet of smaller sailboats), and stand up paddle boards. Everyone is looking forward to trying these new opportunities offered at camp!

Supper featured tacos with applesauce, and yellow cake with chocolate frosting for dessert. Afterwards, we headed up to the A-field for evening program and vespers. Everyone is looking forward to tomorrow for another day full of new and exciting activities!

-Shannon and Sloane

 

 

First Day!

Today campers arrived excited to meet their counselors and fellow cabin-mates! After settling in and getting a tour of camp, everyone headed to the Counsel Ring for expectations and introductions.

New campers showed off their skills in the water for swim classifications, then everyone went in for a general swim. For supper we had the traditional first day meal: hot dogs and tater tots with brownies for dessert!

As another first day tradition, we played a high energy game of Medical War that was fun for all. Everybody is ready for a good night's sleep and looking forward to the next two weeks!

-Shannon and Sloane

 

Last Day!

It is so hard to believe that today is the final day of camp. It was an absolutely beautiful day. Campers officially found out if they passed their classes, and they will be rewarded with a certificate tonight at campfire. 

For our final day of meals, we had English muffins for breakfast, Texas casserole for lunch, and meatball grinders for dinner!

Today's activity period was particularly special because all of the kids who passed into level 4 swimming class were able to jump off the tower for the very first time! Campers who passed to the next level in their small craft classes were able to take out a boat on their own and enjoy their freedom a little bit! We love watching campers use the skills we've worked hard to teach them all session.

Tonight for our evening program we will be hosting the campfire - complete with awards, songs, musical performances and s'mores! Then it is off to bed for the very last time this session. 

Pick up will run from 8:30-9:30 tomorrow morning, and the kids will be all packed up and eagerly awaiting their family's arrival! See you soon!

-Shannon and Sloane

 

Banquet Night

This morning began with blueberry bread for breakfast! Once breakfast was finished, everyone went back to clean their cabins and start the early process of packing up! It's hard to believe there's only 1 full day of the session left! It feels like everyone moved in just yesterday!

Classes were very busy today as everyone was being officially tested on their skills. Counselors spent time watching each camper and deciding if they pass their class or not. Campers will find out when their name is announced at campfire tomorrow night! It is a really talented bunch and many already passed their classes earlier this session! 

Lunch today was a choice of tuna, egg salad, or peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Butterscotch pudding was offered for dessert. We decided to play another round of Non-Stop Cricket instead of rest hour, which was just as exciting the second time around!

Today we offered a game of "Pirate Gangs" for some lucky campers. Pirate Gangs is a sailing game played on the water. Some campers have the opportunity to sail in the larger sailboat called the Hunter, and others were assigned to 6 smaller sailboats (called sunfish). Each boat is equipped with "bombs" (tennis balls) that they try to throw at the other boats in an awesome game of attack. The campers had a ton of fun, and truthfully, so did the staff.

Tonight is a special night because we have our banquet. We have a big dinner full of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, corn and mashed potatoes with ice cream for dessert. The campers are presented with their year awards, we watch a slideshow of pictures from the session, and we get to sing a bunch of camp songs. Afterwards, we have our candlelight ceremony and then head off to bed. It is a special tradition at camp that is a great way to wrap up the session!

-Shannon and Sloane

July 26, 2017

Yesterday was another BEAUTIFUL day on the lake! After 2 days of rain we welcomed the sunshine with open arms!

Classes worked hard on their last minute tasks yesterday with swimmers and boaters perfecting their strokes, arts and crafts classes finishing their projects, and sports classes getting in last minute favorite games! It's crazy to think about how fast this session has flown by!

Lunch yesterday was a camp favorite - Shepherd's Pie! People were talking about the meal all day long! Some even went up for a third serving! After lunch campers enjoyed a quiet rest hour, and then back to the normal general swim schedule. 

Evening program yesterday was a game called "Step It Up" where campers have to complete little challenges to earn beans. They can turn in their beans to their team captain, who takes a step for every bean turned in. The goal is to get the captain from their starting location back to the A-Field! It was a ton of fun!

We will be back on the blog tonight to report on today's activities and banquet!

-Shannon and Sloane