2016 was Killooleet’s 90th summer and it was a terrific one! Campers and staff set an inclusive, positive tone. They hailed from 8 countries (Iceland, China, Japan, Ireland, England, Slovakia, France and Australia) and 18 States. We didn’t get much rain, which was bad for the height of the hay and the depth of the lake but good for swimming counselors, hikes and overnighters and the many sports leagues. We had to live with the re-paving of Route 125, which was rough gravel all the way to the top of Middlebury gap for most of the summer. Construction equipment beeped, dumped more gravel and regularly stopped traffic by the Dunham House every day starting at 6 am camp time.
Killooleet is the camp where 94% of the campers join the softball league, and 9 year olds play with 14 year olds and ones who love the game share their enthusiasm and skills with those who don’t usually like team sports and don’t play in other leagues. Oldest campers did a terrific job as captains, and team names included Hmmm, Cash and Pack. In the Basketball league Team Wednesday played Team Friday, and the game was on Thursday. oldest boys, worked with interested kitchen staff and counselors to organize an Ultimate Frisbee League featuring The Holy Grail Division (Team Shrubbery, Team Average Velocity of a Swallow) and the Flying Circus Division ( Team Argument Clinic, Team Dead Parrot) Soccer league team names included peanut butter, jelly and hard tack.
Staff edged the camper All Stars in the basketball, soccer and softball games. Defense dominated all three. However, the commandos captured the last fort just as their ammunition was running out. A fourth generation Killooleeter captured the last fort. In individual sports, the tennis court was busy with the British tennis counselor offering lessons many recalls. Our terrific fencing instructor was a third year returner from the U.K. The lake was a busy place this summer and we had a glorious day for the Triathlon with record numbers of campers and staff competing. The horseback riding program was very popular. The addition of kittens part way through the summer made the barn a regular stop for most of camp.
Arts thrived as well. In the Shop, returning staff in crafts and silver jewelry worked with new counselors in wood and stained glass to have campers making a wide array of creative and beautiful projects. In the art room campers honed their skills in sketching and painting, regularly working outside and talking about poetry or nature as well. In ceramics campers were regularly on the wheel and hand building. The glazed pottery in the final craft show was stunning. Campers flocked to the sewing room making gorgeous array of pillows, bags and clothing, which they regularly wore around camp and to dances. Whether making All Star shirts, banquet folders or decorating letters or envelopes for letters home, campers and staff created pages of beautiful designs.
Hikes and overnighters that went to a variety of new and old places. Favorites such as watergun ambush, riverwalk/brook slopping, berry picking and caving still ran, and we also canoed in Chittenden Reservoir and Otter Creek, walked up Snake Mountain, Mount Hunger and Camel’s Hump, and bicycled north and south on Route 100. For second overnighters, there were two co-ordinated Adirondak canoe hikes as well as rock climbing in the Adirondaks. The Biathlon hike bicycled up to Smuggler’s Notch, hiked Mt Mansfield and bicycled home. The Triathlon overnighter bicycled to Silver Lake in Barnard the first day, swam and hiked Mt. Tom in Woodstock on the middle day. The Canada Bike trip made it to the border crossing in spite of many flat tires enroute. A four day back packing trip hiked from Woodstock, Vermont to Hanover, New Hampshire on the Appalachian Trail. The Farm hike stayed in Button Bay State Park and toured several Addison County Farms.
This summer oldest campers took impressive amounts of responsibility for the stage, props, tech crew and morale of the actors in the musical, “Into the Woods” . The show was terrific. The Barter Day theme was Fairy Tales, and in the beautifully drawn currency three Once Upon A Time equaled one Happily Ever After. Sunday special events included Capture the Flag with a new twist and Quiddich complete with Harry Potter trivia.