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2018 Second Session, July 25, Day 8:


Homily for the day: Lighten the load, lend a hand.

From Volunteer Blogger Extraordinaire Cathy:

“It’s been a hot and humid few days and this morning is the same-a misty morning on the Island. The boys wake up to the bell (at 7:30am) which tells them it’s time to head to the Lodge for breakfast, with fifteen minutes of free time first.

“On the porch, the music begins. Liam (Dramatic Pause) and Lucien (Jazz Hands) are strumming guitars while Festo (The Moustachios) plays the bongos. Jayson (Michelin Stars) is tackling the Rubik’s Cube; he has solved one side in the past. Logan (Sunny Side Up) excels at the ring toss. Over in the Mayhew Room, Cabin Counselor Brandon Pierre and Conner (Dramatic Pause) play chess. Ping pong, basketball and floor hockey are also in play while one boy from each cabin serves as waiter, getting their table in the Dining Hall ready for breakfast.

“Breakfast is pancakes, oatmeal, fruit, milk and orange juice. Josiah is in charge of serving the Rainbros’. Emmanuel says it’s his second year at Mayhew and he is paying it forward. He enjoys helping the first-year boys as ‘they don’t know everything.’  Camron (The Moustachios) says he would stay in the lake the entire time at camp, if he could. He loves to read and swim. Cabinmates Jeremiah and Kalob discuss dirt biking. Jeremiah shares that he got in some trouble at camp last year; but not this year. He is so proud of himself, as he should be. He mentions that camp is helping him.

“As breakfast comes to a close, Senior Staff Mark Smedberg talks a bit about the homily for the day (see above).  He explains you are in control of yourself; you can set your own goals; you are in control of your destiny. What a great way to start off the day with positive words of encouragement.

“Daily chores include sweeping a lot of sand out of the buildings. With all the rain and humidity over recent days, it’s a big job. The boys are up to it. Caiden (Sunny Side Up) says they are making sand castles with all that sand! Nice work getting it back on the beach! Jeremiah (The Moustachios) comes up with a song, ‘Just keep sweeping, just keep sweeping, yeah!” On the way to work hour afterward, Myles (Sunny Side Up) gives high fives; Jeremiah says to ‘Have a good day!’

Now off to work hour…The Jazz Hands cabin group is moving rocks. Dramatic Pause is moving wood. The wood will be delivered to the mainland and stacked in a pile in front of Mayhew’s parking lot with a sign encouraging passersby to help themselves, free of charge.  Great community spirit, Mayhew Boys!

Have you wondered how the boys determine the name of their cabins? Here’s some insight:
-Rainbros’: There are 7 colors in a rainbow and 7 boys per cabin.
-Michelin Stars: They like food! They are supertasters, able to taste the difference in all the wonderful meals they eat.
-Moustachios: This cabin has a French theme with their cheer being ‘Moustachios, oui, oui!’ When they line up, they call it a ‘handlebar, as straight as it can be.’  By the way, one of the Moustachios, Festo, actually speaks French.
-Sunny Side Up: Named for eggs [Because they’re ‘eggs’citing?]

As the Rainbros’ set off on the garbage row and Sunny Side Up and Moustachios head off the Island for their hiking adventures, they see two beautiful loons.  For some, this is the first time they’ve seen them, diving into the water and coming back up again. They find this ‘so cool.’ Nature at its best.”

A quick look back at a tremendous effort from yesterday…Hiking is no easy or pleasant task for Asher (Sunny Side Up).  And being a second-year boy, Asher knew exactly the sort of grueling challenge he’d be facing throughout yesterday’s hike of Mounts Morgan and Percival.  And grueling it was.  But Asher remained determined to soldier through and over every tough stretch not only completing the hike but building some inner pride and respect within his cabin group…Over with the Rainbros’, there’s more pride and respect-building.  Luke has already swum 21 laps toward the 53 he needs to become a member of the Miler’s Club at the Swim Cove…Cabinmate Emmanuel has a big goal and a small goal he’s striving for.  The small goal is making the Free Throw List (shooting at least 5 in a row).  The big goal?  Emmanuel is trying to make the Island honor society, the Outer Circle.  We’re looking forward, Sir, to seeing you succeed at both.


2018 Second Session, July 24, Day 7:


Homily for the day: “You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” —Dr. Seuss

A common sight during free time is seeing Lucian (Jazz Hands) strumming the guitar and experimenting with some free form chords on the front porch.  There’s an earnestness and focus in how he approaches his music making that’s impressive and pleasant. 

In other free time action before lunch, Tavian (Jazz Hands) practices the Rubik’s Cube a few feet away from Lucian’s guitar strumming.  He’s trying to get to the point where he has a white cross on one face, which is one of the steps toward solving the cube…A howdy is exchanged with Program Extender (the last phase of the program, for the 16-18-year-olds) Dutch, who is visiting the Island after a morning of cutting knotweed in Bristol at the trailhead for the new downtown trail.

No tall tale, thus far in the session, the boys have caught 10 fish, with half of them being caught yesterday.  That’s some “scale” tipping success, Gentlemen.

Over lunch with Michelin Stars, when Gaige is reminded that quiet hour is immediately following the meal (as always), he perks up, “Yes!  I can read my ‘Goosebumps’ book [which he received on Sunday night during the Children’s Literacy Foundation presentation by author and CLiF presenter Marty Kelley]!”  Cabinmate Jayson is also an engaged reader.  He says that he wants to earn his way into Mayhew’s Society of Distinguished Readers (for those who read at least 300 pages before summer’s end).  He’s looking forward to continuing to dig into the two books he picked up during the CLiF presentation, both from the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series.  A few minutes later, Jayson shares some his further-down-the-road plans, “I kind of want to be a video game maker/YouTube channel maker or a Mayhew staff member; it seems simple and easy.” 

From the “simple and easy” crowd around the Dining Hall, we hear about several boys who went above and beyond during the morning work hours and activities.  Congratulations Jared (Michelin Stars), Hayden (Jazz Hands), Tyrone (Dramatic Pause), Josiah (Rainbros’), and Jayson (Michelin Stars) for putting together role model mornings!


2018 Second Session, July 23, Day 6:


Homily for the day: There is an “I” in cabin.  What will “I” do for it?

Cabin 1 and Cabin 4 now have names.  It’s The Moustachios for Cabin 1 and Sunny Side Up for Cabin 4.  They join Dramatic Pause (Cabin 2), Michelin Stars (Cabin 3), Jazz Hands (Cabin 5) and Rainbros’ (Cabin 6).

The Hockey Arena finds the Slap Shot Hockey action growing intense toward the end of the back and forth game between The Moustachios and Jazz Hands.  Playing in goal, Noah (The Moustachios) makes a save with his stick and just 20 seconds later he makes another.  As the puck and action heads to the other side of the rink, he glances at a nearby staff member and states with a bit of wonder, “I didn’t even know I did that,” as his mask was sliding on his face and blocking his vision.  Over with the Jazz Hands, Kesh swings his stick above his knees on a pass and gets called for high sticking, sending him to the bench for a couple of minutes.  He’s angry, clearly not ready to accept responsibility for lifting his stick.  Kesh flops over the wall and onto the bench, tears streaming.  The staff give him space to settle on his own and, impressively, within about five minutes, he is at the point where he’s more focused on the game than the penalty and his mistake. 

After a quick water break, Riley (The Moustachios) leans along the bottom rail of the front porch and says matter-of-factly to a couple of interested staff members, “I’ve scored like 6 goals.”  He then rests a few seconds more on the rail and, seeming to sense that he ought to get back to his teammates and the game, he says to the staff, “Well, good talk,” before climbing the steps back to the Hockey Arena…After Eric (Jazz Hands) scores a quick goal to put his team two goals up, Eric exclaims proudly, “That’s what I call a good old fashion comeback!” 

Looking forward to more memorable moments to come back to tomorrow!



2018 Second Session, July 20, Day 3:


Homily for the day: A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.

Folks, we have some cabin group names!  Cabin 2 has become “Dramatic Pause.”  Cabin 3 is the “Michelin Stars.”  Cabin 5 is “Jazz Hands.”  And Cabin 6 is “The Rainbros’.”  Let the cabin identities build and build! 

The Michelin Stars hop the morning pontoon boat to the mainland for the first day hike of the session, up Mounts Morgan and Percival. 

Back on Island, there’s plenty more hopping going on.  Following a full morning of work hours and then activity periods, there’s fifteen minutes of free time before lunch.  Festo (Cabin 1) sits on the front steps of the Lodge with a Djembe drum and free styles…Lucien (Jazz Hands) and Logan (Cabin 4) join Senior Staff Jim O’Brien on the other half of the steps with another Djembe drum and two guitars.  Behind them on the porch benches, Logan (Jazz Hands), Tavian (Jazz Hands) and Luke (Rainbros’) follow Senior Staff Ed Thompson as he shows them some strategies for solving the Rubik’s Cube…

Over lunch with Cabin 1, there’s plenty to chomp on…Second-year boy Camron lets it be known that his favorite cookout site on the Island is Garnet Ledges, where the ledges climb about 15 feet above the water.  While there’s no jumping from them, they’re a neat part of the Island…Paul: “I almost passed my swim test [swimming four non-stop lengths at the Swim Cove] but my legs got tired.”  With a few more days of practice and strengthening, Paul, we bet you’ll get there…Cabinmate Riley has already begun striving for the Miler’s Club [whose members have swum a mile’s worth of laps by session’s end].  He has 4 of the 53 he needs…The table conversation ranges beyond swimming to Camron’s and Paul’s and Noah’s interest in earning their way into the Society of Distinguished Readers [for those who have read a minimum of 300 pages by the end of the session]…There’s also some reminiscing about yesterday’s Kickin’ Crayfish Soccer game, where Festo almost had a hat trick of goals and where Camron scored one, as well.

Before lunch, while making the daily row and run to the mainland Dumpster, Jayden (Jazz Hands) didn’t hesitate at all to take care of a split garbage bag that was spilling some coffee grounds, making sure the bag and its near-escapees all made it to the Dumpster…Kalob (Cabin 1) volunteered to help anyone who needed it during the gravel-moving work hour…And during the wood-moving work hour, Asher (Cabin 4) was always carrying as much as he could…During the wood-splitting project, Conner (Dramatic Pause) role modeled consistent use of the safety commands and put in a solid effort, earning top pay…

During Cabin 4’s first rowing period, Logan took steady command of the boat from his coxswain’s seat, serving as a key figure in resetting the group when it ran into some challenges rowing in unison.  And while Ryan was rowing for the first time ever and complained toward the beginning of the period that, “I don’t know how to do this,” he stayed open to instruction and support from the staff and his cabinmates and made some nice progress over the course of the period.

Down at Cantor Yards…Whew!  The softballs were flying!  Jeremiah (Cabin 1) sent a ball arcing over the pitcher and well into the outfield. Shortly after, his teammate, Riley, hit a ball even further, scoring a grand slam! 

Looking forward to more action to come – on Island and beyond!


2018 Second Session, July 18, Day 1:


Homily for the day: The person who moves mountains begins by moving small stones.

The first boy to arrive for the challenge of moving the mountain of his Mayhew summer into gear?  Liam (Cabin 2), who has returned for his second Island summer and who seems eager for the stone-moving ahead.

At lunch, first-year boy, Lyric (Cabin 3) scans the Dining Hall ceiling, admiring many of the more than 320 cabin group plaques, “These are very impressive.”  Agreed, Lyric.  And at the end of the session, Sir, your cabin plaque will add to the artwork.

As a member of the staff makes his way to the waiter’s window during lunch, second-year boy, Logan (Cabin 4) calls him over, “You challenged me to get a name [for the cabin] and I got one.”  Hmm…We’ll look forward to seeing if you can make it take hold with your cabinmates, Logan.  And if you can, we’ll look forward to seeing you all announce your name on the front porch.

Some potential cabin group names percolating around?  Cabin 6 is mulling over the “Rainbros’” and Cabin 2 seems excited about “Dramatic Pause.” 

While he and his cabin group await the final member of their cabin to arrive back from the standard medical check with Nurse Tasha Tambeau, second-year boy Riley (Cabin 3) sees incomparable Head Cook Art Makechnie make his way from North Cabin back to the Kitchen.  Riley points Art out to everyone, “He’s the best chef – ever!  He makes the best hot rolls.”  And, as you know well from last summer, Riley, Art makes the best of a lot of dishes – even ice cream sundaes topped with broccoli.  Yes…broccoli! 

Here’s to many great meals and great achievements ahead!


2018 First Session, July 10, Day 21:


Homily for the day: In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins – not through strength but by perseverance.

We hear last evening’s Kickin’ Crayfish Soccer championship game was one for the ages.  It was Rocky Road and Aftershock and it could not be determined in regulation.  In the overtime period, Aftershock scored first and then, with very little time left and faced with a penalty kick in which the members of Aftershock lined in front of the goal, Keegan (Rocky Road) arced a beautiful kick over their heads and in to tie!  Then the game went to alternating goal kicks and Khadari (Rocky Road) scored the winner.  Wow!  It was a final where, yes, one champion was crowned, but there were absolutely two winning teams on the field! 

At the twenty-foot-high Bird’s Nest climb, Ethan (Nutty Buddies) puts in a winning attempt up high.  Standing atop the platform, staring out at the trapeze eight feet away and the ground twenty feet below, Ethan does some serious wrestling with his fear.  After more than a few minutes of trying to get himself to leap, he lets out some of his inner conversation, “I’ve done all the other climbs but I can’t do this!”  When one of his cabinmates reminds Ethan that he has ridden and jumped dirt bikes and, if he has done that, he should be able to make this leap, Ethan responds, “I know I ride dirt bikes and jump dirt bikes but I can’t jump a dirt bike up here…Why did I say I could do it [make the leap]?!  I want to go but I want to see someone else do it first…Why can’t you put this [the climb] lower?”  After struggling like this for several more minutes, Ethan reluctantly returns to the ground, somewhat deflated.  But after a few minutes and some support from the staff and his cabinmates, Ethan quietly declares, “I’ll try again [if there’s time].”  That’s showing heart and grit, Ethan.

This morning saw the culmination of the Rowing Program, the around-the-Island Regatta.  For Cattle Drive’s attempt, the group is down a crew mate, meaning one of the boys will have to row with two oars.  Who volunteers?  Logan, who may be the smallest boy in the group but he comes up big in this decisive moment. 

The Regatta results?  Rocky Road comes in third place with an around-the-Island time of 30:03. Sandwich Smashers comes in second place with a time of 28:36.  And just 14 seconds faster, with a time of 28:22, it’s Logan’s Cattle Drive, rowing to the title!  What a “we can” performance! 

Following the announcement of Cattle Drive’s win, Rowing Counselor Sarah Finley walks to the front of the Dining Hall and announces the session’s three major award winners in rowing.  Most Improved Oarsman is Ollie (Nutty Buddies).  Best Oarsman is Kyle (Cattle Drive) and Most Dedicated Oarsman is Anthony (Cattle Drive).  Congratulations to these award-winners and to every oarsman in the community (all 41 of them)! 

The Society of Distinguished Readers – those who have read at least 300 pages this summer – now has two members, as Allen (Aftershock) has been joined by Rhily (Nutty Buddies)…And the number of Raft Rats – members of the Swim Cove’s honor society – has multiplied, too.  The list now includes: Trip (Nutty Buddies), Alex (Crescendo), Anthony (Cattle Drive), Ethan (Crescendo), Jayme (Rocky Road), Zareth (Rocky Road), Parker (Aftershock), Kainan (Nutty Buddies) and Nick (Crescendo).

More honors and achievements are to come.  That is for certain.

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