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2018 Second Session, July 27, Day 10:


Homily for the day: Get off your “but”ts.

Thus far, every Kickin’ Crayfish Soccer game the Michelin Stars have played this session – a total of three – have ended in ties.  If consistency is your “goal,” you’re winning, Gentlemen!

Jayson (Michelin Stars) talking with a visiting staff member over lunch: “I got my advanced [ribbon] in filmmaking…I got to see the beginning of the [2018] highlight video.”  A bit later in the meal, Jayson continues on another highlight track: “Do you know I’m almost qualified for the Outer Circle [Island honor society]?”  Jayson talks for a bit about the various ribbons he still needs to earn to accomplish this goal and follows it up with what he’ll need to do afterward, “Then, I just need to be a good boy [Jayson’s words, not Mayhew’s].” At Mayhew, we consider everyone to be inherently good but we also recognize that there are also some behaviors that are problematic or unhelpful and that each and every boy is responsible for his behavior – good, bad or otherwise.  What Jayson is referring to is making the best choices he can, as often as he can and, if and when he makes a poor choice, owning up to it as quickly as possible and trying to make better choices going forward.
In the morning’s work hours, there were plenty of good choices being made by lots of the boys. 

During the garbage row, Aiden (Dramatic Pause) focused intently on each stroke during the row across the lake and on doing what was needed throughout the period…Back on Island with the Jazz Hands and their wood-splitting work hour, Jayden worked smoothly as part of a three-person splitting team, which tends to present more challenges than working in a two-man team.  And when it came time to transition into a new team, Jayden made it look easy.  In swimming with the Jazz Hands, Eric dove right into his Miler’s Club laps during free time.  What was more impressive, though, was what he did afterward.  Eric turned his attention right to his cabinmate Tavian, who was trying, yet again, to pass his swim test.  This time, he did it!  And Eric was maybe even more excited and proud of Tavian than Tavian was of himself! 

Thanks to Program Extender Tim, who joined Extension Coordinator Grayson Richey in a community give-back project in downtown Bristol.  Though he strained his hand slightly as he was removing some troublesome knotweed from a trailhead, Tim persevered and stayed positive.  And then he returned to the Island with Grayson and brought his positive attitude right along with him.  Thanks, Tim, for being a fine example for the younger boys!

The Michelin Stars’ theme cheer?  “Crafting the experience of a lifetime.” 

Here’s to lots more crafting of this sort – for everyone – as the session progresses!


2018 Second Session, July 26, Day 9:


Homily for the day: Good, better, best.  Never let it rest ‘til your good is better and your better is best.

At lunchtime announcements, we hear lots about boys striving for their best during the morning’s activities…Asher (Sunny Side Up) knew how to blend and bend his approach throughout the garbage-to-the-mainland-Dumpster work hour, transitioning from funny to serious to thoughtful, whatever his group seemed to need the most…Dynamic duo Ethan and Josiah (Rainbros’) made the tough and not-at-all-popular job of cleaning the Island toilet facilities feel almost fun with their solid work ethic and positive attitudes.

During The Moustachios’ wood-splitting work hour, things got a little tense between Kalob and a cabinmate.  To Kalob’s credit, though, he dealt well with his frustration, taking the very mature step of taking some time away from the group to cool down before returning in a better frame of mind.  Way to go, Kalob…And another “Way to go!” to Jarod (Michelin Stars), who jumped into his cabin group’s wood-splitting work hour with a great attitude from the start, setting a fine example for his cabinmates throughout the period.

In swimming, Asher and Bohden (both of Sunny Side Up) accumulated 13 and 18 laps respectively toward the Miler’s Club.  You’re that much closer to earning the privilege of swimming around the Island at session’s end, gentlemen…Out on top of the water, the Michelin Stars became the first cabin group of the session to row all the way around the Island.  Riley manned two oars for the trek, as the group was down an oarsman.  Even though it was clear that he was tired, Riley powered through the period impressively.

The cabin identities keep building…Here was the cheer the Rainbros’ arced out in the Dining Hall during announcements: “Breaking through the clouds to brighten you day.  Rainbros’!”

The Week 6 summer Links (the 12-16-year-olds in the program) wrap their rain-soaked and rain-influenced expedition week with dinner on the Island.  During their trip announcement, we hear that…Quentin favorite part of the week was going to the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord.  He wanted to see every corner of it.  Danny became known over the week for his puns and jokes.  Bryce worked hard on his canoeing and had made some noticeable improvements by the end of the week.  Beau made the best pancakes.  Mayson seemed to love whatever activity he was doing, bringing an upbeat vibe throughout the week.  Brytin and Felix paddled by themselves and handled some torrential downpours with humor.

At the forty-five-foot-high Lynch’s Pinch climb, Ryann (Sunny Side Up) begins a tentative ascent, asking his cabinmates for silence rather than cheering as he slowly spiders upward.  When he hits a tough stretch and stalls out a bit, Bohden quietly makes his way to the base of the tree and shoots him a thumbs up.  A couple minutes later, when Ryann is still stalled, Bohden asks, “Ryann, can I give you some advice?”  With this help and his own willingness to push through his fear, Ryann eventually makes it all the way to the top of the tree.  Nice climb, Ryann.  And, Bohden…That’s being a fine cabinmate, Sir!


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!


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