The Latest News From Mayhew

2017 Second Session, August 2, Day 15:


Homily for the day: “It’s not easy being green.” – Kermit the Frog

Over lunch with Funky Fresh, Mayhew Trustee Joe DiClerico chats up the boys, sharing a bit about what is involved in Board service for the program.  Along the way, he mentions the Board President Jay Buckley.  To which DJ (Funky Fresh) responds, “Who is Jay Buckley?  Can I meet him sometime?”  As a matter of fact, DJ, you’ll have an opportunity to meet Jay, to see Joe again and to meet the rest of the Board at next week’s Board meeting on Island.

At announcements we hear about the following impressive efforts:  Elias & Ahmad (both of No Words Needed) teamed powerfully during the morning wood splitting work hour, creating an impressive stack of split wood…When others took to arguing during the gravel-moving project, Kainan stayed positive and focused on doing what he could to be helpful…

Thank you to Program Extender Marcus joined Program Extension Coordinator Grayson Richey in tackling the overgrowth at the old tennis court site on the mainland.  They left the site looking a lot more presentable for Friday’s ribbon cutting ceremony for Mayhew’s new solar array, installed by Volunteer Extraordinaire Ivan Quinchia.  This is a project Ivan has led from the initial idea to its energy-saving and expense-saving reality. 

We’ll leave you with this cabin cheer: “No words.  Needed. Leaves you.  Speechless.”                                                                                                                                                           


2017 Second Session, August 1, Day 14:


Homily for the day: “If you don’t like something, change it.  If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

Emmanuel’s (Positive Palooza) favorite things at Mayhew so far?  Climbing, swimming and softball. As Emmanuel devours his chicken dinner, he nods over at the Super Chickens across the Dining Hall, “You know what?  The Super Chickens are eating their own kind [right now].  And we had chicken alfredo [another time].  They’re cannibals.”

Throughout the afternoon’s Baseball Team practice at Cantor Yards, Anthony (No Words Needed) was happy to throw himself fully into any role he was asked to play…Mathew (Funky Fresh) proved to be very knowledgeable during the fishing achievement period and was very helpful to less experienced anglers…Justin (Positive Palooza) was a fount of strategy and assistance during the chess achievement.


2017 Second Session, July 31, Day 13:


Homily for the day: Lighten the load.

It has been quite a session so far.  From the get-go, as a community, the boys have seemed to be very much geared toward achievement.  Five of the cabin groups have rowed around the entire Island.  The Free Time List is burgeoning with the names of those who have been setting new personal records with hikes and pretzels and pull-ups and solving the Rubik’s Cube and on and on. 

Domineaq (No Words Needed) has shown great dedication and effort in becoming the first member of the Milers’ Club (for those who have swum a mile’s worth of laps during free time at the Swim Cove)…Dominic (No Words Needed) went above and beyond in the gravel-moving work hour and earned full pay…The Tough Timers rowed around the entire Island during rowing practice and Angel was a positive and encouraging force in the boat. Down at Cantor Yards, Jacob (Funky Fresh) has been hitting balls further and further into the outfield.

Today marks the launch of the Humannn Chess Tournament.  Can’t wait to “check” out the competition as the session progresses!


2017 Second Session, July 28, Day 10:


Homily for the day: Trees that do not bend in the wind, break.

There are some budding Bombardiers on North Beach before lunch. Dominic (No Words Needed) is on the Soccer Bombs list, having kept the soccer ball aloft for a total of ten hits with his knees and feet.  Will Domineaq (No Words Needed) soon be joining him?  Seems so; he’s up to nine hits…

Here’s some of what you get during a High Koalaty meal…Felix would like Mayhew better if “we had hooded sweatshirts.”…Adam: “I was the first one this session to get an Advanced ribbon [he earned it in chess].”  Congratulations, Sir!...Table head Sarah Finley puts the call out when the regular waiter for the day has to excuse himself for a bathroom break, “I need a volunteer waiter,” advertises Sarah.  In an instant, Eric, Adam, and Aiden shoot up their hands to volunteer…If there were a movie about Mayhew, what would it be about?  Who would be in it? Felix: “I’d be the picky one [he says with a small bit of food going untouched on his plate].”  Alex: “I’d be the kid who eats everything.”  And some of the action roles?  Who would fill those?  Plenty of potential action heroes emerged during this morning’s activities…

In the gravel-moving work hour, Adam (High Koalaty) conscientiously reminded his cabinmates of the various safety commands and made sure to use them consistently himself…Domineaq and Nick (both of No Words Needed) had such great communication with one another throughout the wood splitting work hour that they almost didn’t need words…Continuing to g”row” into his many roles throughout the community, Emmanuel (Positive Palooza) hopped into the coxswain’s seat during the garbage row and shined…Ahmad (No Words Needed) helped make the morning’s Adventure initiative a success on many levels through his patient and respectful handling of some disharmony within the group and through his fun-loving attitude throughout the period…What a kick!  Congratulations to Aiden (High Koalaty) and Kainan (Funky Fresh) for showing everyone else on the soccer field the importance of perseverance and hard work during the morning’s Kickin’ Crayfish Soccer game.

Three more role models in the Athletics program are recognized for their session-long excellence and sportsmanship.  Domineaq (No Words Needed), Ahmad (No Words Needed) and Aiden (High Koalaty) are all named to the Mayhew Baseball Team during lunch announcements.  Following dismissal from lunch, Mathew (Funky Fresh) seeks out Athletics Counselor Roy Anderson and asks, “How do you make the Baseball Team, again?”  Clearly, Domineaq, Ahmad and Aiden have inspired Mathew to try swinging for the fences.


2017 Second Session, July 27, Day 9:


Homily for the day: Be like a redwood [grow taller by relying on the strength of those around you.].

Popping around during free time…Thank you, Asher (Positive Palooza)!  He takes his free time before lunch to comb North Beach with the roller magnet, searching out nails from the old Lodge (now 27 years in the history books) and screws and metal pieces from the re-roofing of the “new” Lodge this spring.  As Asher combs the beach for metal, Justin (Super Chickens) tries to make the Soccer Bombs list – as always, no hands allowed. Several feet away, Cabin Counselor Zach Alexander and Alex (High Koalaty) play some catch – as always, hands very much needed.  Up on the front porch, Aiden (Super Chickens) strums the guitar, perhaps gearing up for a performance during Community Night?  We hope.  In the Dave Cameron Gym, Athletics Counselor Natalie Gutierrez engages in a little two-on-one pick-up basketball against Justin (Positive Palooza) and Eric (High Koalaty)…When Zander (Super Chickens) sees Senior Staff Colin Lucas passing through the Mayhew Room, he stops him to let him know something that’s been on his mind: “I want to make the Baseball Team [one of the highest honors in the Athletics program].”  Colin then starts up an encouraging conversation with Zander, ensuring that he knows exactly what he needs to do in order to earn his way on the team.

Just after the cabin groups sit down for lunch, Angel (Tough Timers) pulls a “Zander” and calls a passing member of the Senior Staff over for some quick news: “We just won our first game [in athletics].”  Now that, Sir, is news worth spreading!  There’s more news to chomp on over lunch with the Positive Palooza cabin group. Blake: “I’m trying to get onto the Baseball Team.”  Ah, we’re glad that goal is spreading!  Justin, how about you?  Any goals this summer?  “Yes, I want to do 100 sit-ups.”  That’s an exercise we could all stomach more often. 

Joining Positive Palooza at the lunch table is Program Extender Brandon, who is visiting with his friend Emily during their morning off of work in the Lakes Region.  Positive Palooza peppers Brandon with lots of questions: When did you come here [as a boy]?  What were your cabin groups?  Brandon happily answers these questions and more and then he shares a bit about his life now – attending high school, working two different jobs, still keeping Mayhew in mind, even far from the Island.

During announcements, we hear a good deal more about the exploits of the boys now following in Brandon’s Mayhew Island footsteps…Trip (High Koalaty) made the most of his turn at the rudder during the morning garbage row, finding the most efficient route through the mild Newfound chop to the mainland…Aiden (Super Chickens) filled his work hour with good ideas and a willingness to fill any role that was asked of him during the gravel-moving project…Nice job, Ethan (Positive Palooza)!  Your positive attitude during wood splitting made every aspect of the job seem easier, more pleasant.

The Mayhew Island blueberries are more than ready for picking and plentiful enough so that dedicating an occasional work hour to transfer them from the bushes to the Mayhew Kitchen for pancakes and desserts is advisable. Though a few boys in the Tough Timers cabin group find it hard not to eat some of the crop as they’re picking, Zareth has a different mindset: “You know, I’d really like to fill my bucket up so the whole community can have some.” 

There was more community-minded action later in the morning at the twenty-foot-high Two-Line Bridge climb. Though he didn’t get a chance to climb himself, Alex (High Koalaty) was a constant source of encouragement for his cabinmates who did climb.  He was especially focused on helping his more nervous cabinmates build trust in the belayer and in the climbing gear…Over at Cantor Yards, Luke showed great patience in his own play on the diamond and then demonstrated even greater patience with his cabinmates during some of their stumbles and misplays.  That’s the sort of team focus and spirit, Luke, that will pay dividends come playoff time – and long before, too.


2017 Second Session, July 26, Day 8:


Homily for the day: “I’m no hero. I only catch fly balls.” —Willie Mays

There’s plenty of action worth noting during the morning Snake League Softball game at Cantor Yards.  After Athletics Counselor Roy Anderson makes a couple of nifty plays from the pitching position for outs, Mathew (Funky Fresh) chides him warmly, “Roy, why did you get them out but not me?”…During an especially mighty swing for the ball, the bat slips from the batter’s hands and makes a speedy and strong trip through the air into the woods behind the third base line, leading to an automatic out.  To which DJ (Funky Fresh) remarks, “That bat flew like a Super Chicken [the opposing team].”…A few minutes later, Camron (Funky Fresh) is supposed to be playing third, except he seems to find playing in the dirt significantly more interesting.  When Roy notices, he gives a quick shout, “Camron,” before throwing a pitch that is struck sharply right at Camron, who – impressively – fields the ball nonchalantly before tossing it for a relatively easy force out at second base. 

The Free Time List board is growing names like Mayhew Island’s multitude of blueberry bushes are producing ripe fruit for the picking.  The Society of Distinguished Readers (for those who have read at least 300 pages since the beginning of the session) now has two members: Angel (Tough Timers) and Luke (Tough Timers).  The Rubik’s Cube list (for those who have solved The Cube in two-and-a-half minutes or less) also has two names: Hunter (Positive Palooza) and Elias (No Words Needed).  Elias is also one of the two boys to earn his way on the Hikes list (for those who have juggled a basketball between their legs at least 40 consecutive times).  The other boy is Domineaq (No Words Needed). 

During free time before lunch, there’s Domineaq on North Beach, trying for yet another list, the Soccer Bombs list (for those who have kept a soccer ball aloft for a count of ten hits – no hands allowed).  Domineaq entertains some momentary frustration after yet another attempt falls short, “My most so far is six.”  Overhearing this, his Cabin Counselor Carlos Piedrasanta, takes a brief break from the game of catch he’s playing with another boy on North Beach, to correct Domineaq, “I thought it was seven?”  Domineaq: “Oh.  Alright.”  He then returns to his attempt to get eight hits, then nine, then…Up on the porch, a small crowd gathers intently around Gavinn (Super Chickens) as he engages in an attempt to break his own record of consecutive Pretzels (like Hikes, just a different technique):  420, 421, 422, 423, 424…425!  While Gavinn allows disappointment to briefly visit when he misses 426, the crowd around him breaks into spontaneous applause, as he has just superseded his own Second Session record by more than 200!  The sweat on Gavinn’s brow tells the tale of what this took. 

Similar tales are told of other worthy efforts during lunchtime announcements…Funky Fresh made the morning garbage row to the mainland Dumpster with plenty of time to spare, thanks in no small part to the excellent work of Coxswain Mathew.  During the gravel-moving project, Domineaq (No Words Needed) helped the group to a “rock”ing good work hour by coming up with a song that helped motivate his cabinmates.  That’s music, Domineaq.  It really is!...As the Tough Timers took to cleaning the Island restrooms, Angel took to every job he was assigned with a positive attitude and vigor, happily jumping to the next job once one had been finished…In wood splitting, Zander (Super Chickens) demonstrated a great work ethic but he also wasn’t above asking for help when he felt he needed it.  When his cabinmates balked at volunteering for a challenge or two during the rowing session, Eric’s (High Koalaty) answer was consistently very different: “I’ll do it!”  The Snake League Softball game saw many boys taking the same approach.  Though he had hurt his hand earlier, Zander (Super Chickens) jumped right into fielding and batting – and serving as a fine role model for everyone on the field.

There was more role modeling among today’s Program Extenders Aaron and Brett, two Mayhew veterans taking time out of their summers back home to make a Mayhew Island comeback and to help, in any way they can, to improve the Island experience of those boys now following in their footsteps.  Today, Aaron and Brett join Extension Coordinator Grayson Richey in working on the Challenge Day course.

Speaking of challenge, there’s lots of it jammed into every Island day (and every beyond-the-Island day, too).  Sometimes the challenges are on the outside.  Other times, they’re internal.  For “Reece,”  these are the most difficult ones, as he has struggled in learning to keep small things small, tending to needlessly escalate his personal mole hills into problematic mountains.  During today’s quiet hour, he chooses to make farting noises and is timed out by his cabin counselor.  Had Reece then simply chosen to quickly and quietly take some time away from the group to think about this minor poor choice, he would have been back to the group within minutes.  Unfortunately, Reece made another choice: to continue to push limits, resulting in an extended and progressively more difficult timeout under the supervision of the Senior Staff.  The progressive difficulty all emanates from Reece, who seems bound and determined not to accept the calm guidance of the staff who try to show him the way down his personal escalator.  Eventually, Reece does climb down to his calm and, once he has been there for a bit, the Senior Staff engages in a matter-of-fact review with him of every step he took – up and down.  Then it is back to his group with a clean slate.

Slated for greatness, Super Chickens take a rallying cry from their cousin Superman, “It’s a bird!  It’s a plane!  No!  It’s Super Chickens!  Bock!  Bock!”

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