05 Jul Red, White, ORANGE and BLUE

In celebration of American Independence Day, both Camps gathered at S4B for a special day full of action and fun. Our Co-Directors Win and Cannie Shafer offered greetings and remarks on the lasting importance of the Fourth of July and drew attention to the memory of Mr. Ed Shafer, our beloved Director of blessed memory, who passed away earlier this year. On behalf of the entire Shafer family, Win and Cannie unveiled a newly-designed King’s Monument that now features a plaque in honor of Mr. Ed.

In addition to the campers and staff of each Camp, many alumni and friends of Susquehannock were present for the Fourth of July festivities in preparation for a special Memorial Service for Mr. Ed on Sunday, July 6th.

At the conclusion of the opening ceremonies, teams were announced and the traditional Field Days begun. The teams had been renamed in preparation for the day, using American ideals like “Equality,” “Democracy,” and “Pursuit of Happiness.” The Mixed age teams competed in a variety of games, including a Team Cheer, Tug of War, Water Balloon Toss and Sack Race.

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20 Jul First Session Recap

We concluded an amazing First Session on Tuesday, July 19th. Here’s a recap of a the fun we had, including photos of the Climbing Tower, S4B Olympics Opening Ceremonies and Relays, Orange and Blue competition, Fourth of July Field Days, Pinball HRD, MC Fireball, Villa, Cabin Skit Night, Gold Medal Regatta, Orange and Blue Spirit Games, Gigantus Ball.

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07 Jul Full Gallery from Fourth of July Field Days

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07 Jul Trish Pearson’s Fourth of July Address

When Cannie asked me to make the speech commemorating the Fourth of July celebration, I began thinking about all the things I know, or think I know about the USA. I thought about the history of the people who lived on this land before the Europeans arrived, the influence of those Europeans on all the events that followed, all the ways our history is connected to the broader world and its complexity. Certainly I knew that you would not want to listen to a long history lesson in the middle of your camp summer. (I’m going to give you one anyway, but it will be brief!) So I started thinking about what my country means to me, what makes me proud to be a citizen and a representative of the United States.

As a history and geography teacher during the rest of the year, I teach the importance of culture. If you have studied world cultures, you know that they are not static, they spread and change and merge together. One aspect of culture that I want to spend a few minutes talking about today is music, specifically jazz music. That may seem unusual on the Fourth of July when you might expect to hear or sing the National Anthem or “America the Beautiful” or even “Yankee Doodle Dandy”. Jazz may not seem like patriotic music to you at first glance.

Jazz grew out of a uniquely American experience. Its roots lie in both Africa and Europe, but it was born in America. Traditional African music, brought primarily by the slaves who came to the United States with nothing except their culture, Jazz got the pentatonic scale, rhythm and beat, call and response, the use of different kinds of voices. In traditional African music, there was no “perfect” sound. European music influenced Jazz with its concepts of the use of instruments and harmony.

Where did all these things come together? The birthplace of Jazz is New Orleans, a uniquely American city. Immigrants from many cultures had come to live in this important trading city that was shaped by its geography. New Orleans belonged to France and to Spain before becoming part of the United States and it provided the perfect place for a new form of music that was the essence of America to be developed.

So, what does all this have to do with the Fourth of July and why does Jazz make me proud to be an American? Jazz exemplifies what I treasure about America. It represents freedom, ingenuity and innovation by individual musicians. However, exceptional and brilliant individual solos can happen only out of a foundation of cooperation and practice — the hard work that is done toward a common purpose. Jazz by its very nature represents diversity and tolerance. It could have only been created in a society composed of people who shared and appreciated the differences among them.

As we celebrate today, and as you leave camp and go back to your life as it is the “other 10 months of the year”, I encourage you to think about what you treasure about your country. Continue to learn and explore the history of our country and our connections to the global community. Ask questions and question the answers you are given. Find a way to connect to your country in a meaningful way. Find out what it means to be a good citizen and dedicate yourself to promoting the ideals of America.

06 Jul Fourth of July Field Days

Both Camps gathered up the hill on a gorgeous Monday to celebrate American Independence Day in true Camp style.  After being welcomed by Director Win Shafer, Head of S4G Trish Pearson offered an address that incorporated a reflection on how music relates to the spirit of the United States.

The co-ed teams were then announced with a new wrinkle for this year’s events: each team was given a state to represent, which led to a lot of creative cheers and spirited celebrations.  The teams participated in some new events, as well:  the Sponge-to-Bucket Relay, Scavenger Hunt and the Balloon Shave.  These new additions joined the returning popular favorites:  Tug-O-War and Sack Race.

After completing all the events, campers went down the Lake for a refreshing dip and then enjoyed a cook-out at fireside.  Team California, consisting of campers from Seldom Inn (S4B) and one-half of Razz Inn (S4G) emerged victorious when all the tabulations had been completed.  Congratulations, everyone!

06 Jul Andrew Hano’s Fourth of July Address

We are here this afternoon to celebrate an important event in the history of the United States of America and mankind. First, I believe it is necessary for us to recognize the institution that has brought us all together on this hill top. In honor of 105 years of Camp Susquehannock I would be honored to lead us in a Susquehannock cheer to camp.

On July 4, 1776, the United States of America stated it would no longer be ruled by the King of England in a document known as the Declaration of Independence. Like all events in history there are many stories that led to what happened in Philadelphia 234 years ago.

Many thought that either John Adams or Benjamin Franklin would be assigned the job of writing the declaration to be sent to the King of England. To the surprise of many, Adams gave the job to a young man from the colony of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson had no interest in writing this document, and felt there was more important work in need of his attention back in Virginia.

Rather than arguing to be released from his assigned duty, Jefferson locked himself in a room and went to work. The Declaration of Independence he wrote sits today as one of the most important statements of the rights of man.

This story came to mind because of something that happens almost daily here at camp. Activities are announced, “This afternoon the Cowboys will be playing basketball officiated by Drew Hano,” and the groans from a few begin, “I’m terrible at basketball. Why do we have to play basketball? Can we please do something else?…I’ve got to referee basketball again!” Then, after rest hour, those who complained show up at the court ready to do all they can to avoid playing.

We probably have all done it. Now let’s put ourselves in Thomas Jefferson’s shoes. He accepted a task he was not excited about. He set his mind to completing the task with his best effort. He wrote a document that has lasted for over 200 years.

So, next time you play a sport, even one you are “no good at”, give it your maximum effort. Realize that every game you play is an opportunity to be your best ever.

05 Jul Fourth of July Field Days

Both Camps gathered on the Hill for a special Fourth of July Field Days festivities.  After remarks by Cannie Shafer and an address by Andrew Hano, teams competed in events like Apple Bob, Egg Toss and Tug-of-War.  Following an afternoon of spirited competition, we had a tie for first place between the teams from Annex/Cabb and Palace/one-half of Peek.