Postcards from camp: Savannah

Since 1955, the Squam Lakes Association's (SLA) summer youth programs have introduced young people to the unique resources in the Squam Lakes region and beyond. Through paddling, hiking, swimming, sailing and environmental education campers develop a strong sense of self, community and place. Our Junior Squam Lakes Association (JSLA) and Community Youth Sailing Program (CYSP) provide healthy outdoor recreational activities designed to stimulate inquisitive minds, develop life-long friendships, and create lasting memories. Learn more about the SLA Summer Youth Programs here.

June 22, 2018


The past two weeks have marked the beginning of another great summer at the JSLA and CYSP day camps! All nine of our counselors have spent the past two weeks training and preparing for campers to arrive on June 25th. This is my third summer working with the JSLA program, and it began like the other two: new counselors and old ones meeting up to prepare for the great summer ahead. In those first days of training, we reminisced about memorable camp days from past summers and played classic camp games as well as introducing some new ones bound to become popular this year. We explored Squam by canoe, prepared our equipment for the summer, and planned fun environmental education activities to do with our campers! One of the moments that really sticks out to me as I reflect on our two weeks of training is when the counselors went out on the lake to practice our t-rescues. For those of you who don't know, t-rescuing is the technique used to right a canoe or kayak that has flipped over. Though we try to avoid it, every summer we have at least a few campers who turn too quickly or are hit by a gust of wind and their kayak flips over! So in order to be prepared for this situation, we took out two canoes and three kayaks and capsized them on purpose to get practice flipping them back over. The practice turned out to be really fun as everyone took a turn pretending to be a camper that had capsized and the other counselors talked them through the process of flipping the boat back over. Everyone was working together and having fun! We even t-rescued a flipped canoe using just one kayak, which everyone agrees is the hardest t-rescue to complete. All of our practice t-rescues were completed in record time and everyone became confident with their skills. It was also a great team-building exercise and helped all the counselors, both returning and first-timers, to create this feeling of a team prepared for the adventures of the summer! We can't wait until Monday, when camp starts for real!

Savannah is from Plymouth, NH. She is a rising senior at the College of William and Mary, where she is double majoring in Geology and Environmental Science. Click here to read Savannah's bio.