Camp Buckskin believes that having a structured and supportive program is very important to the progress of our campers. We know that our campers enjoy novelty and getting involved in new exciting learning opportunities. Consequently, we offer several special events that happen throughout the session that are unique and a huge part of camp’s rich tradition.
Polar Bearing is an activity with a long history at Camp Buckskin, as it actually dates all the way back to when Buckskin was an old CCC camp. Polar Bearing is where our campers and staff head down to the lake before the morning waking siren (between 6:50-7:10 am) and take a quick refreshing dip in the lake. This is a great way to wake up and get energized for another day at Camp Buckskin.
Polar Bearing is an optional daily activity that anyone can participate in. Those campers and staff that chose to go polar bearing for ten or twenty consecutive days or maybe even the whole session are recognized and given awards for their perseverance. We also have entertaining polar bear challenges that are announced after dinner where campers and staff can challenge each other to polar bear the next morning.
Field trips to regional points of interest are also part of our special events. These trips are chosen for their social, cultural, and educational value. As with the daily activities, the campers participate as a cabin group. Points of interest have included: Voyageur Visitor Center, Seaplane Base, North American Bear Center, and International Wolf Center in Ely.
In the middle of each session, camp has a special day known as Olympic Day, which features cabin competition in some regular — and not so regular — daily activities. The campers jointly choose the name of the country that their cabin group will represent, be it a real or “original” country. This day emphasizes teamwork, sportsmanship, cooperation, and — of course — having fun.
Olympic Day culminates in a special evening awards ceremony. Every camper receives an award for each of the events in which they participated. These awards, like those given the final two nights of the session, are all individually handcrafted by the staff and have that personal Buckskin touch. While it would certainly be easier to buy awards, the value of originality is worth the effort, as the awards are more personal reminders of the campers’ success.
Final Award Ceremonies
At the end of each camp session, we have two award ceremonies to acknowledge and celebrate each camper’s accomplishments throughout the session. The first awards night, recognizes the campers for levels passed in each activity.
The final night ceremony recognizes the campers who are the “Best and Most Improved” in all the activities, in a variety of age/gender groups. These awards are issued to campers who have demonstrated exceptional attitude and effort throughout the session.
The entire staff selects campers who have demonstrated consistent effort and results in areas such as Most Dependable, Industrious, Cooperative, Polite, Helpful and several other areas. Combined, these ceremonies really ‘tie together’ the camp experience, and help the campers recognize what they achieved. The actual awards are tangible reminders of their accomplishments. Many of our parents and former campers have reported that these awards occupy prominent places at home, which in our belief, shows the importance of these successes.