Days 10 and 11

Sunday dawned greyer and windier than we had hoped, but Marjorie brightened the day with a lovely morning yoga while Sheriff Jim, Maggie and Joan whipped up scrumptious breakfast burritos and bacon! Yum! 

We were determined to fit in one last beach visit, and this time we really wanted to have the whole group there, so after contributions, we packed a picnic lunch and headed to Jetties Beach for a final hurrah. A significant number of brave and hardy folk actually swam and frolicked in the waves (yes, waves at Jetties!) while the rest of us huddled under all of our sweatshirts and towels and admired the folks in the water. 

We saw people kite surfing and wind surfing which was neat to see, especially on a windy day. While we ate, swarms of seagulls showed overly enthusiastic interest in our food -- it felt a little like we were on the set of an Alfred Hitchcock movie -- but we managed to keep them away. (Kieran squirted them with his water bottle, Adama, Jan and Mike L yelled at them, and we all clutched our sandwiches tightly!) Two groups went biking, which was very relaxing (Thanks, Darcy!) Then we had our group picture taken in the backyard of the house. Some people did print making while some others got manicures and did some drawing. Thanks for a delicious dinner made by Katie’s parents, Anna and John, with Luke's help. After dinner we had a lot of fun watching the videos from the scavenger hunt and the video of the play. The video of the play will be on YouTube soon. Thanks to Katie’s dad, John, and to John Best for learning the camera equipment from the television station so we had great quality taping.

Packing, saying good-bye, heading away from Whereowhero Lane - no one's favorite part of camp. 

This has been a great ten days and thanks to everyone who helped make it possible! Until next year...

Days 8 and 9

Friday, August 17, 2018

We had an early wake up and yoga with Sally (thank you, Sally!!) She helped us by playing calming music, repositioning us and telling us to make sure not to hurt ourselves. She read a calming passage while we were doing the shivasana (corpse pose) that really relaxed us. Some of us found it very helpful with addressing our anxiety.

We rushed straight from breakfast to Bennett Hall for a play rehearsal. Before we started the rehearsal, Mike L had us do some warm ups. One warm up was to kiss the hand of the person next to us, until everyone in the circle had been kissed. Another was to shout out "Maggie" and then "Thomas!" A funny one was to go around the circle saying "Harry Potter," first in full-on American accents and then to get increasingly British (except Kieran, who tried to sound very American!) Sarah's British accent was quite authentic. The point was to warm up our voices and to not get so anxious. 


We ran through the whole play twice, but the second time, we kept going rather than reworking parts as we went. It was a successful rehearsal, but we'll need to keep practicing to be completely ready! 


After a huge lunch, followed by a much-needed rest period, some groups went to a couple different beaches, while others went to town. Billy, Katie, Olivia Peanut, Ben R, Anna an Eva went to Surfside beach and discovered an ice cream stand! Sand sprinkled ice cream cones, anyone? 

We had a delicious dinner thanks to Jamie’s parents! After dinner Josh and Thomas told the story of going to a nude beach. They met another nude bather who was really interested in learning more about the Tulgey Wood and said he'd love to come to the play.  

Aaron, who joined us today and is playing clarinet for the play, told a story. When he was a kid, his mom would say, "We need to go do some errands." Since "errands" sounded like "Aaron"  he always wanted to go run errands with his mom because he thought they would do whatever he wanted to do. He was disappointed when they did boring shopping for the house, but it took him a long time to realize that was what happened on "errands." 

Peggy gave Jamie a make-up bag with nail polish and tissues for being a wonderful friend. She also gave Jamie’s parents a crochet coaster for drinks in the kitchen that she had been working on all summer long. The after-dinner play practice was a success as we did two rehearsals and Rachel figured out what everyone was going to wear for costumes.

We can’t wait to see our friends at 2pm at Bennett Hall. We are all very excited for putting this funny play on for you!

Saturday, August 18

We had a much needed sleep and to start Saturday morning off right, we had a relaxing yoga session, thanks again to Sally. Then we had breakfast and Elinor told a truly Tulgey Magic story of the guy who gives us fire wood.  She had been trying for a week and a half to reach him by phone, but was unable to. This morning, she looked up his address in the phone book and then located it on the map and was preparing to drive there. Just as she headed for the stairs, she noticed a man standing on the stairs. It was Dave Renner, our wood and sawdust angel! Elinor plans on firing all of the pottery and having a big camp fire Saturday night after the play, which is why she needs the wood and why it's so wonderful Dave showed up! 


Following our final rehearsal, it was finally time for the play. We got in our costumes and admired each other's beauty. Mike gave us a great pep talk and we were ready to go on!

The play was a great success and everyone had fun! Mike H gave an introduction to Tulgey Wood and gave a dedication to Bobby Bird, an important part of our community who passed away earlier this year. While thanking the Steamship Authority for bringing us to camp on the fast ferry (which is their incredibly generous donation) Jan said that we were on Martha's Vineyard. Oops!

The audience loved our play and laughed throughout. It was great that the cast from the Footloose play was there. The audience especially loved Becky’s facial expression when she took a bite of the pancakes and said they were delicious. (Insider's secret -- the pancake she ate a bite of was incredibly dry and plain, not at all worthy of Chef Pierre's restaurant, and really not delicious! However, Becky is a consummate actress and delivered her line perfectly!) We will soon have the raw footage from one movie camera so you can see the play on our blog and on our website, and then we hope to have a professionally edited version available. 

Most of the audience came down to the stage to dance with us. One of the Tulgey Wood supporters gave Becky a necklace because she did a fantastic job! After the play we socialized with people. It was wonderful to see so many of our friends at the play, and a special treat to see Gillian, our founder and former director. Katie’s and Jamie’s parents organized delicious refreshments to serve to the whole audience. (Thank you, Ann, John, Jim and Tracey!) and had our group picture taken outside of the theater.


Some people went to the beach after the play while others hung out at the house and rested and another group picked up pizzas for dinner. People shared their highlights of the play and Mike L and Isabel told how they came up with the idea for the play. They said there’s a diner actually called Breakfast at Tiffany’s in Sharpsville, PA. They got the idea of the play by combining the movies “Waitress” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. Joan, who owns the wedding house where we are staying, has a vision that one day Tulgey Wood and other groups could have our own land and camp on Nantucket. After dinner we had a campfire and wrote notes dedicated to Bobby and then we threw the notes in the fire to remember him. It was good spend some time dedicated to remembering Bobby, and then to eat s'mores before ending this incredible day. 


Days 6 and 7

Wednesday was another packed and wonderful day at Tulgey Wood! 

Josh's day started while most of us were still sleeping. "I went to the dump, threw the trash away. Then I had donuts with Mike. Then after breakfast I got to go on a boat and I got a hat."

A group of 9 people went out to breakfast at Downy Flakes, while the rest of us ate breakfast here. It rained on and off all morning, but cleared up by the time we finished with contributions and music class. Josh, Thomas, Mike, Meg and Akeira went out for their boat trip, and got back in time to join art and drama classes. Meg said, "It was so relaxing and thrilling at the same time. I love when the boat goes fast and goes over the bumpy waves and my hair blows wildly in the wind. We couldn’t go to the island we normally go to because of the rough waters."

Peter said, "First thing this morning we practiced our songs for the play. That was beautiful. I enjoyed myself. Monik helped me learn the words." 

We have to let our pottery dry before it gets fired, so in her art class, Elinor taught us to tie-dye. Many of us made multi-colored shirts using white shirts Elinor brought with her. We tied strings and wrapped rubber bands around sections of the shirts, in the front, back, top, bottom, and sleeves. Then we dunked the shirts in water, and followed that by dunking portions of them in dye. When Elinor opened up all the ties and hung them to dry, we were happily surprised by how beautiful they came out. Lots of people had stained hands after tie-dying. 

In the afternoon, we had a scavenger hunt downtown. Some of the tasks were: going to the library to read a book on whales, taking a picture of someone wearing Nantucket red or white pants, getting into a boat or car, finding expensive art or jewelry, asking someone out on a date and asking for their number. Also, we could sing a thirty second made-up Nantucket song, convince someone they are on Martha's Vineyard, take a picture with a statue and a cute dog and ask people to pronounce Tulgey Wood.

We had to find the most expensive item we could. Rebecca found (and tried on) a diamond ring that cost $325,000. Maggie's team saw a statue outside an art gallery that cost $475,000, and Steve found a ring for $4,000. (You think that's expensive?!) Meg's team's original song started, "There once was a man who lived on Nantucket, he had a boyfriend whose name was Steve Kutasz..." 

We gave out brochures and flyers, with hopes that some of the people we met will come to our play. The scavenger hunt was really fun and everyone had memorable moments, but we haven't found out who won yet, because we are so busy with play practice.


Speaking of the play, after dinner, we read through the whole play for the first time. It sounds pretty funny! A new song “Home” was introduced. 


We were so happy to be invited to return to the Whaling Museum for tours with Susan Berman and Karen McNab. Some people stayed back to practice lines, prepare a picnic and do breakfast chores, but the rest of us were delighted to go through the museum. We learned that the language spoken by the Wampanoags was "Massachusett." We were told that the harpoons didn't actually hurt the whales; they feel like a bee sting, but even a bee sting is annoying, and the whales moved around a lot to get away from that feeling. We saw a big iron harpoon that was all twisted up like a corkscrew from the whale trying to get away. 

We visited the Maria Mitchell room. For those of you that don't know Maria Mitchell, she is famous for finding a comet which was eventually named after her. We learned that all the people on Nantucket were Quakers. If people weren't Quakers, they pretended they were, otherwise they wouldn't have jobs. They wore black and white clothing and didn't wear jewelry because they couldn't show off their wealth, even if they were rich. Maria's father was a banker well known in the town. When a Quaker official came to him to tell him to take the piano out of his house, he pointed out that he controlled all the banking in the town and if he wanted his children to learn piano, he was not going to be persuaded to stop. He kept the piano! 

Katie especially liked the photo booth part and seeing interesting things. She said, "The tour itself was good as well."


Many of us walked up the hill to Bennett Hall for play practice - our first in the theater. Mike L said we did well and that we're in good shape to learn everything we need to learn by Saturday.

Many of us went back to camp to rest and have yoga (thanks, Sherri!) after play practice. A small group of motivated beach lovers went swimming. Josh told us, and showed us with his hands that Mike H dunked him under the water. 


Dinner was a lovely cookout (thanks to Francis, John O and Ann!) with our tables out on the lawn and the sound of birds and airplanes as background music. Cookout night is many people's favorite. As dark began to fall, we cleaned up and headed to the living room for another round of play practice!




Days 4 and 5

Meg wrote: Day 4 got off to a great start. Everyone knows the song, “Uptown Girl" pretty well by now. After working on the musical, we broke into different groups. Our activities included singing, working on the play, making pottery, doing a print making project, or taking a walk.

We also had a special guest in the morning. Her name is Gabriella. She loves to sing and she looked cute in her pink outfit with her stylish purple glasses! We hope she'll come back other days!

Another highlight of the morning was Luke playing the drums. He’s been playing for many years and he’s incredible!!  Luke said he's happy to teach anyone who would like to learn to drum.


The morning became a bit eventful because a bee colony had to be relocated from the side of the house! Meg described her experience with the bees: "What was interesting was I saw a Queen Bee that the beekeeper, Zack, captured. He’s been doing this for 6 years and takes the bees he captures to his bee farm. He said the Queen Bee produces between 1,500-2,000 eggs a day. I was surprised his suit is only made out of cotton and that he gets stung all the time and it doesn’t faze him. He’s not even afraid of becoming allergic because a person’s body can change and become allergic to something every seven years."

After lunch, many people told stories about their mornings. Candy told us about making a turtle out of clay during art. She hopes "it won't get busted when she takes it home." 

Not everyone was around the house in the morning because some people went on boat rides with Chris Shannon. The first boating group was Ben, Ben, Billy, Jack, Kieran, and Luke. They said the boat went at a very fast speed. Jack says the seas were very good and he wants to go out again! Everyone also got a new hat from the marina. Thanks, Chris, for the boat rides and the hats!!

Peter, Jamie, Ellen, Steve, Anna and Sean went out with the second boating group. Peter said, "The first part of the water was calm, so nice and relaxing. I was really enjoying myself. Then we started going faster and I got splashed a little, but I still loved it. And that's my whale of a tale." However, they had an unexpected problem that Peter didn't mention. Right when they started picking up speed, the boat stopped, suddenly. After a few moments, they restarted the boat and were going fine, and it stopped again. Finally, the captain figured out that Ellen had hit the kill switch by mistake. After he disabled it, they had a great ride!

The day got even better in the afternoon when we had a dance party at Children's Beach! We also enjoyed a dinner picnic with sandwiches, popcorn, chips, and cookies. Katie said that she enjoyed the dance party because "I loved the playlist and dancing with all my friends, including Jamie!" Big shout out to Rebecca and her crew at the Hungry Minnow for extraordinary facepainting and the popcorn! 

After the dance party, we were all tired so we went home to watch the movie Coco. Everyone loved the movie and all the music in it. 

Day 5 - Tuesday

Definitely one of the Best Camp Days Ever! In the morning, we visited the Life Saving Museum for the first time. We learned a lot there. The museum featured 700 shipwrecks that had occurred over several centuries. It was their 50th anniversary. About 200 - 300 ships used the channels near Nantucket to transport cargo. Some of the boats carried wine, coal, cotton and lumber. Surrounding Nantucket there are many dangerous shoals, and it was very challenging for the ships to avoid them, especially during winter storms, which are much worse than summer storms, it turns out. So many boats floundered on the shores and shoals that the people of Nantucket volunteered to keep watch and try to save people from boats in trouble. After many years, things got more professional, and it finally became a government job. The life savers worked long hours, sometimes days, to save the lives of people on the wrecked boats, and they saved as many people as they could, but sometimes, some people died, including rescuers and shipwrecked sailors and families. 

We went straight from the museum to a beach we've never visited before, Quidnet Beach. Some people went swimming. Meg found it very relaxing and pretty to sit on the beach and look out at the water. Josh and Thomas got buried in the sand from toes to necks. As a very special treat, we ordered pizzas for lunch! 

Adama, Grace, Rebecca, Peanut, Talia, Monik, and Eva went boating instead of going to the museum. They all loved the excursion and jumped off the boat and swam in the ocean. They tried to meet the group at the beach, but got very lost on the way! They still had a few minutes to enjoy the water and some pizza, however.

This afternoon, we had our sing-along at Siasconset Union Chapel. Meg always looks forward to Bob Lehman and Susan Berman, with Ray Saunders, singing with us. There were too many songs to name, but Meg especially loved John Denver's "Country Roads." She also really loves a song that Susan shared, written by David Roth, "My Voice Matters." The chorus for that song is really powerful and many of us could relate to it: "My voice matters, my voice counts. Get to know what I am all about, No more labels, fears or doubts. My voice matters, my voice counts."

Old and new friends joined us for a lively, enthusiastic, melodic afternoon, perfectly punctuated by Luke's tambourine playing and accompanied by Monik on piano for several selections. For the final song, we practiced "Uptown Girl." We hope lots of people will be at the play on Saturday at Bennett Hall (2pm!) to hear it in the context of "Breakfast at Tiffany's, too."

We were invited to a "picnic" after the sing-along at the Casino next door to the Chapel. A casino is a meeting place where people gather for social events - not necessarily always gambling, like most people would think. We were struck again by how nice and accepting the Siasconset Chapel Outreach group is. The food was yummy and plentiful, we greatly enjoyed the company, and we left just in time to see a bit of sunset. 

It was cool that when we got back from Siasconset we had another mini dance party here. We heard the Justin Timberlake song, "I've got this feeling" and "Thriller." Some people had their glo-sticks and we danced in the dark. 

We followed up the second dance party with a group bonfire where we talked and watched the stars. Katie said that she loved the bonfire because everyone was together and enjoying each other's company. We are all excited for more camp days and bonfire nights!