June 2018 Newsletter

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Events 2018

  • Tulgey Wood Begins August 10th
  • Sing-a-long
    August 14th, 4pm
    Siasconset Union Chapel
  • Tulgey Wood Musical
    August 18th, 2pm
    Bennett Hall
  • Tulgey Wood Ends
    August  18th

Dear Tulgey Wood Community,

In August 2017, we finished our first summer with new directors. We owe so much of our success to all of you!

Many of you reached out to us with incredible generosity and warmth! Our Nantucket friends embraced us more than ever.

You helped us raise $27,000 this past year. We used your donations to pay for food, transportation costs, rent, costumes for our musical, and insurance. Your donations get us to and around Nantucket, keep us well fed and safe.

Your gifts in-kind added up $25,000 worth of discounts, reduced rent, donated dinners, use of vehicles, theatre space, bike and boat rides, yoga lessons and more. Because of your donations, our Tulgey Wood community enjoys exciting activities and new glimpses of Nantucket every day of camp.

Last summer we were a big group of 37 energetic, creative, talented and outgoing folks with and without disabilities crammed into the rental house and sleeping in a tent on the porch. Our original musical, “Na Na Land,” our sing-along, our pottery, our story-telling after meals and our dancing was all the best ever!

No one gets paid to be a part of Tulgey Wood and this year we are officially eliminating any requirement to pay to be a part of Tulgey Wood. All of you and all of us donate what we can, because we all value our community. Camp works because of everyone’s generosity!

We could not have done this without your support. We thank you and look forward to another summer!

Sincerely,
Jan and Mike

P.S. Thank you Jamie Kelleher for designing our new logo at the top of the page!

New Developments

We have big organizational news! After 12 great years as a program of the Katie Johnson Fellowship, we have been successfully ‘spun off’. The intent of the Katie Johnson Fellowship is to launch camps like Tulgey Wood and let them start their own organizations. We leave Gillian Butchman’s organization with lots of love and as close friends. We feel confident that we can thrive independently with your support.

This spring, Tulgey Wood became its own 501(c)(3) nonprofit! The process was complicated but surprisingly fast. We secured IRS approval about two months after deciding to take steps to become an independent nonprofit. For this year, Tulgey Wood will partner with the Community Foundation for Nantucket which will process donations for us. The Community Foundation for Nantucket is a trusted organization on Nantucket that will help us reach new people.

We are also excited to announce that John O’Reilly has joined us as a board member on Tulgey Wood’s founding board of Jan, Mike, and John. John is the father of Katie who has been a part of Tulgey Wood for the past several years. The whole O’Reilly family has been exceptionally supportive of Tulgey Wood over the years. We can already tell that John is a valuable partner.

 Jack making 'whaling' and Monik astounded

Jack making 'whaling' and Monik astounded

An Anecdote from Last Summer

Peter was playing a famous actor for our whaling musical. He tried out a part where he would make whale noises in an audition. Peter tried a few times and found that he didn’t care that much for the part.One of our favorite moments of the was in a play rehearsal.

“Why don’t you give this part to Jack?” Peter suggested.

There was a moment of stunned silence – Peter doesn’t give up roles easily – and everyone knew that Peter was 100% right. Jack would be the perfect whale actor.

Peter’s suggestion set up one of the best jokes of the musical:

Jack rolls onstage with his irritated co-star, Monik, as Jack earnestly whales “Oooooh, ooooooooooh!"

Monik yells, “I can’t take it anymore. He won’t stop making whale noises!”

“But he’s a method actor!” responds the surprised director.

 Carley, Candy, Kellen, Grace, Talia, Katie, and Jamie dancing to “Shake It Off” in the original musical “Na Na Land”

Carley, Candy, Kellen, Grace, Talia, Katie, and Jamie dancing to “Shake It Off” in the original musical “Na Na Land”

Take a look at our new mission statement:

The mission of Tulgey Wood is to create integrated community for people with and without disabilities to live, create, play and adventure together.

No one gets paid to be a part of Tulgey Wood and this year we are officially eliminating any requirement to pay to be a part of Tulgey Wood. All of you and all of us donate what we can, because we all value our community. Camp works because of everyone’s generosity!

Tulgey 2017: Day 9, 10 and 11

Saturday, August 19 - "NA NA LAND"

Thanks to Meg for writing today's post!

What an amazing play performance we had! All that practice we had all week and all day today paid off! Everyone did a wonderful job. We loved getting dressed in the dressing room and having our makeup put on. That made it feel like a real performance!

A big thank you to everyone who made it all possible, especially the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, and thanks to our friends and family and the majority of the Mama Mia cast who came to watch us! We would also like to thank Gillian (the founder and former camp director) for coming. It meant a lot to us! Gillian and our friends will always be a part of the Tulgey Wood community.

We all had a lot of fun and we hope to keep a new tradition going of performing in a theater every year. Thanks to Gary Langley, we have tons of pictures to share here -- and hopefully, we'll soon have a link up to the play itself!

After the play, our supporters joined us for light refreshments and congratulated us on our performance and had a group photo of us taken in front of the theater.

Then a group of us went to pick up the yummy pizza for dinner which was a big hit! Thanks so much to Maria of Pi Pizza who donated them.

After dinner, we proceeded outside for a camp fire and had s'mores and sang along to songs. It was a lot of fun but people retired early to bed as it had been a very long day filled with excitement!

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Tomorrow is our last full day of camp and we can't wait to find out what is in store for us!

Meg

Sunday, August 20 - Last full day of camp!

Once again, thanks to Meg for today's blog post!

The morning of our last full day of camp, we woke up to the aroma of freshly baked bagels for breakfast (thanks, Harry!!!)  and then we cleaned up the house to make it easier to close up camp after many of us leave on the ferry back tomorrow morning.

After cleaning, we set out on a scavenger hunt, starting and ending at Children's Beach. We walked around town to find as many clues as we could from a long list: we had to take pictures or video record them to prove we had found them. We had an hour and a half to do as many as possible.

Some of clues were: find someone wearing Nantucket reds; find someone wearing white pants with a red belt, which it turns out no one does!; ask a stranger to marry you; ask someone to pronounce Tulgey Wood; find a store with some merchandise you can hold priced over $5,000; board a boat . . .

The teams all named themselves. When Team "Kieran's Whalers," which included Meg, asked a stranger to insult Martha's Vineyard (another item on the scavenger hunt list,)the woman said, "God created Martha's Vineyard, but lives on Nantucket."  Steve got married to a stranger and Cameron wore two eye patches! Kieran's Whalers had a little adventure getting Cameron, Steve and Meg onto a boat (one of the harder challenges on the hunt!) because there was a big gap between the dock and the boat. They got on the boat in one minute and 30 seconds! What a record! The man who allowed them to get on his boat gave us a $40 dollar donation, which was so nice! Then, when that team was heading back to Children's Beach, Sean was giving Steve a piggy back ride and he fell backwards and scrapped his knee and back, so Mike L. got a taxi cab and spent $18 of the $40 donation. Man, a taxi is expensive on Nantucket! The good news is the team made back just in time for the hunt deadline.

Every team had adventures to share. Team "Shabooya Ole Fahts" was pretty tired after a lot of walking on uneven cobblestones in the sun and had just decided to take a break and drink some iced tea, even if it meant being late for the finish line, when a gentleman sat next to Rebecca and asked what they were doing. Rachel said they were doing a scavenger hunt and mentioned that they still needed to propose marriage to a stranger. He was instantly game, and when Rebecca asked him to marry her, he answered earnestly, "I know we've just met but I'm already in love with you! Of course I'll marry you!" Then he kissed her on the cheek. That gave their team the energy they needed to rally and hurry back to Children's Beach just in time for the deadline.

Team "Winfographics" took some excellent video of Peter's chair bumping over the cobblestones, which Peter thought might make him sick to his stomach, and found a ship model made of whale bone and priced at $60,000. It was behind glass, making it hard to hold in hand and therefore questionable whether or not it counted toward the challenge, but it was a great find!

Team "Yogis," the eventual winners, as it turned out, accomplished many items on the list. Candy cut right to the chase when it came to the proposal, just saying to the young man (who also had a beard, so that took care of an additional challenge item) the team hailed from across the street, "Marriage?" And without skipping a beat, he answered, "Marriage? Yes!" They were the only other team to board a boat, and their boat of choice had a ramp, so that made it a pretty manageable option. The team asked many of the people wearing white pants if they happened to also be wearing a red belt, but none were. With the hope of winning high in his mind, Harry finally bought a red belt and the team was easily able to coax a passerby to put it on and have her picture taken.

Every team had a great time and did a great job! What a fun way to meet new people on Nantucket. As someone said afterwords, if you tell someone you're doing a scavenger hunt, they'll do just about anything to help you! Thank you Harry for coming up with this idea and  Jamie for making it work so well!

After the scavenger hunt, we had lunch made for us by the Hungry Minnow restaurant on Children's Beach, which was very generous! The owner, Rebecca, had met us at the Whaling Museum last year and kindly offered to give us lunch at the beach this year. Quesadillas, hot dogs, chips and popcorn made a fun meal before we took a swim or went back to camp to rest.

We were all entertained by a folk band after we returned from the beach and then watched a video of our play performance. It was fun to watch!

Then we had a Mexican casserole for dinner and ice cream for desert and said our good byes and how much we loved camp!

This is a piece of those goodbyes. Candy loved the boat ride and the play. Jamie loved watching Peggy and Grace interact with each other. Grace loved the s'mores and the beach and the food. Olivia was very appreciative of being a part of Tulgey Wood. Cameron indicated that he loved hanging out with Sean and got Sean to sing and dance to a Taylor Swift song.

Peter was proud to learn his lines for the play and loved the scavenger hunt. Will said he'd learned a lot about kindness, patience and friendship from Peter. Rebecca said, "I would like to thank all my friends that made my summer special for me!" Ellen sang "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean." Mike L. said that one sign of a really amazing camp is when cleaning the dishes makes him want to cry. Monik loved the music and doing the play and getting to know everyone at camp. Steve said, "When I found out that Gillian wouldn't be here anymore, I had second thoughts about coming, but I found out that you had it in you to make a great camp."

Katie said, "I love this camp. I want to come back next year. I like the Boston Pops Concert and the boat ride. I'll miss Jamie. She's become a good friend to me." Ben said, "I loved that I got to spend time with this incredible man (Bobby). He has so much joy and humor in every moment in his life!" Sean said, "From the first day I met Jack, he showed me so much love, because he knew my dad and my brother already. Now I've gotten to know Cameron and I look forward to having a long relationship with him, too!" Jack said, "This is a good team and I hope to see you all next year!"

Carley said, "All of you have a way of helping me open my heart more than I thought was possible. I'm grateful to be a party of this community!" Francis said, "The community of acceptance has been important to me as a new person. I've learned a lot from the things I've done her, whether they came out right or wrong, and it is helping me be a better person." Eleanor said it was a good summer, and she is so proud of all of us.

We were all sad but can't wait again for next year!"

Meg

Monday, August 21 - Leaving Day

Nobody's favorite day. . .

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We love you! Hope to see and hear from you all soon!

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Tulgey 2017: Day 7 and 8

Thursday, August 17 Thanks to Mara for writing the Museum portion of our blog today!

We had a blast at the Whaling Museum today! Our good friend Susan (who led our sing-along on Tuesday eve) treated the entire group to a private tour and exploration of artifacts. We learned the origins of "Thar she blows" and the intricate details of the whale hunt.

We then broke into two groups. One group went on a guided tour of the museum and the other group got to touch and learn about many things including a whale tooth, spears and whale bones! On the guided tour Adama was particularly excited to learn about the healing powers of whale oil of which the museum has in large glass bottles on display...this of course is no longer used due to the importance of not harming or killing whales in this day and age.

We also learned about the bonds that the whalers made with the people living in the Pacific Islands and how they would often-times come back with tattoos given to them by the islanders. We wrapped up the tour by having fun in the photo booth where we able to choose our backgrounds and imagine ourselves in whaling times. We are very thankful to the whaling museum for providing such a interactive experience!!

Peter spoke about the trip after dinner. He said, "I've been there many a time and I love it. We talked about the harpoon and I touched one. It was big and pointy. We also talked about scrimshaw and blubber perfume. It smelled okay."

After the trip to the museum, we had a full run-through of the play at the theater. Thank you to the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket  and Sarah for opening the stage up to us today and tomorrow! It was really different to work in that space - there were several curtained exit doors and an actual backstage, so we had to learn where and when to enter and exit. Mike L., Monik, Rachel and Nat G. are collaborating so wonderfully to create, revise, choreograph, figure out lighting cues -- it's a huge leap from the back portion of the living room!

Meg wrote the rest of today's blog:

After the whaling museum, while we ate lunch, the people who set up the Boston Pops concert came by and gave us Boston Pops t-shirts. Everyone was excited about that since we all love the Pops! We would like to shout out a big thank you!

Later in the afternoon, a small group of us went on the last boat ride and the rest of the group one group went to enjoy the beach and the waves at Madaket Beach.  It was a gorgeous sunny day to do both activities. The boat ride was thrilling because there were a lot of waves and it felt like we were on a roller coaster ride. We also got a chance to see the boats at the dock being fork lifted up into their holding station. You don't get to see that every day. The boating group joined up with the rest of the group at the beach.

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It fun day at the beach also because there were a lot of waves, and it may be extra good luck that we were there that day. You'll see why!

Harry was standing next to Sarah and life-guarding us and he noticed that some kid, not part of our group, was struggling in the waves. He started to go over and see if his help was needed, when a man went rushing past him, leapt into the water, and scooped the kid from the water. Harry was sure it was the kid's dad, but that man was Kieran! Yay Kieran! Harry went back to Sarah, who was up to her knees in wavy water, and was getting pulled in. Harry held her hands and started pulling her back when suddenly Kieran leapt from behind and lifted her up! Next thing you know, we'll have to get him a mask and a cape!

One group took a sidetrip on the way back from the beach to hand out fliers.  In some locations, people were very open to taking a flier and discussing the upcoming play, but in town, people were less interested. Peter and Steve started feeling a little sad that we weren't able to spread the word as much as we would have liked, but then Steve stuck a flyer out the window up and lightened the mood with, "Hey Mr. Stop Sign!  Do you want a flyer to our play?"

Dinner was a special affair. We had a barbecue cookout with a few island friends and jammed to some music. We had quite a few guests, and some guest grill masters . It was so nice to share a meal and to share our story telling tradition. Thanks for the yummy food and great company!

After dinner we had a very productive play practice, but everyone couldn't wait to go to bed after a long day. We have to get rested up for another big day of rehearsal.

Friday, August 18

We have Meg to thank for most of today's blog as well!

The day started with a quick but delicious breakfast of eggs and veggies and an even quicker clean up so we could run through the show a couple of times at the theater. We came back for lunch and rest and then went in many different directions.  Some of us stayed here to work on props for the play. Some people did print making with Eleanor. And some went into town to have ice cream and hand out the remaining fliers about our play. Some people said that they already heard about it and said they are coming!

We had such a successful final dress rehearsal the night before the play. Everyone worked so well and did their best and had fun! We are so excited about performing in an actual live theatre! In years past, we performed at the house we stay at (the big wedding house) on Nantucket so it's going to be a nice change to be in a theatre.

Thanks to the people at the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket who made this dream come true! Performing in a theater makes acting in a play seem more like a real performance!

We hope to see you there! We have a real treat in in store for you!

Tulgey 2017: Day 5 and 6

Tuesday, August 15

Today's  and Tomorrow's Blogger is Meg!

We had a quiet and relaxing start to our fifth day of camp. It's always a great way to begin with yoga from being stiff when we first get up. Yoga is also a great way to clear our minds of clouded thoughts and getting focused for the day.

After yoga, we had a delicious pancake breakfast (thanks Frances!) to get us fully energized for music. We all did an fantastic job with practicing and remembering music and our lines for the play coming up on Saturday, August 19th. We are so excited about it and hope to see you there!  (2pm, Bennett Hall)

Some of us did pottery and two small groups went for boat rides.

 
 
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Later this evening, we are gearing up for a fun sing-along and a picnic at one of the local churches on beautiful Nantucket. Hopefully the rain will stop. We haven't had the greatest weather since we've arrived, but that doesn't stop us from having fun! We just love being able to get away and get together with our friends.

The sing-a-long at the Siasconset Union Chapel was a a smashing hit. Some of the songs we sang were: "This Land is Your Land", "Blow the Man Down", "Take Me Home" by John Denver, "You Make My Dreams come True" by Hall & Oates. The crowd seemed to enjoy themselves have a good time but they seemed to really get into the Hall and Oates song which is a sneak peek of our play.

Meg loved the song, "My Voice Matters". She loved the song because it gives a powerful message that every person counts in this world and we all have something great and special to offer that we can all benefit and learn from.

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After the sing-a-long, the Tulgey Wood gang had their picture taken and had a scrumptious dinner at the casino down the street, provided by the incredibly generous church congregation. Thank you so much for having us for dinner and for sharing our meal time/story time tradition! And thank you to Deb and Gary for photographing the event!

After we got back from dinner, we all had a successful night of play practice! Everyone has a lot of rehearsing to do.The play is going to be great!

A few pictures of rehearsal won't give too much away:

Then off to bed we went, definitely excited knowing we are going to the musical "Mama Mia" tomorrow night!

Meg

Wednesday, August 16

We had an energetic morning filled with music  and practice for the play and a drumming circle with our friend Gary. From the sound of it, we could have a lot more sessions. The drumming sounded wonderful and nobody missed a beat! Besides yoga, music is also a great way to relax and get focused for the day. It helps us get into a great mood and be in a happy state of mind.

After an early lunch, we did a run through of the play and everyone did a great job! It's okay if people make mistakes with their lines or singing. What's most important is to feel good and proud of yourself about being part of a production and having fun!

Then we had a much needed nap  after doing such a great job with rehearsal. And I'm excited to report that we have an extended relaxation period with more yoga. Yoga is very relaxing with breathing, stretching and meditation exercises. People should definitely try yoga if they haven't tried it already.

After yoga we had a early dinner to see the popular musical hit of Mama Mia which we all been very excited to see!

The musical Mama Mia was a smashing hit at Bennett Hall tonight! Katie, Grace and Meg knew all the songs and were singing along and dancing to every song. Candy and Jackie were also dancing along and cheering in the front row. The actress who played the mother played the mother on Broadway. Some of us have seen it already on Broadway, but loved it just as much! Everyone had a great time! Meg loved sitting literally two inches from the stage and seeing the guys up close in their swim suits! The entire play was fun to watch! Bobby and Adama were enthusiastic throughout as well and sang heartily for the final three songs. A big thank you goes out to the folks at Theatre Workshop of Nantucket who donated the tickets for us. We are extremely thankful and lucky to have seen this production.

Rachel asked Rebecca, "How did you like the play?" Rebecca answered, "It's great! Ours is better!"

Peter told an actress that he loved her performance, and that she was the best in the show. He asked her for a signed photograph of herself. She was pleased and said, "Yes, of course, no one ever asked for one before!"

As we we were waiting to get loaded back into the cars to head back to camp, the cast mentioned to us that they will be coming to our play on Saturday. That would be incredible for them come because we love anybody who wants to support Tulgey Wood!

We printed really cool postcards to help publicize our play. Many people looked at the final version before printing it 250 times. When Steve helped Mike pick them up, he glanced at them and asked, "What's April 19th?" Yikes! It was supposed to say August, not April! Steve was amazed. "I can't believe I caught that! I can't even read!"

Now off to bed getting rested up for the Whaling Museum and another big day of play rehearsal tomorrow!

Meg

Tulgey 2017: Day 3 and 4

Sunday - August 13 After a huge feast for breakfast, we split into three groups of about 12 people each and had a wonderful time at three different churches. This was a new way to approach Sunday morning, and we loved it, despite the logistical challenge of getting around without a big van!

Then it was off to the beach for a surprisingly sunny and blue-skied day of swimming, relaxing and biking with the Wheelers, thanks to Joan, Darcy and their crew! All who wanted to take a ride on the Wheeler did (almost everyone did); all who wanted to swim did (almost everyone did!); all who wanted to soak up sunshine did -- does it get any better than that?

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To help out with the Wheelers, it was suggested that we bring a couple of bicycles with us so one person could ride in front and stop traffic and one person could ride in the back to make sure there are no stragglers. We called the Nantucket Bike Shop, a bike rental shop, and asked to borrow two bicycles. They were wonderfully accommodating and loaned us the bikes, no paperwork, no deposit. Happily, we used the bikes and returned them with ease, but unhappily, we also returned one of Darcy's bikes. We have yet to track it down! Big Oops!! Thank you, Darcy, for being so understanding about it!

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After dinner, we heard wonderful stories from Scoobs about an elephant who surprised her in the bathroom in the middle of the night; Joan, who told about meeting Jacques; Francis, who told about swimming with sperm whales; the Siasconset Chapel group about how welcoming the service and community was there and Grace and Mike did a beautiful waltz-style dance to "Dancing Queen."

Since we are creating a play loosely based on "La La Land," we decided to watch the movie. The computer rebelled when asked to play it, so we entertained ourselves with a Tiny Talent Show. Among many other sharings, Carley made squeaky toy noises every time she squeezed Sarah., Adama sang "Shabooya," Bobby did an amazing interpretive dance without musical accompaniment, Mike and Andrew sang a song from their band, "Baeja Vu," Rebecca narrated  a fictitious fight scene between Mike L and Gabe, and Carley sang a jazz tune while Andrew played piano. The collective talent in this group is impressive, to say the least.

We paused the movie at the (spoiler alert) first kiss, and happily went to bed.

Monday - August 14

Do you know any sea shanties? After a wonderful music class, most of us now know "Blow ye winds in the morning, blow ye winds hi ho . . . " and I must say, we sound hearty enough to raise the anchor and set sail on an old time vessel.

Thanks to Chris Shannon of Madaket Marine, two groups have already had a chance to feel the wind in their faces and the slap of the waves against the boat. Kieran, Ellen, Peggy, Meg, Rebecca and Carley took their boating excursion before lunch, and Mike L, Steve, Monik, Grace, Adama and Olivia went after lunch/rest time. Both groups reported having a great time, and enjoying seeing many seabirds, but no seals.

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Snapshots from boating this afternoon: Grace graced us with some whale calls, both of grown up and baby whales. Steve drove the boat some of the time, and tried to convince us when he got back that he crashed the boat. That group hoped to see the rest of us at Jetties Beach, so they rode over their and screamed and yelled at the people on the beach, only to finally realize our group was at a different beach!

It was a cooler, cloudier day at the beach. The water was either freezing or refreshing, depending on your point of view. Everyone played or swam in their own way. Jackie floated in the floating wheel chair.  Bobby and Ben stuck together. Katie demonstrated her strong butterfly stroke and Billy showed his flutter kick.

Andrew said, "Water is a great equalizer. There are lots of people without disabilities who can't swim at all, and people with disabilities who can. Water is a buoyant force so people can stand on their own two feet."

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When we returned to camp, one group worked on a scene in the play and Marjorie led a yoga class before dinner. In yoga we worked on our partner poses and resident yogi Billy Collopy gave a standout performance, mastering the Ardha Chandrasana pose.  Ellen loved the partner stretches, holding hands with a partner to pull back and forth and she also held her body in a beautiful tree shape. We closed our session with chanting and discussing "Om" and "Shanti" and felt one with our mind, bodies, and spirits before having dinner with some guests of our dear friend Susan Berman.

After our wonderful dinner and yummy desert, Susan led us in a sing-along as the fogs rolled in. She is a wonderful singer and song leader, and we had a great time with her and her family.

We had just enough time to finish watching "La La Land" before bed.

So much happens here all throughout the day. Images abound while falling asleep . . .

Tulgey 2017: Day 1 and 2

Friday, August 11 - The start of camp is always one of the best days of the whole year, and this was no exception. The hugs, the shouts of greeting and excitement, the feeling of coming home, even if it's to a home we'll only share for 11 days, could power a trip to the moon, if it worked that way. Most of the group came by boat from Hyannis,  and we thank the Steamship Authority for their generous donation of passenger tickets on the fast ferry. We also thank the friends and families who helped everyone pack and travel. It's a big undertaking and we are grateful for the effort made by so many.

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We were delighted to see old friends Meg, Katie, Peter, Sara, Candy, Rebecca, Steve, Bobby, Grace, Billy, Peggy, Ellen, Cameron and Jack together again, back at Whereowhero Lane, and were especially glad that Bobby could make the trip, as he has recently been ill with pneumonia. We were also delighted that new friends Olivia and Adama have joined us!

After a bit of unpacking and settling in, camp got underway fittingly with a yoga class with Marjorie. We "ohmed" and breathed and worked out kinks while our guest chefs, Kathleen and Blake made a feast for our first night's dinner.

After a truly delicious dinner, including a many-berried cobbler for Sean's 21st birthday, we heard stories from all who wanted to share. There were funny stories, such as Sage's story of falling out of bed, and Kellen's story of a cabin inspection that didn't go too well; warm stories, such as Jack's story of reuniting with Sean and Mike's dad Brian after 25 years, and gross stories, such as Giulia's story of vomit on a ride at an amusement park. Our ambassador, Steve, a natural comedian, started his story about meeting Bernie Sanders while dressed up as Bernie by saying, "Most of you don't know I go to Zeno Mountain Farm," to which Mike responded, "Actually, most of us do know!"

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Some singing in the living room rounded off the evening before it was time for bed, and a wonderful first day of camp came to a close.

Saturday, August 12 - Pops Day

It was not obvious that we would make it to the Pops Concert this year. Several snafus had already made it a "yes" "no" "yes" "no" event on our calendar, but thanks to the Nantucket Cottage Hospital Foundation, we woke up knowing it was a "yes" -- only to see that pouring rain was both in the forecast and outside our windows. Maybe it would clear up?

While watching the rain fall and wondering about the evening event, we were very busy all day long.

In music class, we made great progress on "City of Stars" (Are you shining just for me?) and Monik even said we harmonized! Elinor offered a few small pottery classes, Rachel and Harry led some dance classes, and Mike led a photography class. Using some newly acquired vocabulary about framing the shot, we had a photoshoot, and got some pretty good pictures to choose from for promoting our play next Saturday. (Just in case you don't know, we had better do a little promotion right here! Our play will be our version of "La La Land," adapted for Nantucket as "Na Na Land." Come see it on Saturday, August 19 at 2 pm at the Theatre Workshop's Bennet Hall, next to the Unitarian Church, right in town!)

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After lunch and rest, we worked on some scenes from the play. Scene 1 now has lines!

Just in time, the weather cleared up, and the Pops concert was a "yes" again. Dressed for success at the concert scene, we loaded into every vehicle in the driveway.

Sidenote about vehicles: Our Tulgey van may have made its last journey. Erik Evans at Don Allen Ford had been keeping a good eye on the van, and had checked it out and maintained it in the spring, but the Steering Box Gods are a mischievous bunch, and on Wednesday, the truck didn't pass Erik's inspection. He is, as I write, working like crazy to find a van we can safely use as soon as possible, so at this moment, we can't all fit into the vehicles we brought to camp. I have a feeling we'll be rolling by Monday! Thank you Erik for all you've been doing!!

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Getting to the concert was a story in itself, but for now, it's enough to say that Mike performed magic to get us around, under and through road blocks galore, and by the time the notes of "Star Wars" and "Harry Potter" blared joyfully from the stage, we were all in comfortable seats with picnic dinners and a perfect view of the goings on both on stage and at the catered tables in the center. We thank the folks of the Hospital Foundation and all the officers who helped navigate us through a sea of 8000 people in one tiny parking lot.

The' concert  was fabulous! After the John Williams pieces, the Beach Boys serenaded the audience with familiar and danceable tunes.  We all loved it! Meg danced in her chair, Peter and Candy conducted with their light up sticks, Grace's glee was contagious, Adama and Grace and Katie and even Bobby, who we thought might have wanted a little rest after a busy day, got up to dance.

Bedtime was late and welcome and thus ended a glorious Day 2 of the Fellowship of the Tulgey Wood.

A Thank You to Nantucket for 2016 and a link to our play from 2015

With our first ten years behind us, we want to thank Nantucket for all you've done for us! We couldn't have done it without the friendship, help, love, loans, donations and gifts of so many people and businesses. We know our list could never be complete for ten years worth of thanks, so we say a loud and general thank you to the many people who have helped us over all the years, and offer some more specific thank yous to at least some of the folks who made Summer 2016 not only possible, but wonderful! (Please accept our apologies if we leave you off the list!) Giant thanks to the Steamship Authority, who were enormously generous with passenger tickets on the fast ferry to get us all to and from the island at the start and end of camp!

Giant thanks also to the Hyline, who were also quite generous with tickets for those of us who needed to travel between Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

Giant thanks to our volunteer and always available, helpful and cheerful nurses, Gloria Gasnarez and Jenny Boley!

Giant thanks to Erik Evens and Billy Tornovish at Don Allen Ford  for the loan of a truck to help us make it to the beach with all our gear!

Likewise, giant thanks to Amy Manning for the loan of a truck to help us make it to the beach, etc.!

Giant thanks to the Nantucket Whaling Museum, and especially to Susan Berman and Karen MacNab for tours, sing-alongs and storytelling!

Giant thanks to our yoga teachers, Marjory Trott, Sally Charpie and Sheri Perelman, who brought peace and beauty to yoga classes, whether before breakfast or before dinner!

We offer giant thanks to Darcy Creech, who designed and donated  2016 Tulgey Wood t-shirts for all of us and many of our friends!

Giant thanks to the community of the Unitarian Meeting House, and especially to Linda Simmons and Gary Langley for all they did to embrace and help us, including allowing us the use of the main hall for our concert!

Giant thanks to David Crohan (and his dog, Walker) who traveled to Nantucket and played a beautiful benefit concert for us!

Giant thanks to our friend Bob Lehman for singing at the benefit concert, and for hanging and singing with us throughout camp!

Giant thanks to our new friends at the Union Chapel in Siasconset!  Elizabeth Queally organized a memorable and lovely cookout and long term support that astounds us!

Giant thanks to Chris Shannon from Madaket Marine, who took us out on wonderful boat outings!

Giant thanks to Maria Costanza at Pi Pizza for two amazing and delicious multi-course meals for all of us!

Giant thanks to the folks at Something Natural, who willingly set aside plenty of yummy bread for us to use for sandwiches!

Giant thanks to Kathleen Sanderson for organizing and cooking a delicious dinner for all of us!

A giant thank you to Linda Williams who organized our tickets to the Boston Pops for the past two years - - already a favorite activity for the group!

Giant thanks to Dan Bartlett of Bartlett Farms for our shopping discount on their farm-grown produce and for giving us space to store our van out of the weather over the winter!

A giant thank you to Ed at Nantucket Emissions, who generously examined our van and helped it make it through one more summer.

Giant thanks to Dave Renner who brings us wood every year for our pit firing of our pottery!

Giant thanks to Susan Grey for supplying enthusiasm, costumes and a beach wheelchair!

Giant thanks to the Highway Department for beach wheelchairs, which make all the difference when it comes to getting some of us over the sand and to the water!

Giant thanks to the Lighthouse School for the loan of all of our chairs and tables this year!

We give giant thanks to Francis Dorris for her recruitment help this year!

 

We also heartily thank our kitchen cabinet, a group of talented and dedicated folk who help us all year long in creative planning and organizing. The group includes Jack and Mary Beth Weinhold, who also design and photograph for our brochure and publicity, Jacques and Joan Zimicki who are also our landlords and who help us with reduced rent and loads of energy and connections, and Peter Boynton, without whom we certainly wouldn't have found a way to continue camp for ten years and whose ways of helping have been too numerous to list!

For your entertainment, while you're waiting for the much-anticipated, soon-to-be-available link to the play from 2016, we offer this link to the filmed version of our play from 2015 - our musical version of Ghostbusters! Enjoy!

Day 16 and 17

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I look forward to receiving and adding more photos from Sunday and Monday, but for now, here are a few new additions from earlier days (that just got sent to me now!) and from Saturday afternoon (the play and chat-time with the audience afterwards.)

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Remember the Whaling Museum? Here are some (belated) photos from outside there.

And, an oldie but goodie:

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Sunday, August 21

Jack Weinhold nicely came down the street first thing this morning to take our group photo. The lawn was too sunny for the light to be right, so we posed on the front porch. We are excited to see what he captured!

We had time to almost complete the Callopy Cup - - Bob played against himself, with great results!

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We had a good long beach trip to Jetties Beach, including delicious sandwiches that we brought with us. Meg and AJ went for a beachside luncheon at the restaurant there. It was very relaxing and in many ways, just the right beach for us. It's definitely the most accessible of the beaches we went to this year.

Carley led an incredible yoga class this afternoon before dinner and then we stuffed ourselves on the best pizzas on Nantucket, generously donated by Pi Pizzeria.

After dinner, we said our good-byes. As is our tradition, each person gets time to come to the front of the dining porch and tell us what they loved about camp.

Peanut said goodbye first. "Okay, class, tonight we'll go to sleep and tomorrow we'll go home." Then she invited some friends to come up to the front with her. She told them she loves them and they had a big group hug. She made several other announcements during the evening to tell us that she loves us and will miss us and looks forward to camp this year.

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Aiden said that tomorrow we'd eat breakfast, pack up a big backpack, say goodbye to friends and go home. For his first announcement, he said, "I'll go back to Boston and never be seen at camp again." We all cheered when later, he changed that to, "I'll see you next time!"

Bob Lehman stopped by to say good-bye. He said the concert was great and the play was fabulous and he looks forward to seeing us all next year.

Peter told us that he loved being here this year, that he tried his best, and that he had a great time. He loved being on the beach, loved the two trips to the museum, survived tipping over into the water in his wheelchair, loves us all and wants to come back next year.

Peggy said, "I'm going to miss you all. I hope to see you soon! I'll keep in touch with emails."

Steve, our ambassador, thanked Mike for being a good camp director and Peter for being a good roommate. Then he promised to be on time to camp next year.

Will found it tough to arrive at camp just as we leapt into play mode, but was very appreciative of all the people who jumped in to help him out when he was stressed or overwhelmed. He looks forward to bringing all this greatness into the rest of the year and hopes to come on time to camp next year!

Ben said, "This was my first year. Going into it, I didn't think I could handle it, but I'm glad I got to try. I'm grateful to all of you for making these three weeks so amazing."

Meg said, "It's really hard for me because this is the best part of the year for me. I have friends at home, but they don't feel like true friends. You're like my family and I thank you!"

Carley said, "I'm so happy I ended up at camp. I never want to leave. I  love what I've been doing here. I haven't had an artistic project to work on in years. I love that we've been doing yoga and music every day. I feel on fire here, so happy to share all these special passions with everyone here. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

Grace said she had fun at camp. She said the best part was the s'mores. She also liked kickball and would like to come back next year.

Katie said she had a great time at camp and she'll miss all her friends. She will miss Peter's God Bless America. She liked the concert, the play and the beach, and she appreciated the food here. She also wrote, and asked me to add, "My fav parts of the camp this year was having the cookout yesterday, having rest time, spending time with friends. One memorable thing is the concert and the play."

AJ said he hoped to be cool and start with a quote from his lines in the play, but really, he just wanted to say that he loved camp, even (especially) the people who teased him. He feels lucky to be able to attend two camps and experience so many different things. He was glad to discover that he could survive without eating (much) meat. He appreciated his solid crew. He said, "Thanks to Will and Mike and Monik. Taking care of me every day is a lot of work. I loved the concert and singing with Bob Lehman. I love all of you guys - camp is special to me."

Rebecca said, "I am happy. I enjoy camp, and to the pillows, I say 'bum, bum, bum.'"

Candy said, "I liked the concert, the beach, seeing the fish and I'll see you next year."

Monik said, "I want to thank you all for how fun it was to teach music here. I got to know a lot of people this year because I bounced around a lot. I enjoyed doing the play and the concert. I'm so proud of all of us! Thanks!"

Billy started his goodbye by replaying all his lines from the play, which were programmed into the Minspeak. Then he used the Minspeak to tell us that he really loved the Boston Pops and the play!

Gabe thanked Peter and Steve for the time they all spent together. "It's really tough to go back to reality - we're all feeling that. I love you and hope to see you next year!"

Jamie thanked all the ladies in the suite. She said getting everyone to bed was really difficult, but,  "I loved it; I'll be thinking about camp all year and can't wait for next year."

Rachel said, "I love you guys so much and everyone's worked so hard. It's a beautiful group, you've been so patient and kind and wonderful. Thank you!"

Bob said, "Abuya, acha, abu. Yeah!" Then he brought Will up to the front with him and sang a good-bye blessing.

Talia said, "Thank you for another incredible summer. I had a lot of doubts because of our numbers. I'm just so impressed with everyone. I want to say a huge thank you to Bob and Cameron, and to Peanut - - you've had your best summer ever!"

Best John said, "This is my second summer spending a little time here - there is a magic here. It's a wonderful family. You are so wonderful and gracious and I commend you all."

Cameron came up with Talia and communicated with a few sounds that Talia said meant he loves us and will miss us. Talia said Cameron had a great year at camp and a great day today - he loved getting kicked out of yoga for making too much noise.

Joan came and ate dinner with us and said, "I am struck by how beautiful all the people are here. I am so lucky to get to be here. It's the best and most beautiful thing that happens in the course of the year.

Jackie said that he liked seeing Gabe and Emily get married again. He said the more he comes to camp, the more Gabe feels like his brother. He thanked Gillian and reminded her that next year he would like to visit Martha's Vineyard again.

Gillian said, "This year our numbers were unusual, so things were more like the old times, but people worked together in a wonderful way! I did doubt that the play would work out, but it did - - and one thing's for sure, I never doubted these guys. They can do anything. They learned the words to "Hair" -- as I knew they would!"

Ellen and Mike talked about throwing rocks into the water at the beach and how much she enjoyed the crash and "bonk" noises they made as they entered the water. Ellen said she loved camp and wants to come back next year!

Mike said, "Thank you so much for working so hard - everyone was really amazing! I genuinely love spending time with you; it's a treat and a blessing. It was a hard year, and to get through it, we all had to be our best. AJ, I had a great time with you! Thanks for showing up, being present and being positive!"

Eleanor said, "Sometimes I think I should retire and just stay home and make pots and read books, but then I think about all the fun times I have here, and all the new things I learn here and I think I might have to come back next year, just to keep having a great time with you!"

On that note, we had a five-song dance party, packed and went to bed.

Monday, August 22

The last day. No one's favorite. After so many days of blue skies, it poured in the early morning hours, so we sloshed through puddles  as we loaded the vans. No one's ever very hungry for breakfast on the last morning, so there was soggy cereal left in bowls, and many of our faces looked more than a bit soggy, too.

Billy and AJ flew home, Grace, Aiden, Peggy and Ellen got picked up here, and the rest of the gang went back to America via the fast ferry. (Another huge thank you to the Hyline for our fast ferry passenger tickets - - we took about 20 people over and 10 people back at no charge, thanks to their generosity! What a huge difference that makes to us!)

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Tulgey Wood 2016 has been a remarkable, memorable and wonderful year! There are so many people to thank for their generosity and open arms! We will accumulate their names and add them to this blog, but for now, we all have a lot to do to take down all the bunk beds, pack up our belongings for storage, and clear out of here within 24 hours. Rather than risk an incomplete list, we'll just send out a huge cheer and thank you - but more will follow!

P.S. In our last evening meeting, we discussed the fact that we have accomplished a lot in our first ten years, but we greatly need additional help in order to carry on. If you are someone who would like to contribute organizationally (or financially, of course!) please let us know. Big issues such as improving our transportation (we have an ancient van which received a terrible prognosis from our mechanic and we always have to scramble to have enough additional cars and trucks to use), help with organizing activities, help with fundraising, cooking, recruiting more volunteers to join us and to offer support to our friends with disabilities, help setting up and closing down, and here's a biggie! - help with finding a permanent accessible home are at least some of what we need to be thinking about. We'd love to hear from you, and we invite you to share this blog with others who might want to jump in!

Day 15 and 16

Friday, August 19 How do you get to Whereowhero Lane? "Practice, Practice, Practice" of course!

After yoga with Sally and a quick breakfast, a small group, including Alan, Mike, Steve, Bob, Harry and Aiden, slipped off for final boat trip while the rest of us practiced our songs for the play. We worked on some scenes and had lunch while Rachel, Candy, Rebecca, Cameron and Talia had their final boat trip of the summer. We are enormously appreciative of Chris Shannon at Madaket Marine for his generosity this summer! Thank you!!!

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After lunch, the boaters told us about their outing. They had a wonderful time, and the weather was beautiful: blue waters under sunny and cloudless skies. Alan and Steve spent their whole trip peppering each other with insults (in fun and friendship!) Steve threatened to put Alan in a dog leash, and Alan told him if he did that, he (Alan) would have to bite him. Steve said he was done teasing and was ready to just be nice again. He said he would like to do something to make it up to him. He asked Alan, "What would you like for breakfast? It's on you!" If Alan is lucky, he might just get coffee and a donut in bed -- and not on him. When they joked about jumping off the boat and swimming to shore, Aiden pointed out that there could be sharks and it wouldn't be safe.

After lunch, we skipped rest time in order to try a run-through with all of us present. It was hard, hot work! Luckily, we did it well enough to earn a trip to the beach. The water was cool and lovely and it was even hot enough for Peter to wear his shorts (yay, Peter!) and get some sun on his legs.

Just before dinner, a small group went to Don Allen Ford (the nice folks who loaned us a truck this summer!) to say hello while they were holding a special picnic. Peter and Steve were both happy to have seen old cars and a firetruck close-up, and Steve loved dancing to the live band playing there. Peggy saw her music teacher there and said she hopes to get together with her when camp is over. Ellen was able to show all her friends her new necklace, made with beads she made in pottery. She was excited to share the fact that the beads got cooked in our fire last night.

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After dinner, Will told the story of the sinking of the swan. This beloved swan (an inner-tube we've loved for about a week now) set sail for her most ambitious trip to date, with Will as captain and Mike, Gracie and Steve as crew. They paddled and kicked for a few fathoms, and then, just like on the Essex, they realized they needed to jettison someone in order to survive. Mike threw Will off the swan, so Will, acting as captain of a doomed vessel, cursed it. The swan's air slowly, but ever so surely, began to escape. Steve jumped ship, Mike followed suit, and finally, the only person clinging to the shrinking, thinning, flattening formerly grand swan was Gracie - - who gracefully swam to safety.

Our dress rehearsal went off without too many hitches, so it's hi-ho and off to bed we go!

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Oh - but first, here's the promised view of the assembled and gorgeous pottery:

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Saturday, August 20

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away, (or, maybe just a few days ago!) Gabe wrote us a Star Wars musical production and found a way to include songs from "Hair" and "Aladdin" and even to include a brief encounter with Mary Poppins!  Thanks to Gabe for clever writing and flexible directing, thanks to Mike who kept everything moving forward, thanks to Monik who did an amazing job with the music, and really, thanks to everyone here!! There had been plenty of room for doubt as to whether we could make it work, but because lots of people worked so hard, we learned lines and songs and had costumes, staging, props and just enough gorgeously painted scenery - - we pulled it together and put on a great play!

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After the play, many of our lovely audience, from near and far, stayed to see our rooms and share refreshments with us. Thanks to Sarah, Gloria and Jenny, we had tons of cheese, crackers, veggies, cookies, brownies, and small cakes.

We basked in the happy feeling of accomplishment and completion for the rest of the evening. We had a cookout and re-lived moments from the show. Then, we had a truly special treat! As the twilight turned to night, with Peter officiating, Emily and Gabe got married all over again, right here on the lawn, in their full wedding paraphernalia!

When it was just too dark and chilly to sit outside any longer, we went into the Great Room and watched the show on video. It really did look good! Steve said his favorite part was the standing ovation; Katie liked all of it best, but especially the dancing! We'll get a link up for you to see it for yourself just as soon as we can!

Day 13 and Day 14

August 17 We started the day bright and early with yoga class with Sally.  Quite a few of us have sore muscles, sore backs (not to mention a couple of sore throats - - yoga doesn't help those!) so we are especially grateful to all of our yoga teachers for coming here to share their practice.

After breakfast, the focus was on the play. There were still a few scenes that no one had read through, and the play is in four days! Yikes! When people weren't part of a scene or working on their lines, they were happy to join Elinor for some small print-making classes.

Today's lunch makers Rachel and Anjay were well helped by Audrey, who added all the cheese to the pizza bagels. After lunch, Harry did a fashion show of unclaimed laundry -- and now it's mostly claimed! Before we went to nap time, we were sad to say goodbye to Audrey and Alycia. We hope they'll stay longer next year!

We had hoped to try a new beach today, but Mike checked it out and it was not the right beach for us today, so we went back to Brant Point. We had an amazing day at the beach, and Alan took equally amazing photos, which are posted below!

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Before dinner tonight, Grace gave the "evening reading" - she strummed a guitar and she and Jamie sang "Hair" all the way through.

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Our good Whaling Museum friend Susan came to dinner tonight and gave us the full story of the "Essex." She's an awesome, incredible story teller, and we were completely captivated. It's hard and upsetting to believe that it was real, but we know it was. Thank you, Susan!! (Carley said, If I get rich, I'm not going to get a television, I'm just going to invite story tellers!" Monik said, I felt like I was five years old again, sitting there with my mouth hanging open.")

Afterwards, we used Studio Night to run through most of the parts of the play that we have practiced so far. It was quite a rough run-through, with lots of hilarity, lots of ad-libbing, especially when Aiden repeatedly zoomed around the group on stage during a scene that he wasn't expected in. Sarah wowed us with her "boop boop boops" as R2D2; Grace, as Princess Leia had plenty of fight in her; Bob had his Chewbacca lines down pat; Katie led the dance chorus of "Dance Dance Dance" with energy; and Meg, Mike, Ben, Peter and Billy knew all their lines quite impressively.

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Jamie, Rebecca, Rachel, Grace, Peanut, Mike, Steve and Monik serenaded us with a Rebecca Original song, created today while they were  floating in the pretzel. "I'm stuck in a tube, oh my lord, I don't want to drown, blub, blub, blub . . ."

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Thursday, August 18

Everyone was very busy (as always!) all morning.  We learned some new songs for the play and then had play practice until lunch. After lunch and rest, most of us had a rollicking good game of kickball. There was a very complicated system of scorekeeping, which no one used, and there are no teams, so it's a whole different [kick]ball game!  Lots of people kicked the ball and made it to home base! Katie ran very quickly to the bases and Gabe caught the ball with one hand (which was good, because his other hand was supporting Billy!) AJ pitched for part of the game, but said he doesn't really understand the game. He just has fun!  Mike said, "One thing that makes it fun is that we're not that great at kicking, so there's lots of chances to run from base to base. Occasionally, one of us blocks the person guarding the base to make sure a runner can be declared safe there."

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At the same time, a small group went on a special outing to see Ellen's house. Gillian, Ellen, Jackie, harry, Jackie, Rebecca, Candy and Rachel all enjoyed seeing Ellen's bedroom and the whole house, as well as the snack they shared there.  Jackie said it was a very good group home. He especially liked the water with lemon slices in it. Candy said it was a big house. Rebecca reported on the snack. They also noticed pictures on Ellen's walls of people they recognized: the Tulgey Wood group photo from 2015, Peggy, and Emily were all part of her decor.

More play practice followed. When some of us were off-stage, we got to watch Elinor firing the pots in the barbecue pit outside the house. It was amazing how quickly many of the pots were done. The temperature of the fire raised to 1100 degrees F within forty five minutes, and by applying some different metals and materials such as lemon skin and mango peels, different colors and textures were brought out in the pots. They're spectacular -- I think there will be some pictures  of pots in the next blog.

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Yoga with Marjory (Thank you, Marjory!) preceded dinner, and then we roasted marshmallows for  s'mores on top of the pots that were being fired for longer. Aiden told us a new long story about the adventures of a hat. He is a master storyteller, employing different voices and gestures to illustrate as he talks. Peter said, "He's a really good storyteller!"

We ran through the whole play before bedtime. We had a good time - - and, we have a lot to pull together in the next couple of days. Going to bed, Sarah asked if she could go up on Mike's back, just like Candy goes up on Rachel's back. Mike suggested they just hold hands, but the next thing I saw was Mike sitting down on the bottom step while Sarah climbed happily onto his back.  On the way upstairs, Peggy noticed a cricket on the steps. Aiden took it outside safe and sound. Some people went straight to bed and some others took some time to write a note to send in Aurora's suitcase - - she's leaving for her big trip tomorrow!

 

 

 

Days 11 and 12

Monday, August 15 - CONCERT DAY Today was pretty much all about the concert, from morning 'till night. At breakfast, someone mentioned that it was hard to remember the words to our new concert song, "I have a hat." Mike promptly sang a beautiful solo of the whole song, including the gestures and actions that accompany it! A singing prize to Mike!

We rehearsed at camp and then at church, practicing our songs and our staging with both Bob Lehman and David Crohan. Candy said the rehearsal in the church was good. Rebecca felt otherwise, as her head had been in an unfortunately close encounter with a very heavy lamp. Peter felt the morning was perfect and was quite pleased that he remembered the words to his solo.

After lunch, we had a long rest and plenty of time to beautify for the concert. The men gathered on the side porch for a shaving fest and the women gathered at a table to apply nail polish.

An enormous thank you for dinner to Maria at Pi Pizzeria! We feasted on delicious eggplant parmesan, baked ziti and salad. Such a treat - - and she donated the whole shebang! Thank you, Maria- from all of us, and especially from the cook who didn't have to cook!

After all the rehearsals and preparation, we had  a great time at the concert! It was well-attended and a lot of fun! The church didn't start to fill up until a few minutes before seven, so it was a great relief to see so many friends arrive. David played a Broadway medley and then played some Brahms, and then Bob joined him on several more Broadway songs. And then, it was our turn. There were a couple of parts that could have gone better, but overall, it went really well and the audience gave us a standing ovation! Many thanks our friends at the to the Unitarian Meeting House, to the audience and to Bob and David for such a special evening.

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Tuesday, August 16

This morning was pretty crazy! We were delightfully surprised when Sherry came to teach yoga, but since it had been left off the calendar by mistake, we weren't ready. Mike rang the bell to wake everyone up. Then he split the group into several parts. Ellen, Ben, Cameron, Talia, Katie, Monik, Rachel, Bob, Sarah, Candy, Rebecca and Jan went to yoga in the great room, and Anjay, Billy, Jamie, Mike, Gabe, AJ, Gracie, Peggy, Peter and Steve ate breakfast quickly and jumped into vans to go to the Whaling Museum. Jackie and Harry had awakened before everyone else and grabbed coffee and yogurt parfaits and took them to the beach to enjoy the morning vibe there.

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Candy, Rebecca, Rachel, Bob and Talia went to the Fog Island Cafe for breakfast to celebrate winning their room inspections. They reported that the food was very good (Candy recommends the cheese omelet) and the people at the cafe were very welcoming. After their breakfast, they did a bit of shopping. They found a consignment store where Rebecca scored some bright and glittery rings, which go well with her other fun jewelry.

David needed time to practice for his upcoming Martha's Vineyard concert so we got to have a home concert for the group that remained here. He played the Brahms and Beethoven accompanied by a tape of the cello part. The music that filled the great room was worthy of a concert hall - - hardly a practice as we know it!

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The group that went to the museum got even more out of this second visit than they did last week. They handled the artifacts again, including some whale's teeth with scrimshaw, some baline and some plush toy representations of squid and plankton. Peggy was pleased that she could hand the artifacts on to the next person very carefully. Peter loved smelling the samples and sitting in the rowboat. He also loved going to the roof.

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After lunch and a rest, we crossed our fingers that the predicted storm wouldn't hit Nantucket after all, because we were ready to swim. We went to the ocean beach for the first time this year. The storm stayed away and the water was challenging but wonderful!

Candy said, "In the water, I had fun in the waves and I didn't want to get out." AJ said, "Today we went to the beach and I had a great time in the water. Mike kept asking me if I wanted to ride a wave. I thought sure, that will be so easy. Next thing I know, I'm under water." Mike added, "We kind of rode the waves a little and we got pushed forward and then it washed all over AJ's face." AJ wrapped up with, "I got upset, and then I was laughing. There's always a first time for everything, even an almost drowning."

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Rebecca said, "We went in the water but we couldn't make it because there were a lot of waves. I got knocked over, believe it or not." Rachel added, "Then the water took my flip-flops off your feet, and a nice person on the beach rescued them. Rebecca did great and she never let go of the pretzel tube."

Peanut and Monik were bouncing up and down in the waves, but when they tried to get out, Peanut was running and the wave hit her. She said she laughed so hard she started to miss her mum.

Grace also got hit by a wave and it caught her in the face and filled her mouth with water.

Meg said, "I thought I'd just watch everyone and that was fun, but then Rachel and Talia came over and encouraged me to go in. It's almost like we went surfing today, so if we don't end up going surfing, it's okay. Sometimes you have to push me to do things, but I'm glad I went in - it was totally awesome!"

Jackie stayed home from the beach to rest up and try to get over his cold quickly. He relaxed and watched Catholic TV and then called Allison at Chilmark Chocolates and had a good chat. He hopes to go to the Vineyard in October to see Mary Beth and Allison.

Peggy and Jamie also stayed home and had a restful afternoon. Perhaps they can nip the inevitable camp cold in the bud early.

Tonight at dinner we welcomed Aiden, Alycia and Audrey. Alycia and Jack's joint recitation of "The Jabberwocky" as an evening reading would have made Hellcat proud.

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Aiden acted out and dramatically told a long story about Curious George.

Lots of people told stories, which brought us straight to an early bedtime because tomorrow we have an early yoga class.

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Day 9 and 10

Saturday, August 13 Today is the almost the halfway mark for us at camp this year. Here's how our calendar looks so far - - we fill in the days as we go . . . IMG_3945.JPG

Kim arrived last night and became Ellen's roommate for the weekend - although we already wish she could stay longer. Ellen, a light sleeper, awoke and dressed early when Kim got up. Kim is never one to waste any opportunity to get to know someone and see if she can help them communicate better, so she and Ellen grabbed coffees in the kitchen and sat down with Kim's Minspeak tablet. Ellen had a lot to say, and the Minspeak was useful, but not perfect. After breakfast, Kim made Ellen a pacing board, a low-tech way to help us all slow down as we speak with Ellen so that what we say is more comprehensible, and to give Ellen a chance to be clear in her response.

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We are going to be in such good shape for the concert! (Is it bad luck to say that?) We spent the morning doing pottery and working on the play, but we also squeezed in several music practices, two (two!) with Bob Lehman, our wonderful singing Nantucket friend who will be featured with David Crohan on Monday at the concert. We also had time to see and hear about camp so far as reported on this blog! Rachel read the whole blog to everyone who had some free time. Most people hadn't seen it yet, but now maybe there will be more authors to help it happen.

While working on a scene for the play, (Warning: possible spoiler alert!) Meg, Candy and Rachel had to practice dying. IMG_3946.JPG

Almost everyone has really been getting into pottery! We only can work on new things for another couple of days and then it's time to get them fired.

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We were sad to say good-bye to Lily and Mady today, and excited to say hello to Cameron! We had hoped Mady would be able to stay almost until the end, but her knee had other plans. Get better soon, Mady, and come back next year! We knew Lily only had a one week vacation, but we miss her, too! Hopefully, she can come back next year, too! She wrote a sweet letter to Billy to say goodbye.

Because we were invited to go to the Boston Pops concert (The Event of the Summer on Nantucket!) we rearranged our day and had dinner in the afternoon and brought sandwiches to the beach in the evening. When Mike said there was time for a long rest and  a shower following our afternoon dinner, we cheered. We squeezed in our second practice with Bob Lehman and piled into four vehicles to go to the Pops.

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Sunday, August 14

The Pops concert was, according to everyone who offered a review, "Spectacular!" "Wonderful!" and "Awesome!" There were something like 6000 people there, so it's like being surrounded by lots of parties, and there was lots to look at. Our seats were close to the stage, so we could see and hear everything really well. Sarah took a few people with her to go see where her mum was sitting, which was right on the high tide mark on the beach, with a little water lapping around the legs of her beach chair. Gillian remarked that it was really fun to be a part of this scene. Candy said it was really fun to sing along. Peggy and Candy knew the words to almost all of the songs.

We had hoped/planned to go surfing this morning, but we got a call late last night saying that the waves would be too rough and we have to postpone it until a safer time. Instead, we had a more leisurely breakfast and went to church.

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At lunch, Grace spread a rumor to a few people that she and Mike were getting married. Mike asked Grace if she knew that Rachel is his girlfriend. Grace said, "That's okay. He can have two!" Hmmm. When lunch was over, Sarah made the announcement to tell us about the afternoon: "Hey guys! Listen! Today we're going to the beach. Okay? So, first we're going to swim. Okay?" It was more than just okay. Today was beastly hot and even more humid and getting to the beach was a necessity!

 

Everyone had a great time at the beach, and almost everyone spent the whole time in the water. The pretzel was the popular water toy today; it was constantly in use by at least three people. We went to the Water Tower beach, which is farther from town than the Lighthouse beach or Children's beach and much harder to get to because there's a big, deep, sandy dune to walk up and down in order to reach the beach. Steve did an amazing job walking all the way there without anyone helping him, and then, after swimming, walking all the way back to the van. He said he was good and tired by the end of that!

After the beach, there was a practice with Bob Lehman and David Crohan, the talented pianist and long-time friend of camp who is the main ticket on tomorrow's concert. It was a little bit of a rough practice, but Billy said it got better after some trouble spots got worked out.

We ate a bit later than usual, and went to bed a bit later than usual so we'll be well rested for the concert. Here were some words from some people who were on their way to bed:

AJ said he loves the community here, and is so happy that he gets to come back each year. More tomorrow.

On the way to return a laundry basket to the suite, I overheard a long, gloating laugh coming from a nearby bedroom. I peeked in here was the scene. Billy was sitting in a chair and gleefully gloatingly giggling. Anjay was sitting on the floor, packing up the Connect-4 game. Anjay said that Billy had just beat him 5x in a row (5 times!) and therefore his self-esteem would be taking a vacation day. Billy did admit that at Zeno Mountain Farm Ski Camp, Robin beat him in the championship - - so he's not completely unbeatable. Just hard to beat! Maybe the Collopy Cup is moving slowly because a good number of people aren't ready to send their self-esteems on a vacation.

While waiting for her hair to dry so she could go to bed, Meg said when she first gets here, she gets kind of depressed because she's used to doing everything for herself, and here, there's no grab bar in the shower or by the toilet, so people have to help her do things she usually does independently and it is upsetting to rely on others. But then, she realizes that this is an unusually accessible inaccessible place. The mates make it accessible because they're so helpful. She likes that everyone here comes out of the goodness of their heart.  She said, "I come from a background where my parents have always pushed me to be as independent as possible. I don't like to feel like a burden on people. I tend to be hard on myself, so I'm having to make some adjustments, which can be hard.  I love the swimming and the singing and all the activities, really . But mostly it's the friendships that I really enjoy. This camp is so much fun that I look forward to it all year long. It is so wonderful here that I wish my life at home were like this!" Me, too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 7 and 8

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August 11
After breakfast, we had an update on the Callopy Cup: We’ve played exactly . . . 0 matches in the tourney so far! Today we’ll try to get started for real - - later. Meanwhile, we spent a great morning in music class and then doing pottery and working on the play. “Hair” sounds much better already (“Oh, say can you see my eyes, if you can then my hair’s too short!”), but some of the lyrics are pretty tricky to sing quickly.
After lunch, we went straight to the beach – no rest – and almost everyone spent the entire time in the water. We’ve heard it’s dreadfully hot everywhere, and here it was far better, but it still felt much better to be in the water than in the air. Sarah was especially pleased with the fact that she had pushed Talia in the water.  Rebecca had a great time floating in a big tube. Suddenly, Harry appeared next to her in a giant inflated pretzel and a giant inflated swan!  (Harry says, “Next time give me some mustard for the pretzel, Rebecca!”) Thanks for the new water toys, Harry.
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Peter was willing to wear his bathing suit today. His plan was to put his toes into the water. When he ended up being the first person at camp ever to flip over a beach wheelchair (picture something with the most enormous inflated wheels ever!) he also ended up taking his first swim of the summer. He was excited to report that even though it was unplanned, he loved being in the water.
Mady spent her day at the doctor’s office - - not so fun, and, though she’s being an amazing sport, her knee still hurts a ton. 
Meg spent her day at camp, resting her knee (which also got bumped hard yesterday) and listening to Gillian read “In the Heart of the Sea.” They report it to be quite a good book, once you start getting into it. Meg found a poem in the book to read to us after dinner. By coincidence, one of our guests at dinner, Susan from the Nantucket Whaling Museum, had turned that same poem into a song, which she sang to us!
After dinner, Susan led a wonderful sing along, which we all loved! We all sang along to many sea shanties and songs of whalers’ homecoming, as well as traditional songs such as “This Land is Your Land” and “Country Roads.” A few people danced, especially Katie, who also conducted, and Bob and Sarah. To say “thank you” to Susan, for a really fun evening, we sang our Justin Timberlake song, which Gillian had pronounced “grand.”
August 12
The windy, grey morning began with our final yoga class with Ruby, who, we’re sad to say, has to head home today. How we’ll miss her!! She and Steve danced a goodbye dance to the first song they ever heard together, more than ten years ago at a camp in Florida: “I need you, more than anything, darlin' . . .”)
Peter had to go to the doctor today to get ear medicine, and then Mady had to go back to the doctor, so Harry spent his whole morning driving to and hanging out at doctor’s offices. Meanwhile, after the rest of us ate breakfast, some of us went out on a boat trip with Chris Shannon of Madaket, some of us had pottery class and some of us worked on the play.  A few of us skipped off to see our neighbor Jack’s electric vehicle, which was eerily silent, even when it’s turned on. His house is fully solar powered, so it’s fitting that his car is, too!
Shower news: Ellen got a prize for doing such a great job taking a shower and rinsing her hair super well, and Peter was pleased to use the shower chair for the first time this year.
In the afternoon, after rest period, we played a very lively game of kickball. Some of us needed some reminders about the rules (What do you mean, go out in the field?) and others of us kept running bases even after we were declared “out”, so, of course, it was a great game! Bob got to see what it’s like to have a ball slam into his head, but he and the ball-kicker had a good talk about it and hugged, so all’s well that ends well.  Steve made a heroic reach for the ball with his crutches extended over his head - - and then slowly fell straight backward. Unfazed, he got up quickly after and continued to play.
We had more music practice time before dinner. AJ hit his harmony line for “Seasons of Love” right on the mark. The long-held word “love” is beginning to sound sweeter, too.
Just before dinner, someone new came to join us. His name is Anjay and he’s known Sarah since he was seven. We are immensely delighted to welcome him, as we do need some extra helping hands and ready story-tellers. Our old friend Kim arrived just after dinner. She’ll spend the weekend here and hopes to get lots of time working with Jack and Billy on Minspeak.
After dinner, Peter told us how much he enjoyed the boat trip today. He said he could feel his parents and relations looking down from heaven at him, and that gave him joy. He concluded with, “I enjoyed God-#$@ed all of it!” (Sorry - - we do tend to be more casual with our language around here!)
Grace also went on the boat today, and spent much of her time holding her hands out over the sea, using her Percy-Jackson-type-special powers to control the water. She said that Percy Jackson also went to camp and that ours is as cool as his.
Meg noticed someone windsurfing today when she was on the boat. She would love to try windsurfing with Access Sports if she can.
Candy shared her delight about going out for iced coffee with Meg, Rebecca, Rachel, Mike and AJ.
Peggy’s mom came to dinner and told us how proud she is of Peggy, who has learned to read, is learning to count money, and has become a whiz on the computer. Many of us have seen emails from Peggy throughout the year and are happy that there’s an easy way to stay in touch.
Today Ben, Jack and Gillian gave us our first room inspection. Overall, the upstairs rooms ranked much higher than the downstairs room. Someone expressed concern that Ben and Jack wouldn't be objective, but when Ben said the room he and Jack share had badly made up beds, a messy bathroom and an unkempt closet, we knew that they were fair judges. In fact, they were very picky and thorough judges - - they even looked into the under-the-bed storage boxes and rated those! Talia and Bob took the gold, Rebecca and Candy and Rachel took the silver and Billy and Lily took a proud bronze.I won't mention whose room got the big "NO" from Jack and the "dreadful" from Gillian.
We decided we weren’t quite ready for a studio tonight after all, so we’re watching the end of Star Wars. That’s it for now!

Tulgey Wood 2016- Days 5 and 6

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Tuesday, August 9

 

Today is Jamie's Birthday! Harry announced it and  told us about a few other luminaries born on this day, including Whitney Houston. Gillian gave her a book as a gift from camp. In the Heart of the Sea, as we know from our trip to the Whaling Museum, is about the two crewmen who barely survived a terrible voyage where, in order to survive, they had to resort to cannibalism. Sarah (Peanut) gave us a more cheerful summary version of the book. "Now class! One day there was a whale and it met another whale who said, 'Whale, whale, go home.' So it did."

 

Mike, AJ, Ben, Jack and Peggy started the morning with our first trip of this year in a motorboat thanks to Chris Shannon of Madaket Marina. Jack dubbed it a good time. AJ loved the boat ride, especially when they were speeding along in the water, and reported that he felt less pain when he was in the boat than when he is on land. Peggy, our expert in all things Nantucket, reported that they saw Tuckernuck Island, a small, private island which has no roads, no public utilities and only about 35 houses on it. 
 
Pottery is now happening every day for about half the group at a time. While a few more whales were created, the popular creatures of the day were snakes and iguanas. They were all quite impressive and endearing. Grace made a vampire snake and Bob added stegosaurus plates on the back of his iguana. Peter wants it known that he made a cup for his sister. Ellen was quite focused on producing beads. 
 
The day's perfect skies and hot sun meant that everyone headed to the beach after lunch and rest. The chosen spot today was Brant's Point Lighthouse. Entry to the beach and to the water is easy and the passing boat traffic keeps the view dynamic and interesting. Steamship Authority ferries and Hyline fast ferries were mingled with every size and shape of sailing and motor vessels. Just a sidenote to say, "Thank You Steamship Authority!!" Did you know that they gifted us passenger tickets on their fast ferry for all our trips back and forth to Hyannis??!! Truly a splendid gift! And the Hyline has given us free tickets for the people who need to travel between Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Thank you!!!!
Back to our afternoon: It was amazing how long everyone stayed in the water, but the prizes for pruniest fingers go to Grace and Sarah, whose energies never flagged! Grace kept up a steady stream of  "Ahoys"  while waving at all of us and every passing boat, perched on "boats" also known as Ben, Mike or Monik.  We all admired Sarah's rapid and efficient somersaults and her ability to hold her breath for a crazy long time. Rebecca floated happily in her tube, as did Bob. Jack alternated between his beach chair at the edge of the sea and the tube. Peggy had a lengthy swim and then enjoyed some peaceful contemplation on her towel, as did Candy. Meghan and Madysen read a bit of a book, and Peter, wearing shorts (YAY!) supervised from a big tired wheelchair. AJ swam for a long time and then asked Mike to bring him to the right depth of water to try walking there. He hadn't done that since he was about 16, and looks forward to doing it again. AJ usually struggles with chronic pain but when he's in the water he isn't!
 
We joyfully enjoyed a delicious dinner prepared by special guest chefs, Ellen's guardians, Kathleen and Mike. The stories they and Ellen's other guests told were exceptionally fun and well-told. I'll just share the conclusion of the story told by Ellen's ten-year-old relative: He likes dogs better than grown up humans because when you wake up dogs, they're ready to play, whereas woken up grownups tend to be grouchy! 
 
Wednesday, August 10
 
Three cheers for Peter who stretched out on the floor during yoga! 
 
Another first: Gillian came to music class just as it was ending and declared that our new song, "Can't Stop the Feeling!" sounded "Grand!" 
 
Today is the day  that the Collopy Cup National Connect-4 Tournament begins! The winner will take home the Collopy Cup. Billy rejected the idea that the winner could win his treasured connect-4 t-shirt. 
 
This afternoon was cool and cloudy, so one group held a "Happy Hour Plus Olympics", featuring tea, chips and men's gymnastics. Another group went to town and handed out postcards to advertise our upcoming concert. (It's on August 15, just in case you're planning to join us!)  They walked in and out of numerous stores, where salespeople asked, "Hi, can we help you?" And they answered, "Yes, we want to invite you to our concert." They found lots of interested recipients who promised to come, including the eye doctor who kindly fixed Meg's and Ruby's broken glasses. 
 
When Billy, Lily, Ellen and Katie went out for their boatride, Captain Chris gave lucky Billy a Madaket Marina sweatshirt. Such a treat! 
 
When the town group got back to camp, out of the blue, Madysen got hurt - - a dislocated knee! :( It was upsetting for all of us, and agony for Mady. Mike and Lily took Mady down the rutted road to the hospital as smoothly as possible. To keep the distress to a minimum afterwards, lots of people played games on the porch until dinner. After dinner, Rebecca acted out the different elements she'd seen the men perform in gymnastics and Bob showed us how the men cheer for themselves.  Mike's mom, Deb, and AJ shared the Spanish phrase AJ learned in Spanish class this morning: "Me alegro que estas aqui!"  Jack was delighted when Deb gave a daily reading from the Bible about how giving makes all of us joyful.
 
Sarah completed the evening stories with the announcement, "Okay, class, guys, today, tomorrowtonight we're watching "Star Wars!" You'll be laughing so hard, Ha Ha Ha. So, listen, everybody listen! Clap your hands, stamp your feet, let's go watch the moive!"  We watched the first half of "Star Wars" until bedtime. 
Although Mady returned from the emergency room after bedtime, the news spread and many of us gathered around her to deliver our hopes for a speedy recovery in person.

Tulgey Wood 2016- Day 3 and 4

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Glimpsing a few moments:
Sunday, August 7 started with yoga and breakfast, followed by Unitarian church. In the afternoon, everyone went to Jetties Beach to swim and a few people got to go out paddling in outrigger canoes. The wind came up strong then, so others just sat in the canoe and felt the motion of the waves and the rocking of the boat. Meg said she had never paddled a canoe before and that she was quite pleased with how well she did at it. Candy said she swam like a fish, and so did almost everyone else. Rebecca wove a fictitious story about swimming with Rachel and holding onto her tube very tightly, only to be tipped into the water by Harry.
Mike and AJ told us a (sort of) funny room tale. After AJ's shower, Mike and Monik were transferring AJ to his bed. Mike rested his knee on AJ's bed to gain purchase. CRACKKKK!! Luckily, it was the bed and not Mike's knee that broke to bits. AJ's new, albeit temporary, bed is two mattresses on the floor. Nothing to break!
On Monday, August 8 we went to the Nantucket Whaling Museum where some wonderful tour guides showed us some of the important parts of the museum. If small groups would like to go back another day and see some parts in more detail, we can. Many people learned something new about whales. Peter was proud to share his new understanding of the importance of oil from the beluga whale to lighting in the old days. He also liked feeling the artifacts and discovering the gumline on a fifteen foot long whale jaw bone.  Billy enjoyed sitting on a boat they had at the museum, and he bought a stuffed animal whale as a souvenir. Jack really liked Susan, who gave the tour, and we all hope she'll come visit us and sing with us at camp again, as she did last year. Grace and Candy were both really impressed with the skeleton of the 45 foot long whale on display at the museum.
After lunch and rest, Gabe and Steve arrived - - at last! Hooray!! Pottery class with Eleanor began today! Some people made whales. Music class was much enhanced by the addition of the electric piano, brought by Gabe. "Hair" and "Seasons of Love" are beginning to take shape.

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Dinner was a very special event. About twenty new friends from the Siasconset Chapel came with vast quantities of delicious food and we enjoyed a perfect evening cookout/picnic on the lawn. If I told you how many pounds of hamburgers, chicken, macaroni salad, macaroni and cheese, salad and cookies they brought, you'd just be sad you weren't here. In between eating huge platefuls of food and sipping sodas, we began to get to know some very interesting and generous people. One of them, Mimi, told about the time when her children were young and they went to the beach and discovered a giant whale there. It was dead, and quite smelly, but because the waves were moving it around, it didn't appear to them to be dead. It was awhile before they went to the beach again. That whale is now the skeleton we admired today on display at the whaling museum!
After dinner, Gabe sketched out the basic outline of the play - - a musical based on Star Wars. More on that as we start rehearsal.

Tulgey Wood 2016 - Day 1 and 2

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A little background. . .

In honor of our tenth anniversary, we decided to launch our blog! We welcome your comments or questions and hope you'll share it with anyone who might like to know something about our day to day life in the Fellowship of the Tulgey Wood.

For those of you who are new to the Tulgey Wood, we are a relatively small group of friends with and without disabilities who gather every summer in a huge house called the "Wedding House" on Nantucket to enjoy time together and encourage each other to try new things and go beyond our own and others' expectations.  We want to thank our generous and helpful landlords, Joan and Jacques, for helping us in so many ways to continue to exist here. We have lots of other wonderful friends to whom we are enormously grateful, some of whom we'll mention along the way, but for now, let's give a shout out to Darcy who generously provided us with t-shirts that we're delighted to wear!

If you've never been to camp, or even if it's just been awhile since you were, you would maybe be surprised at how much goes on in a day. Each day has enough activities to fill several days in any of our regular home lives, and so many more chances to cheer and laugh and hug and applaud. This blog will highlight a few random moments from our days and can't hope to convey what it's really like to be here. If you're curious to spend time with us, let us know, go to www.tulgey.org, come to our benefit concert at the Unitarian Meeting House on August 15 or join us for own musical play here at the Wedding House (on Whereowhero Lane) on August 20.

Day 1-2

We welcomed most of our friends to the island on Friday, August 5. Two music classes, one before dinner and one after, started things off harmoniously, and were, as Candy said, "Awesome!" We're starting by learning the song "Hair" (as in "Give me down to there, hair, shoulder length or longer; Here baby, there, momma, everywhere, daddy, daddy!")

Music also played a part in our before and after dinner stories, as Peter and Bobby each sang an original song to express their joy in being back together in the Tulgey Wood, Ellen and Peggy led us in singing "I've been working on the railroad"  and Monik and A.J. danced and acted out "Dancing Queen."  A new friend to the Tulgey Wood, Grace, had no trouble jumping in and telling us stories, and Jackie told us about going to Gabe's wedding last week.

Thinking back on last year's highlights, Meg said she is excited to go surfing, boating and hopes we'll go see another play. (Last year, the Island Theater Workshop generously invited us to "Into the Woods" and is again extending an invitation - this time to "The Full Monty"!)  She also said that last year, her first at the Tulgey Wood, was the first time she ever performed in a play or a concert and she looks forward to doing so again. She particularly liked the chance to do theatrical improvisation.

Day two, Saturday, dawned warm and sunny, and we spent the morning busy with music, dancer-cize class and art class. After lunch and a brief rest, we decided that it was too windy and cloudy to be a good beach day,  so we went off to town, to window shop and enjoy a cup 'o joe or maybe an ice cream. While walking on the dock, Grace stopped, widened her stance for better support and demanded, "Where's the land?" Monik said that the dock was part of the land; they weren't actually walking on the water. "Okay!" replied Grace, continuing to walk, using great care to stay right in the center of the dock. With an iron grip on Monik, she felt steady enough to read the names of every boat near the dock and greet every person as she walked. Bob bought a new souvenir t-shirt and made lots of friends in town when he showed it to and discussed it with every person he passed.

After dinner and lots of stories and lots more laughter, we watched the movie "Hair." Perhaps we'll share some impressions of that in the next blog. For now, it's time to say good night!