At first thought, having a summer birthday at camp might seem a little sad but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, campers love having their birthdays so much at Camp Mataponi, our all girls camp in Maine, that we make sure to have at least one summer birthday per bunk so that the fun can be shared by all.
At Camp Mataponi, our specialty is making summer camp birthdays into a camp-wide celebration. The festivities start well before the birthday girl wakes up. Her bunk is decorated prior to the bugle by her counselors. This way everyone knows which cabin is celebrating someone’s big day and it can feel like an extension of home. Next comes the morning bugle wake up with Dan’s infamous “Gooooood Morning Camp Mataponi” wake up call over the loudspeaker. At that time, he announces the birthdays of the day and then it’s on to morning line up where our birthday girl is greeted with exuberant b-day wishes from all. Marcy then dons the “guest of honor” with her very own birthday crown and glasses. Up next is a quick photoshoot with Dan, which is debuted on the camp website, and sent to the birthday girl’s parents. Lastly, our birthday girl is given the honor of raising the flag and leading the camp in the Pledge of Allegiance.
From line-up, it’s off to breakfast. There is never a doubt which table is hosting the birthday girl as it is decked out in balloons and streamers, making sure everyone at camp knows which table is hosting the special day.
Typically, after breakfast, the birthday phone calls are arranged with mom, dad, siblings, and grandparents. It’s always fun to hear how excited our birthday girl is as she recites the morning celebrations and lays out what she has in store for her special day.
As the day continues, there are constant cheers and hugs from campers and staff of all ages who are just excited to make the day even that much more special.
The coveted “Birthday package” is delivered after lunch and it’s always exciting to see what Mom and Dad have sent up for the bunk… special occasion sweets and goodies are welcome on this day as long as the treats are nut-free.
The birthday bunk always seems to eat dinner in a hurry because they know it will conclude with the celebratory Mataponi chocolate birthday cake ( or vanilla if one prefers). Undoubtedly, the highlight of the meal. Once again, the camp breaks out into “Kings and Queens and bishops too” as they cheer and clap the traditional Mataponi birthday song in unison.
Last, but certainly not least, after evening activity Todd delivers pizza to the birthday bunk and the laughing and singing rings throughout the cabin as the birthday girl is hailed the Queen of the evening.
All in all, if you’re lucky enough to have a summer birthday at camp, it will be a day you will always recall as one of your most memorable of the summer.