On August 2-4, the first supersized PopsCamp took place at Interlochen State Park. Organized by MPAC Co-Social Directors Elizabeth Lohr and Rachel Woods with MPO Social Director Rachel Moloney, the aim of the event was to bring together alums and orchestra members in a new communal experience. Fourteen Popsicles signed up, and an excellent time was had by all! Rachel Woods recounts the memorable weekend of fun and friendship:
“On Friday, everyone arrived at Interlochen, traveling from all parts of the state. Three campsites had been reserved in total, and luckily they were adjacent to one another. Most of the campers arrived in the evening, after work hours, so Lydia and Rachel did some food shopping for those who had not yet eaten dinner. Johnny and Vickie were even generous enough to bring doughnuts from Cops & Doughnuts! All the Popsicles soon became acquainted as they set up tents and cooked some hot dogs and smores over the roaring fire. They talked and played “Never Have I Ever” late into the night until it was time to go to sleep.
Saturday was a big day! The campers began with a breakfast spread of bagels, toast, bananas, and eggs (cooked on Joel’s trusty stove). Some people even indulged in morning smores, affectionately referred to as smornings. Once everyone had a chance to get dressed and ready for the day, it was off to Leelanau!
It was about a 45-minute drive from the campsite to Sleeping Bear Dunes, where all the Popsicles participated in the big dune climb. The sand was approximately 1000 degrees as they ascended to the top of the hill. Scorched feet and a few pictures later, the campers agreed to split up. One group went on a daring expedition in search of Lake Michigan, hiking approximately 5 miles round trip, and the others embarked on the Crystal River journey, kayaking about 3 miles round trip.
In the late afternoon, both groups were reacquainted in Glen Arbor, and continued onwards to Traverse City! The primary goal upon reaching their destination was to eat dinner, so they stopped at a food truck emporium called The Little Fleet. There were so many options, from smoothies to burgers to street tacos! After everyone had had their fill, the Popsicles once again split into a few groups to explore the city. Some people sought out doughnuts, others stumbled upon bookshops selling essential oils and books about witchcraft. All in all, there were many fun sights to see, from the movie theater to the lake to the incredibly tempting Moomers logo.
Upon returning to the campsite that evening, a rousing game of Mafia was played. The campers took turns accusing one another and trying to solve the mystery of who was the mafia, while Johnny simply attempted to live past the first round. Then, it was off to bed.
On Sunday morning, the campers once again woke up and prepared to tuck into a scrumptious breakfast. There was a repeat of eggs, bacon, and bagels. Rachel Moloney, affectionately referred to as “Junior,” even brought some avocados from home so that the group could indulge in the quintessential millennial experience of avocado toast. Most of the campers spent the rest of the morning relaxing while a few participated in a ruthless game of Settlers of Catan.
After that, it was time to pack up the tents and equipment into the cars and check out of Interlochen. Before the campers went their separate ways, however, they decided to spend some time playing a competitive round of mini golf! While some wished to take mulligans during the course of the game, others had the good fortune of scoring some birdies or even a hole in one! After the 18 holes, everybody was spent, so the Popsicles walked across the street to Bud’s for lunch.
Finally, it was time to say goodbye. It was difficult, after such a joyous and friendly weekend together, to part ways. On this trip, friends became closer, Popsicles young and old bonded over their shared experiences, and a lot of fun was had by all. It will serve as a great memory for everyone, and will give us all something to look forward to next year.”