Last summer was a summer to learn new things (for both camper and director alike!). We ran camp under strict Covid guidelines that resulted in changes to many aspects of camp life. Expecting the best, we anticipated a good experience (looking at the donut, not the hole) but were surprised at how great it actually was…, particularly in the program.
Every camper took every class… just a few times in many instances. Girls found themselves enjoying activities that they had absolutely no interest in taking prior to camp. They would show up to a Menagerie class and play simple (even childish) “running around” games with their cabin. It was magical. The squeals of delight and laughter were contagious. Their glistening faces showed their satisfaction as we all perspired in the hot summer sun. It was inspiring to find joy in the simplicity of childhood games after so many years.
So as we put our program together this year it was with the awareness that we needed to provide more classes. We wanted to satisfy campers who would want to duplicate the experience of last year when they could take a simple class just a few times… when they could take a whole lot of classes and try out something just because they wanted to know if it was good.
We came up with a surprising new way of doing our classes… substituting a class period in the afternoon with an optional “Club time” where campers can try out a Club once, go every day, or just enjoy free time with their friends. We are also doing mid-session switches in some classes, thus adding more classes to the girls’ schedule. These changes not only expand our program, but they meet the desires of the campers (who loved the way we ran things last year but wanted to choose activities). Everyone is excited about the new plan and are looking forward to starting Clubs this week!
Camp is a place that celebrates childhood, so it should come as no surprise that we are silly a lot of the time. Every camper (regardless of age) enjoys the see-saws, swings, tetherballs, 9-square in the air, ping pong, skeeball, and pickleball courts. All of us (counselors included) delight in rolling down the Pageant Court, splashing in mud puddles, and telling jokes. We enter EP Lip Syncs and “theme” meals with a high level of creativity and enthusiasm. Together we are FAR MORE childlike than we are apart. Together we celebrate the joys of childhood.
This creative fun was in full view last night during the older girls’ Lip Sync EP. The days of practice paid off… it was a great show! The Senior’s (Castle and Palace alike) at the end of the night brought a standing ovation- a production worthy of the moment and we were blown away! We have a professional photographer at camp this week and even he was impressed!
After the EP ended, about 10 cabins remained behind to catch fireflies and dance to the post-show music (which went on for about 30 minutes). Several girls quietly sat by the lake talking in Adirondak chairs or dangling their feet from the canoe dock. The sky was filled with stars when we blew Call to Quarters and settled in for the night.
We spend a lot of time describing moments in camp because such moments are absolutely precious to the girls. They love the silly things, they love the quiet things, the things planned and unplanned. They love it all. The girls are raucously loud in the Dining Hall and almost everyone is taking Zumba (so when certain songs are played the entire camp dances as one). It delights my heart to see them enjoying camp so much!