As we wrap up the first overnight camp session on Friday and welcome our new group of campers on Sunday, I wanted to share some magic moments in words and pictures from camp. I wish I could transport you all here to experience it directly, as these highlights cannot come close to capturing the magic, adventure, and growth our campers and staff experienced over the last few weeks!
Oh, the rain! We have seen more rain in July in Vermont than since the 1920s! Just another way this is a Special Edition summer. While the rain can be challenging, it also brings life, a refresh, and time for reflection. Flying Cloud Interim Director Elliot Siegrest Jones said it best in his recent blog:
“But the rain brings a certain spirit with it. For all the comfort it takes away from us, it also pushes us to slow down. When it starts pouring and an activity gets rained out, the group often moves to the Roundhouse, our beautiful timber-framed gathering area. But once they’re there, under cover, what could be more entrancing than watching the sudden downpour? So they decide to gather some mint and make hot tea instead.”
The Fun and Trips!
From our littlest campers at Barn Day Camp to our biggest adventurers at Questers, the fun and the trips at camp have been amazing!
IB Director Theresa Serr, in a recent blog shared:
“Our 10-day campers went on overnight trips and had an amazing time sleeping almost under the.. well, not stars, but cool, night clouds. First, Big, and Senior Lodges are also going on their overnight adventures this week. First Lodge is visiting Peggy’s pond and our F&W shelter. Big Lodge added trips to Crooked and Phil’s shelters, and Crown Point (which is near a really cool memorial and gravesite of an unknown revolutionary war soldier).”
SAM Interim Director Miles Crabtree, shared:
“We had a Variety Show with jokes, music, pebble stacking, and a new original song about dino nuggets, to the tune of Hallelujah. Counselors and staff led the campers in a variety of activities, including the Sam-firmation Fairies, who designed affirmations and placed them around camp as small reminders. One group of campers tie-dyed shirts, while others worked on collage, quilt squares, basket-weaving, sock puppets, silly games, science experiments, garden delights, and of course swimming as much as possible!”
The Work and Community!
The work and the community — and the work that develops the community is a staple of F&W. Red Spruce Grove Assistant Director Tori Heller shared:
“We’ve spent the first two evenings of camp discussing how important it is to treat the earth with respect – because the earth sustains us – and also creating a values contract together about how we can solve conflict, be inclusive, and bring positivity and fun into our camp community. Campers have also started learning physical skills. They’ve tried their hands at axes, bow saws, knives, and a drawknife for peeling logs. They have been washing dishes, cleaning kybos, feeding chickens, building fires, and generally jumping in headfirst to life at the Grove!
Campers have also been building a chicken fence, helping in the kitchen, building stairs for a tent platform, making beeswax candles, and exploring the blueberry field. The chickens, new this year, have become a critical part of our community. Mandrew, Peaches, Houdini, Moxie, and Ezra Axel have become wonderful additions at the Grove, and they’ve also become great entertainment as they free-range around camp during the day!”
I won’t even try to summarize the idea of resilience as Timberlake Director Jarod Wunneburger couldn’t have said it better:
“When I reflect a bit on these stories and so many more sitting on my favorite log in the Silent Meeting circle (we all have one) one thing comes through to me: resilience. Big and small, I see it every time I walk camp. We’re all done being inside on screens – we’re here, now, present in the woods. Brilliant green everywhere we look, remembering how to talk to new people. and a puppy pumped to have 80 new friends to play with. After so much we’ve been through, it’s incredible to see it every moment of my day.”
This has been a beautiful few weeks. I hope this little taste of camp lifted your spirits and brought you some joy today.
In peace and joy,