Camp empowers young people

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Camp empowers young people!

It was an early morning for Riverside as they grabbed breakfast at 8:00 and headed out on their climbing adventure. This small group of 11 campers and their four staff, plus the two climbing specialists, will spend the next four days camping off site and climbing. Their first stop was to climb at Rumbling Bald and then they are off to Linville Gorge tomorrow. We had sunshine at camp with just one hard, short rain at 12:30 right when activities ended, so hopefully Riverside enjoyed sunshine and a dry rock face!

Mountainside spent the morning and afternoon continuing their mini adventures, rotating through the five adventure choices: mountain biking, climbing, canoeing, hiking, and earth / pioneer skills. They have now all completed three rotations and will finish the last two tomorrow. They of course are trying some activities “on” to see which adventure they will choose to end their session.  It would be a hard choice for me and maybe for some of our Mountainsiders. I wonder what they will choose and what new interests and skills they will develop during the next 10 days!   

Riverside and Mountainside are all about challenge by choice, learning new skills, supporting one another, and pushing oneself a little out of their comfort zone. In doing this, they build confidence, cooperation, and friendships as they paddle in tandem, help belay a friend, encourage someone on a hike or on an uphill section when biking.

In Main Camp the morning was a flurry of active learning as campers headed off by cabin group to climbing, horseback riding, farm, mill, tye dye, basketmaking, pottery, blacksmithing, nature, Campsite 101, mountain biking, performing arts, soccer, kayaking, junior lifeguarding, archery, and more! 

The archers managed a few bulls eyes after the initial practice shots, but even those who didn’t snag a bullseye managed to get closer to the middle as the lesson went on. Every potter I saw had muddy hands and happy faces; they were working on making a variety of shapes and things to take home at the end of the session. The very enthusiastic kayakers were working on their forward strokes up until the last second of the lesson. Farmers split their time between harvesting veggies and meeting the newest babies on the farm. There is never a dull moment at camp. In the quiet of the evening after finishing our cabin skits by neighborhood, I asked the campers what they had done that was fun and exciting today. The hands shot up and the replies were “I rode a horse”, I learned how to build a fire”, “I threw a pot on the wheel”, I made a new friend”…camp empowers children.

Fortunately, there are also quiet times. I visited cabin Chipmunk Hut during rest hour to deliver a message and their counselor Beau was reading out loud to the boys who were listening intently, some from their bunks and one sitting in his crazy creek chair. For a cabin of 8 young, active boys, it was amazing to see them all enjoying a moment of quiet and peace. 

 

Of course, eating is very important at camp and our meals today were delicious with homemade whole wheat biscuits, ham, cheese, fruit, and cereal for breakfast. I had lunch with the boys of  Chestnut Hollow and was amazed at how many tacos the boys put away. Blueberry smoothies were a refreshing snack this afternoon and dinner was baked chicken, veggies, fresh kale (from the farm) salad, rice, and cornbread. Needless to say our chef Megan is taking good care of us.

 

I’m excited to wake up tomorrow and get to start the fun and learning all over again although it seems like the days are already going by a little too quickly. 

Until tomorrow!