Director’s Blog – July 9, 2015
I spent some time today with the trainees talking about their overnights. They all got back last night and enjoyed a late breakfast in bed, served by their Unit Leaders today. The smiles on their well-rested faces told it all!
Starting with the STs…..
I caught up with the STs (rising 10th graders) this afternoon during free swim. They were eager to recount their experiences about the first taste of a camp coed overnight. After a long bus ride (that seemed a lot shorter than it was – reported some STs), they checked into their hotel. The girls were telling me that it was nice that the rooms at the hotel were pre-assigned and they didn’t get to choose. It forced them to get to know other people that they may not have bonded with yet. In the morning, they felt a sense of responsibility when they had to wake themselves up to meet at breakfast. After checking in, they spent time at the indoor water park, enjoying the water slides, hot tub and wave pool. This was a big hit!
The next day, the STs spent a full day at Cedar Point Amusement Park. One ST was so happy to tell me that our group had early admission to the park and they didn’t have to wait in any lines. It was an incredible day spent with friends. Many STs felt more bonded with the boys from Airy during their trip – an added bonus!
A group of STs commented that going on the overnight made them feel older and more responsible. They are already looking forward to next year’s overnight when they are CAs.
And now onto the CA overnight….
I saw the CAs (rising 11th graders) after their rehearsal for Folkdance Festival (which is tonight). They gathered around to tell me all about the experiences on their outdoor adventure of 6 miles of canoeing, 11 miles of biking, and 4 miles of hiking.
When asked to describe their time, they all said – AMAZING! They were eager to tell me how things went wrong but that it didn’t matter and it actually made it better. With my camp director hat on, I cautiously yet immediately asked them to elaborate. They began to tell me how they got a little lost on their hike (always supervised by staff, of course), it poured, and they were covered from head to toe with mud. They stopped several times to gather their thoughts because they were laughing and smiling recalling their adventures. They said it was peaceful and full of bonding opportunities. They always felt safe and supported. It was motivating. These are all their exact words – how great!
One CA stated that she was outside of her comfort zone but with people she felt comfortable with so that made it perfect. Another CA went on to explain that she felt that she had experiences that she wouldn’t have been willing to have if she wasn’t with her camp family.
The CAs felt supported by each other and they motivated each other to complete the activities. We had CAs who had never ridden a bike before who completed all 11 miles! One CA was recounting her bike ride to her Division Head. The CA said that she got back up after falling and just kept riding. She never thought she would be able to do it, but it was actually the best part of the trip for her!
And last but not least, I met up with the CITs (rising 12th graders) to talk about their overnight…..
The CITs were heading back to their bunk after activities today. Some were getting ready for their 48 hour sleepover experience with their little bunks, but they couldn’t wait to tell me all about the Via!
The CITs had an incredible hiking and rock climbing adventure that they described as terrifying but amazing, exhilarating, and incredible! Their sense of pride and accomplishment as they talked about their experiences was so obvious. Many of the CITs talked about the fact that they would never have even attempted it if they weren’t at camp. One said – you can only get this kind of experience at camp. They talked about conquering a fear and being surrounded by people who were so encouraging. Even though it was an individual task, they felt an incredible amount of support from everyone there.
During the hike, the CITs recounted the beautiful view and the sense of endurance and optimism that they felt. The hike and rock climb were challenging which made the end feel that much more phenomenal. See the beautiful picture of the group of CITs right after finishing the Via.
One CIT put it best – it made me realize that I am so much stronger than I thought I was.
Come on now….you can’t tell me that this didn’t give you the chills?! Listening to all of the trainees talk about their experiences makes me want to go back and do it all again!
Sam – ODL and Cookery
Today’s Menu[table “” not found /]
High: 87°F | Low: 70°F
A great day with some rain in the late afternoon, but that didn’t keep us from a full day of activities!