Category Archives: Sleep Away Camp 2012

Thursday: Rafting and Fishing!

We had a great final full day at AO 2012 sleep away camp! After waking up bright and early, saying hello to the deer having breakfast on the property, and having some delicious breakfast, the campers headed back to their cabins to get ready for the day. The older campers got ready to raft, while the younger campers got ready to fish! We met on the camp green, got our energy up with some fun morning songs, and then headed out! The younger campers went fly fishing and hiking around a huge lake; while no one caught a fish, they got several bites and saw some huge fish jumping! They also enjoyed hiking around the lake; campers saw lots of crawdads, and found a cool clearing to eat lunch in. It was cool to look at the monarch butterflies and deer tracks in the mud near the lake!

The younger campers then headed back to camp to have an early rest hour and go swimming! Many of the younger campers took a quick nap during rest hour; others read, worked on their lanyards, or quietly played cards with a friend. At the end of rest hour, the younger campers threw on their bathing suits and headed to the camp pool for one last swim! They enjoyed playing water volleyball, water basketball, and most especially jumping off the diving board! Some of the dives and cannonballs were really impressive; it was fun to watch!

Meanwhile, the older campers hopped in the camp vans and headed out to go rafting! The older group did a class 3 trip, while the younger group did a class 2 trip. Everyone had a great time! Campers learned how to paddle, how to switch seats without upsetting the raft, and how to exit the raft in the case of an emergency (just hop into the water!) πŸ™‚ The raft guides brought along some fun water toys, and campers really enjoyed relaxing and rafting down the river. Everyone got a chance to sit on the prow of the boat, and had a great time “capturing” the other rafts and lightly splashing their friends. We also all enjoyed the chance to swim a bit in the nice cool river! At the end of the raft trips, we all met up back at camp for some well-earned rest hour.

During rest hour, the older campers had one last chance to write a letter home, read in their bunks, and relax before free time. Most of the older campers also took the opportunity to take a quick nap! Our days have been very full here at camp. πŸ™‚ After the older campers’ rest hour, we all met in the gym for some awesome free time. Campers had the chance to do sidewalk chalk outside of the gym with Counselor Chris; some of the drawings and murals they created were very impressive! Campers also had one last chance to eat some yummy gorp for snack, play in the game room, and just hang out and talk with the good friends they’ve made here at camp. At the end of free time, we washed our hands really well (the sniffles are going around camp), and headed down to Grizzly Jack’s for a final delicious camp dinner of make-your-own tacos. Campers sat with whomever they liked, and practically inhaled the tacos!

At the end of dinner, campers headed back to their cabins to put on warmer clothes, and then met at the green to head down to the campfire. At the campfire, we roasted marshmallows and made some yummy s’mores! Nothing tastes quite like a s’more made on a campfire next to a river. Director Jen discussed how to roast the perfect ‘mallow, and the campers did a great job! After licking our fingers clean, we sang, with Counselor Phil accompanying us on the guitar, Lean On Me and Country Roads. Campers then participated in a keylog ceremony; Director Jen explained that a keylog is the one log that keeps a whole dam together, and invited campers to throw a twig into the fire and say who or what was their keylog, that is, who or what helped keep them together and going strong, during their time at camp. It was a very touching and reflective ceremony. At the end of the keylog ceremony, we closed our final campfire with the songs Let It Be and our end of day song, Day Is Done.

Campers then headed back up to their cabins to do their final candlelight ceremonies as a cabin group, brush their teeth, and get ready for bed. It was a wonderful final day at camp, and tomorrow, we head home! See you soon!

Wednesday: Rock Climbing, Horseback Riding, and Fly Fishing!

We had an action-packed Wednesday here at AO Sleep Away camp 2012; we had three different adventure programs happening today! After a hearty breakfast to wake them up and fuel them up, campers headed either to rock climbing, horseback riding, or fly fishing, depending on their choices. The rock climbers headed out first, and reached a great spot just perfect for climbing. Everyone got geared up (harnesses, helmets, and climbing shoes!), and then separated into groups to climb. All of the climbers had the chance to reach the top of their climbs, and several of them actually did so! It was awesome to see campers hit the carabiners at the tops of their climbs. Many campers said that they climbed higher today than they ever have before! All in all, it was a great day of climbing–when campers weren’t on the rock, they enjoyed making hemp jewelry, hanging out with their friends, eating our delicious sack lunches, and cheering on those campers currently climbing.

Meanwhile, the fly fisher-people learned how to cast on the camp green with our fly fishing guide before heading down to the lake to test out their newly-acquired skills. Although no one caught a fish today, almost every camper had a bite; it was pretty exciting! As one camper commented, it’s only a matter of time before she catches one, because she’s got the hang of it now. When they weren’t fishing, campers enjoyed exploring the area around the lake; it was fun to look at all of the different insects and plants growing in and living around the lake!

At the same time, the horseback riders were getting ready to go. As their ride was in the afternoon, they spent the morning making some awesome hair wraps and learning how to slack line (with Counselor Julia’s help, of course!). The horseback riders really enjoyed slacklining–there were several gymnasts in the group, and they had a great time teaching the other campers the best way to balance on the line! After eating lunch, they headed out to the stables for their ride, taking extra water bottles with them. Although the day was hot, no one’s spirits were dragged down, and the riders had a wonderful time! They splashed through creeks, rode through the alpine desert, and even got to ride up on the ridge line for a bit.

Everyone met back at camp in the afternoon, and took a much-desired rest hour before heading to the gym for organized free time. Campers had the chance to order lanyards, create their very own gorp, and put their marbleized paper onto their notebooks. It was great fun, and the notebooks look very cool! Some campers chose to keep their paper and their notebook separate, and spent the rest of free time happily drawing away. After washing our hands, we headed into dinner, where we enjoyed some yummy mac ‘n cheese and lots of fresh vegetables. Campers did a great job drinking water–we had to refill several of the water pitchers multiple times this evening!

After dinner, campers had the chance to go back to their cabins to collect anything they might need and to practice for this evening’s TALENT show! At 7:30, we met at the Opera House, and the campers showed what a talented group they are! There were several super-cool dancing acts, some fantastic improv comedy, some beautiful singing, some awesome speed drawing, and some wonderful piano playing. It was quite impressive to see the multiple and varied skills of these campers in action; everyone enjoyed discovering what other people know how to do!

At the end of the talent show, we all gave ourselves a huge round of applause, and then circled up to conclude our day. We sang “Day Is Done,” and then headed back to our cabins to brush our teeth, check in with our cabin-mates about their day, and go to bed. Tomorrow is our final full day of sleep away camp; we’re going to end with a bang by going rafting, fly fishing, and swimming!

Tuesday: Kayaking and Horseback Riding!

We had a fantastic Tuesday here at sleep away camp–after a wonderful breakfast that fueled us up for the day, campers headed out either for a second day of kayaking or for horseback riding, depending on their age groups. The kayakers split into two groups; the younger group headed back to the lake for a second day of lake kayaking, and had a great day paddling around, playing games and practicing their wet exits. Some campers really got the hang of the different paddle strokes, and zoomed all around the lake as though their kayaks had motors! Meanwhile, the older group headed to the kayaker’s play park on the Arkansas River in Salida, and had tons of fun swimming through the play park and taking their kayaks through the various obstacles. On their return, we heard lots of stories about how much fun it was when their kayaks flipped!

While the kayakers were out on the water, the younger campers headed out on a great horseback ride. Several campers got their same horse again–be prepared to hear a lot about your camper’s horse! πŸ™‚ Campers also enjoyed playing with the kittens that belonged to the horse stables–it’s hard to view something so cute and fuzzy as a “dangerous wild animal!” After their ride, the younger campers headed back to camp to eat lunch and have their rest hour. Once rest hour had ended, they headed out on an awesome exploration of camp–they hiked all around the camp grounds, and even went down to the fire ring and got to throw rocks in the river!

When the kayakers returned, tired but happy, they headed back to their cabins for a late rest hour while the younger campers headed to the gym for free time. During free time, campers had the chance to create a piece of marbleized paper using shaving cream and food coloring; campers really had fun playing with the shaving cream, and the marble patterns on the papers turned out great! Tomorrow, campers will have the chance to laminate their marbleized paper to the front of a notebook, if they want, so as to create a totally unique and personalized notebook of their very own.

The kayakers joined the group for the last half of free time, and everyone had a yummy fruit ‘n nut trail bar for snack (everyone likes to change things up once in a while!). At the end of free time, we headed to Grizzly Jacks’ for a filling dinner, and then headed back to our cabins to change into our swimsuits for our final night swim! It was awesome to swim as the sun set and the stars came out; several campers commented on the beauty of the scenery around them. We closed our day by singing “Day Is Done,” and then headed back to our cabins to brush teeth and get ready for bed, tired and happy from another awesome day at sleep away camp.

Tomorrow, we’re heading rock climbing, fly fishing, and horseback riding! It should be excellent!

Monday: Kayaking and Backpacking!

We had a great start to our week at AO 2012 sleep away camp. We woke up, ate a big breakfast, and got ready to go on some adventures! Those campers who chose to kayak headed out to be outfitted with gear, while the backpackers met in the Opera House to pack and then depart. Meanwhile, the younger campers met at the green to learn how to slackline! (With Director Tom and Counselor Julia’s help, of course.)

The kayakers had tons of fun getting fitted for their kayaks and paddling all around a beautiful lake. Campers had the chance to try a wet exit, and some did it more than once for fun! We enjoyed the scenery as we ate lunch, and then hopped back into our kayaks to learn some different paddle strokes from our awesome guides and to play some fun water games. We played sharks and minnows, piano keys, and had fun giving each other rides on the kayaks! It was a great day, and the kayakers had a blast!

Meanwhile, the backpackers headed out to beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park to hike and camp out overnight. They had a good time learning about backpacking gear, and cooked the “best pizza ever!” for dinner. Check out the photos (photos.aocamps.com, check your camp account for the password), to see more of the backpacking trip.

The younger campers, in the meantime, learned how to slackline, played some awesome teambuilding games with Director Tom–including “cross the crevasse”–and had the chance to make lanyards and friendship bracelets with Counselor Julia. When everyone returned to camp, we all retired to our cabins for a well-deserved rest hour, and then met in the gym for some delightful free time. Campers ate some delicious gorp for snack, and had the chance to spend some time drawing and painting, if they so chose. We also enjoyed playing in the camp costume room!

At the end of free time, we cleaned up the gym a bit, and then headed down to Grizzly Jacks for dinner. Yum! After dinner, campers got into their pjs and headed to the Opera House for a fierce, fun game of Bingo! It was great fun; Nurse Stephanie called all of the numbers, and campers competed for some awesome prizes, including making a kite during rest hour and having 10 extra minutes of swimming. After Bingo, campers had a great time relaxing and playing board and card games–we played Sorry! Sliders, Consensus, Jenga, Uno, BrainQuest, and cards. It was almost too fun to stop, but we figured we needed to get some sleep, so we headed back to our cabins around 8:45 to brush our teeth and get ready for bed.

Lights out by 9:15, and the end of another great day at sleep away camp!

Sunday: Your Choice–Kites or a Hike!

We had an awesome Sunday at sleep away camp! We began our morning a bit late; campers got to sleep in until 8:30, and we had a big pajama breakfast at 9am! It was really fun; we ate waffles and really took the time to enjoy each others’ company at our relaxed Sunday breakfast. After breakfast, campers had the chance to choose their activity for the day; they could either go on a beautiful hike up the Colorado Trail, or head to Alpine Park in Salida to make and fly some kites. We had about 10 hikers and about 22 kite-flyers, so it was a nice split. Campers headed back to their cabins to get ready for the day, and then we all met on the green to get going!

After some fun morning songs, we split up; the hikers headed down to the Colorado Trail, while the kite-flyers headed into Salida! Everyone had a great time; the hikers made it all the way up to the top of the trail before eating lunch, and said that the view was absolutely fabulous! Meanwhile, the kite-flyers had a great time at the park; they enjoyed the play structures, and also made and flew some super-cool kites! Everyone ate lunch out on their activity; we had some yummy sack lunches provided by the kitchen folks at Silver Cliff Ranch. In the afternoon, we all met back at camp for a relaxing rest hour; several campers took naps, while others worked on their lanyards or wrote letters home.

After rest hour, we all met in the Opera House for the conclusion of Auction!, our big weekend camp game! Using the points that they had earned, cabin groups had the chance to, as a group, bid on different prizes, including the opportunity to pour a bucket of water on a director, to have 15 extra minutes in the game room, to be first in line at Grizzly Jacks for two meals of their choice, to have an extra lanyard ordering session with Director Jen during rest hour, etc. The bidding was fierce, and Counselor Krista really enjoyed being a classic auctioneer! In the end, every cabin group won the prize they wanted, so it was a great conclusion to a great game!

Campers then headed to free time, where they got to enjoy the game room, play basketball, mix their very own gorp for snack, and create some groovy friendship bracelets and lanyards. Meanwhile, Director Jen welcomed the incoming one-weekers to camp and got them situated in their cabins. Then, the new campers joined the group for the end of free time and dinner; it was awesome to see the two-weekers being so friendly and welcoming to the new campers! Several of the cabin groups had even made signs to welcome their new cabinmates!

After dinner, we all got changed into warmer clothes and then headed down to the campfire ring for our middle ceremony. We enjoyed singing some songs around the campfire, and really had a great time listening to Director Tom tell some funny (and meaningful!) stories from his youth. We then went over the camp rules again, just to give everyone a refresher, and welcomed all of the new campers to camp. It was beautiful to sit under the stars and watch the fire! At the end of our middle ceremony, we sang along with Counselor Phil’s guitar and closed our day with some quieter, more relaxing songs.

Then, everyone headed back up to the green, where Director Tom got hit with TWO buckets of water from the boys of the Burro cabin! (That was the prize they had won at our AO Camps Auction.) It was pretty funny! What a fun end to a fun day–tomorrow, the backpackers head out, as do the kayakers, while the younger campers play “cross the crevasse” with Director Tom and learn how to slackline! We can’t wait!

Saturday: Cabin Inspection, Auction!, and Minute-to-Win-It!

We had a fabulous Saturday at sleep away camp! We began our day with a delicious breakfast, and then headed back to our cabins to do a BIG cabin clean-up. Campers put their dirty laundry out to be washed, straightened their beds, cleaned up their toiletries and generally made their cabins look completely clean and ship-shape! Director Tom came around to inspect the cabins, and all of the cabin groups passed, which was very exciting.

After cabin inspection, we met on the green, and, after morning songs, our great weekend game of auction began! Cabin groups had a chance to accomplish different tasks in order to earn points, which could then be used for our camp auction, to be held on Sunday. Cabin groups had to work together to accomplish the possible tasks–different tasks included creating a waterproof tent out of rope and a tarp (we checked–with a bucket of water–to see if it was really waterproof!), creating a zoo (with at least ten different animals and habitats!) out of pipe cleaners, building a bridge out of toothpicks and packing peanuts that could hold a camp water bottle, naming all of the campers at camp, and making a mural depicting the cabin group’s time at camp using sidewalk chalk. Campers really had a great time accomplishing these tasks, and worked together to earn points for their cabin! (See photos for some of their accomplished tasks at photos.aocamps.com-the password is in your camp account!)

After winning as many points as they could during the morning, campers headed back to their cabins to wash up for lunch. We had a relaxing lunch at Grizzly Jacks, the camp dining hall, and then headed back to our cabins for rest hour. Cabin groups had the chance to win more points during rest hour–Director Jen came to each cabin and checked to see if every camper was in his/her bunk. If they were, the cabin earned some extra points! After rest hour, we headed to the camp pool for a swim, and had a chance to meet those campers’ parents who chose to visit. Swimming was fantastic; campers’ jumps off the board were really creative and fun, and they had a good time treating Director Tom like a jungle gym in the water. πŸ™‚

We hopped out of the pool around 4:15, headed back to our cabins to change, and then headed to the gym for some well-earned free time. Campers had a chance to make their very own gorp mix for snack, and also got to show their parents around, play in the game room, and hang out with their counselors. We also opened up the camp costume room; campers had a great time playing dress-up and make-believe! At the end of free time, we washed our hands in the gym and headed down to dinner, which was delicious as per usual. Then, we headed back to our cabins to get changed into warmer clothes and to get ready for AO camps Minute-to-Win-It!!

AO camps Minute-to-Win-It was fantastic; every camper got the chance to participate, and each had one minute to accomplish a different feat. Some campers had to balance golf balls on top of each other (it’s possible!), while others had to shoot rubber bands at soda cans to knock them down. Some had to flip pencils in their hands, some had to play office tennis (clipboards for rackets and a wad of paper for a ball), and some had to wrap themselves in a whole roll of toilet paper without breaking it! Everyone had a great time, and we all got a delicious cookie as a special treat! (because one of the tasks involved working a cookie from your forehead to your mouth using only your facial muscles.) Campers really cheered each other on and had a great time!

At the end of Minute-to-Win-It, we began calming down for the end of the day. We circled up and sang our end of day song, “Day Is Done,” and then campers headed back to their cabins to brush their teeth and head to bed. All in all, a wonderful day at sleep away camp!

Goodbye, Tie-Dye, and Swimming!

We had a great Friday at Sleep Away camp 2012! We began our morning with some delicious omelets for breakfast, and then headed back to our cabins to clean up and get ready for the day. After some energetic morning songs, the one-weekers got ready to head back home, while the campers staying for two weeks played a fun game of Giants, Wizards and Elves. Then, the campers staying for two weeks got to tie-dye bandanas! It was fantastic; the campers really took their time selecting their tie-dye colors, and managed to create some fabulous designs on the bandanas. Check out our photos website (photos.aocamps.com, see your camp account for the password), to see some detailed pictures! In the midst of tie-dying, we paused to hug and wave goodbye to the one-week campers–we loved having them with us for a whole week, and hope to see them again next year!

Meanwhile, the campers staying for two weeks completed their tie-dying project and then had a chance to create holders for their water bottles; it gets tough to lug around a water bottle for two whole weeks! So, campers had the chance to add a line and hook onto their water bottle, so that they can clip it to their belt loop or backpack, if they wish. Once we’d completed our awesome morning crafts, and each camper had a unique, wholly personalized tie-dye bandana, we washed our hands and headed in for some delicious tacos for lunch!

(Note to parents: please wash your camper’s tie-dye bandana separately the first time it gets washed! One wash will set the dye and then it can be washed with similar colors; however, it will bleed during its first wash. So, to avoid tie-dyed clothes, please wash it separately the first time!)

After lunch, we headed back to our cabins for a relaxing rest hour; campers slept, wrote letters home, and read, and some took the time to take a nice long shower! Then, we headed to the hot springs pool for some swimming! It was great fun; campers enjoyed pool volleyball, pool basketball, jumping off the diving board, and cheering on the counselors as they went off the diving board. A great time was had by all! After swimming, we headed back to our cabins to change, and then headed to the gym for some organized free time. Campers hung out in the gym, the game room, and on the camp green, making lanyards, weaving friendship bracelets, playing basketball, ping pong, pool, and air hockey, and generally enjoying each other’s and the counselors’ company. Campers also had a chance to order and eat their very own gorp mix for snack–it was delicious!

When free time finished, we washed our hands and headed into dinner; once again, campers commented that camp food is “the best food ever!” At the end of dinner, we all headed back to our cabins to change into warmer clothes or pjs, and then met in the gym for movie night. We had some yummy popcorn and water, and watched Monsters, Inc. on the big screen! It was pretty funny; campers laughed the whole way through. When the movie finished, we sang our classic closing song, “Day is Done,” and headed back to our cabins to brush our teeth, do end-of-day cabin group ceremonies and get ready for bed. Lights were out by 9:30pm, campers tired from another great day!

Coming up Saturday: cabin inspection, Auction!, Facepainting, and Minute-to-Win-It!

Gold Rush, Choice Activities, and Middle Ceremony!

We had a fantastic Thursday at sleep away camp! We woke up full of energy; some campers began singing camp songs before their feet even hit the floor! Campers headed to breakfast at 8, and then gathered on the Green to sing some songs and begin their day. We started our Thursday with an all-camp game of “Gold Rush.” Working together, campers had to find the “gold” hidden all around the camp and bring it back to the bank. However, they also had to avoid the “gold robbers,” (Director Jen, Counselor Krista and Nurse Stephanie) who could steal gold from cabin groups by tagging campers. It was great fun! The campers had a wonderful time tricking the gold robbers (as it turns out, the gold robbers were not too bright, and could be tricked by clever campers) and searching out all of the gold in the area. After the gold was all safely in the bank, campers had a chance to discuss how the game went; several campers said that, if they were to play it again, they would team up with other groups earlier rather than later in the game. This was because once they teamed up, they were able to trap the robbers and win the game!

Having beaten the robbers, campers had a chance to take a water break and relax on the green before lunch. The lanyard “store” also opened during this time, and so campers had the chance to order and begin lanyards–expect to see lots of lanyards in campers’ bags when they return home! Once everyone who wanted had gotten a lanyard, it was time for lunch, and so we washed hands and headed inside for some delicious food. After lunch, it was time for rest hour; campers had a chance to nap, write letters home, rest, or, as you might expect, work quietly on their lanyards!

When rest hour finished, we re-convened on the green, and campers had a chance to do their choice activities. Some campers went on a great trail hike, some went horseback riding, and some learned how to fly fish! Campers really enjoyed the chance to do the activities they had chosen when they signed up for camp–the horseback riders especially were excited to get another chance to ride “their” horses from Tuesday. πŸ™‚ While there was some rain during the afternoon, it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits; the hikers were excited to hike in the rain, and so when it began sprinkling, they simply put on their rain gear and kept going! The fly fishers enjoyed learned how to cast into hula hoops in the gym, and almost caught a fish in the end.

Everyone met up just before dinner for a little free time in the gym; campers enjoyed painting, playing basketball, or chilling out with their counselors before a delicious italian-themed dinner. After dinner, we all headed back to our cabins for warm clothes before heading down to the campfire for our middle ceremony campfire! Even though it was a little rainy, we had a great time–campers roasted marshmallows and made s’mores, and Director Tom explained how to roast the perfect ‘mallow. Then, campers had a chance to show their appreciation for each other through a head tapping activity; campers touched everyone on the head who had made them laugh during the week, or had helped them out, or had become a new friend. We said goodbye to our one-week campers with a great keylog ceremony–campers got to throw a twig in the fire as they said the one word that described their time at camp. Most common was “friendship,” followed by “laughter” and “teamwork.” Then, we sang some closing songs to finish out our evening and headed to bed.Β It was a wonderful evening that reflected the amazing time we’ve had at camp this past week.

That said, we’re looking forward to a wonderful weekend and an even more fantastic second week! Coming up: tie-dye, kites, swimming, hiking, and more!

Rock Climbing Wednesday!

Today was another big day at AO Sleep Away Camp 2012! We began our day with a wonderful al fresco breakfast of pancakes–it was fun piling lots of yummy strawberries and blueberries on our pancakes before eating them! After breakfast, the campers returned to their cabins to get ready for the day. We assembled on the green to sing “Here Comes the Sun” to prepare for our awesome day of rocking climbing. The older campers headed out to the rock face first, while the younger campers did the low ropes teambuilding circuit–they did many of the same obstacles the older campers did on Monday! Meanwhile, the older campers, led by experienced climbing guides, had fun climbing on a real rock face! The older campers also enjoyed the chance to be belayed by Director Jen!

The younger campers joined the older campers for lunch–we enjoyed a delightful picnic in the shadow of the cliffs. The younger campers then had a chance to try their hands at climbing; everyone enjoyed the chance to be belayed by Counselor Jasmine or Director Tom! Each camper had the chance to climb as high as they wanted, and then got to rappel down; for some campers, coming down was definitely their favorite part! Inbetween climbs, campers enjoyed making friendship bracelets and hemp jewelry; expect your camper to come home sporting some new “camp jewelry!”

After conquering the rock faces, we headed back to camp tired but triumphant. After a quick rest in our cabins, we headed to the gym and game room for some organized free time; campers had a chance to order their very own gorp, work on their lanyards, create some awesome paintings, or just relax in the game room or gym. We then headed to dinner, which was a super-fun Hawaiian luau! Campers enjoyed pineapple rings and some great island-style chicken.

After dinner, campers had the chance to change into warmer clothes (or their pjs if they wanted!), before meeting in the Opera House to play a fun inclusion-based game of Mingle. In this game, campers had a chance to be silly and have fun, but also learn about including others and the importance of seeing past any initial labels that they might attach to other people. In the game, each camper is given a one-sentence identity on a label, such as “I am shy” or “I am a rock star.” Then, all of the other campers have to treat that person how they are literally labeled–either as shy, or as a rock star, etc. The campers all really had a great time making much of the “rock stars” in their midst and coaxing the “shy” campers out of their shells. We then finished the game by discussing the good and the bad sides of being labeled, and shared with each other strategies for not labeling people, and for helping people out who look like they’ve been negatively labeled by others. At the end of the evening, several campers said that this was the best game they had played at camp!

We then headed to our cabins to brush our teeth and settle down for the evening. Lights were out by 9pm, and everyone was asleep by 9:30! Tomorrow is our first day of choice activities–it should be tons of fun!

Horseback Riding and Predator/Prey!

We had a grand time horseback riding and playing predator/prey today! We began our day with a good breakfast of cereal, blueberry muffins, oatmeal, and yogurt, and then headed back to cabins for cabin clean-up. After getting ready for the day, we met on the green, where we sang some groovy camp songs, including “Around the World Baby” and “Get Loose.” The campers really enjoyed getting the chance to do the really really loud verses! Then, we split into two groups–the younger campers went horseback riding, while the older group played predator/prey.

Predator/prey is a game that mimics nature, in that there are four different groups of animals, each of which needs different things to survive. The frogs, for instance, need to find lots of water (or, in our game, water tokens) while the owls need to find lots of prey (in our game, other campers!). The group that finds all of their pieces (including food, shelter, water, and prey) first, while avoiding the “raptors” that can freeze a group for up to one minute, wins! The frogs (the campers with Counselor Phil), despite losing a chunk of their team to the owls, won this morning! Congratulations to the frogs! The older campers really enjoyed the strategy aspect of the game, and several asked if we could play it again another day.

Meanwhile, the younger campers really enjoyed horseback riding–they took an hour and a half long trail ride through the beautiful alpine desert. Also, there were kittens at the riding stables, which many of the campers really enjoyed. πŸ™‚ At lunch–yummy cold cuts sandwiches–the younger campers couldn’t stop talking about their horses! The older campers got several recommendations about which horses to ask for and which to avoid. At the same time, the older campers gave the younger campers some tips on how to play predator/prey. Lunch went by quickly, and before we knew it, it was time for rest hour!

After rest hour, the groups switched–the older campers went horseback riding, while the younger campers played predator/prey. The younger campers had a great time–this time, the moths (the campers with Counselor Jasmine) won! Congratulations to the moths! Meanwhile, the older campers loved seeing the kittens and going riding–for some, it was their first time on a horse! The older campers also all agreed that the cloudy weather was perfect for horseback riding, so the light on and off drizzle that they experienced on the ride didn’t dampen their spirits one bit!

We finished up the afternoon with some well-deserved free time in the gym and game room–campers created lanyards, painted their clay creations, made their very own delicious gorp for snack, and took turns playing air hockey, ping pong, pool, and basketball. It was great fun! Then, we all washed our hands and headed to dinner, where campers had a chance to sit with whomever they wanted. After dinner, we headed to the hot springs pool for a relaxing night swim–it was lovely to float in the water and look up at the stars! At the end of the evening, we sang “Day is Done” to finish out our great day, and headed back to cabins to brush our teeth and get ready for bed.

Tomorrow is another exciting day–we’re going rock climbing! It should be amazing!