Tag Archives: free play

Chilly morning up at camp with Boulder Juniors!

We all hopped on the bus this morning up to Wondervu and got off the bus to cloudy and cool weather. We sang some songs and played a high energy game to warm us up! We grabbed our lunches and headed up to Thunder Ridge to eat and then went for a super long hike around the camp property, and even went to watch some of the older kids rock climbing. Ed, the bus driver, joined us on our hike and for lunch and we just love having him around with us. We returned to camp for some time spent playing after our hike.

When we got back to Whittier, we ate a snack, colored some really cool pictures of dinosaurs from a coloring book and then closed our day with a reflection and our “Meatball” song!

We hope to take a long hike tomorrow at the Mesa Trail!

Eldorado Canyon Second Week: Monday

We had a great start to our second week today! We went up the canyon to Wondervu and started our day with songs and a game of YEEHAW! We started with a few activities in our Cabin Groups- Crazy Sunglasses, Pet Rocks, a Scavenger Hunt before the groups went to do Archery! While some campers did that others played some games, made animal masks and tumblebugs and built forts. The “Blank Space” ( the designated space for free play) now has some great new projects that the campers built! All the campers received their awesome AO camp T-shirts and took a cabin group picture! We ended the day with doing some teambuilding exercises in our groups. We ended the day with snack and the spaghetti song before heading back to Boulder on the bus. We cannot wait to be up again tomorrow!



Tie-Dye, Kayaking, and More at Sleep Away!

We had a fun Thursday at sleep away camp! We began our morning with some delicious french toast, then headed back to our cabins to get ready for the day. Then, we met at the field for some songs and games to get up and moving! After a rousing game of Giants, Wizards, Elves, the one-week campers began their choice activities–some went horseback riding, while others fished with Counselor Ben at the lake and climbed with Counselor Dana on Wally (our 26-foot climbing wall). Meanwhile, the backpackers headed out on their trip, while the remaining two-week campers created some beautiful tie-dye bandanas (parents, please wash those separately the first time!), and then helped to landscape our playing field. The campers are taking great pride in leaving camp better than they found it!

We had some yummy sloppy joes for lunch, and then headed back to our cabins for rest hour. After chilling out for an hour, the one-week campers went swimming in our camp lake, and also had the opportunity to make lanyards and sponge bugs. The two-week campers hopped in their kayaks and canoes and learned about boating from Counselors Nate, Annie, and Dennis! Everyone successfully completed their wet exit, and they had tons of fun playing sharks and minnows, and just cruising around the lake.

After swimming, kayaking, and canoeing, everyone took a quick shower to get nice and toasty warm, and then we had some popcorn for snack before free time. During free time, campers played board games, kicked around a soccer ball, played four square, and enjoyed each other’s company. Then, we headed to dinner, and filled up on some great mac n’ cheese! After dinner, campers headed back to their cabins to change into warm clothes, and then headed out on a night hike. It was fun to walk around when the sun was setting and we could see some lovely alpine glow! We closed our day with a campfire at the fire ring, and some super-yummy s’mores! All of the campers enjoyed roasting and eating their marshmallows. Delicious! Then, campers headed back to their cabins to for lights out. It was a wonderful day, and we’re excited for tomorrow!

Climbing Tuesday in the Canyon!

We had a great Tuesday in the canyon–we began our day with some loud morning songs and a fun game of What Time Is It, Mr Fox? After sunscreening, groups headed off to their activities. Every group got a chance to climb Supremacy Rock with our awesome climbing guides, Rainbow and Jess–some campers even chose to try climbing blindfolded! Groups also had a chance to do free play, spiderweb, marble painting, and some other fun teambuilding activities. We drank lots of water–it was hot today! Campers also got their camp t-shirts; check out cabin group photos on our photos website, aocamps.com/photos (password can be found in your camp account). In the afternoon, we had some delicious carrots for snack and opened up last year’s session 2 Time Capsule. It was very cool–campers got a chance to see what last year’s session 2 campers really enjoyed about camp! We closed our day with some quieter afternoon songs and headed home, ready for a nap! Tomorrow we’re headed to the pool–see you there!

Monday in the Canyon!

We had an awesome first day of session 3! We began our morning with some fun morning songs, including Tarzan and Get Loose. Then, we played a quick all-camp game of Commonalities to see what we had in common with other campers–it was fun to hear what we all had in common! After that, the groups separated out to meet their cabin groups, get water, and put on some sunscreen. Each group played some entertaining name games, decorated their camp water bottles, and had a chance to work together to name their cabin group. This session, we have the Great Hiking Horned Hippos, the Awesome Coconut Squirrels, the Sorry Pasta Ninjas from Outerspace, the Ninja Hippogriff Serpents, and the Swinging Monkey Poisonous Rattlesnakes. Ask your camper his/her group’s name! Groups also had a chance to explore the canyon and plan out their next few days, building consensus with their cabin groupmates. We finished the day with some delicious fruit and nut bars for snack, and ended with a few quieter songs, including the Canoe Song. We ended with our standard On Top of Spaghetti. We had a great day!

Tomorrow, we are back in the canyon for an awesome second day of camp! See you there!

Thursday-Horseback Riding, Scooby Doo!, and Closing Campfire

Hi! While I have the chance, I thought I would go ahead and blog about what we’re doing at camp today. We began our day with some delectable oatmeal breakfast, and then headed out for some horseback riding! Every camper filled up their water bottle, slathered on some sunscreen, and then we all headed to the stables to get our mounts and ride! Campers enjoyed watching the very cute stable kittens play while they waited for their horses, and then hopped on and hit the trail. Every camper got fitted for a helmet to wear while riding, and put their water bottle in a sling hanging from the saddlehorn–as one camper pointed out to me, it’s perfect, because you get to both ride AND drink water!

After horseback riding, we’ll head back to camp for some divine lunch and a nice calm rest hour. Campers will have the chance to read, rest, relax, and talk quietly with their cabin-mates if they wish. After rest hour, we’ll all meet out on the Commons, where Program Director Jen will lead us in a giant game of Scooby Doo! There is a ghost at camp, and all of the campers are the detectives. Working together, they must find and assemble the clues to the mystery–who is the ghost, and what is he/she searching for?? Once the campers get the ghost what he/she is missing, they will have successfully cooperated to win the game!

After Scooby Doo!, we’ll head to the pool for a quick swim, and then will head to the camp gym and game room for some free play–campers will get to make one last GORP order, and will have a chance to start one final lanyard, piece of jewelry, or hemp bracelet. They will also play those final games of basketball, soccer, foose-ball, air hockey, pool, and ping-pong! After our free play, we’ll all wash our hands and head to Grizzly Jack (the camp dining hall) for our final dinner as a camp. I’m sure it will be absolutely delicious! After dinner, campers will have a chance to change into warm clothes, and then we’ll head down to the fire ring to roast some marshmallows for s’mores. After making s’mores, we’ll end our last night of camp with closing campfire–campers will have a chance to acknowledge the friends they have made, the new activities they have tried, and the ways in which camp has been a special and meaningful place for them. We’ll close with some quieter evening songs, including “All My Life’s a Circle” and “Taps,” and then will head back to our cabins to brush our teeth, shower, and have our closing cabin candlelight ceremonies. After the cabin candlelight ceremony, campers will head to bed for one last night of restful sleep, surrounded by their camp friends. I think it’s going to be an amazing last full day of camp!

Tuesday-Climbing for all!

Today was an exciting day–directly after our delectable breakfast, the entire camp headed out to go rock climbing! We stopped at the RMOC to get fitted for helmets and harnesses, and then headed out to our climbing site. Although the drive to the site was a bit long, the campers agreed that it was worth it when we got to the site. It was so beautiful! Our climbing guide set up four top ropes, so every camper got a chance to climb several times. Thanks to our wonderful counselors, who are all certified belayers, we climbed all day long! Everyone made sure to put on lots of sunscreen and drink lots of water, because it was a pretty hot day up in the alpine desert. We all climbed once, then took a break for lunch–campers enjoyed sitting in the shade of the rock and chowing down on our delicious sack lunches.

After lunch, campers re-filled their water bottles and headed back to the rock faces–campers cheered on their friends, did some “mining” projects while waiting to climb, and just generally enjoyed being climbers for the day. Check out our camp Photos–the climbs were pretty epic today! After everyone had climbed as much as they wanted to, we hopped back in the vans and headed back to camp to relax and have a break from the sun.

Back at camp, campers had a chance to chill in their cabins for a bit, and when they were ready, they headed to the camp gym and game room for some snack and free play. Campers ordered their own personal GORP–we got to pick exactly what we wanted from a list of yummy ingredients! During free play, campers worked on their lanyards and hemp bracelets–several campers are up to doing multiple string lanyards, bracelets, necklaces, and more! There were also some good games of soccer and basketball going on, as well as some fierce games of foose-ball. At the end of free play, we all washed our hands, and then headed to Grizzly Jack (the camp dining hall) for some delicious dinner.

After dinner, we once again headed to our cabins to change into our swimsuits and then went to the pool for a relaxing night swim. Campers had a lot of fun treating some of the counselors as water jungle gyms! Everyone practiced their best dives, and had a great time exploring around the edges and bottom of the pool. Some campers even created a cool game of “underwater talking,” where one person says something underwater, and then everyone else tries to guess what that person said! We finished our night swim by first identifying some of the constellations, and then singing a lovely version of “Taps” to close our day. Campers then headed to their cabins to shower, brush their teeth, and jump into bed so as to be ready for an exciting day tomorrow. It’s the second week of sleep away camp, and we’re having a blast!

Monday-Rafting, Ropes, Egg Drop!

We began our week with a high-energy Monday–the older campers headed out directly after breakfast for rafting, while the younger campers headed down to the ropes course to participate in some teambuilding challenges. The younger campers enjoyed “beating” the jaws mobile, the mohawk walk, and even the nitro pit! Meanwhile, the older campers headed to RMOC to get PFDs and helmets in preparation for their rafting trips. Then, we headed to the Arkansas River! We had a great time learning about the river wildlife, how to work as a team to move the rafts, and also enjoyed taking turns sitting on the very front of the raft. We went through a Class 2 rapid just outside the town of Salida–the campers had a great time waving to townspeople as we rafted the rapids!

After we finished our awesome rafting trips, we headed back to camp to meet up with the younger campers and have lunch. During lunch, campers traded stories about their respective mornings–it was amazing to hear how those rapids kept getting bigger and bigger! After lunch, everyone headed back to their cabins for rest hour–campers had a chance to relax, read, and write letters home.

At 2:15, we met Program Director Jen on the Commons for an all-camp challenge. As it turned out, the camp had come into possession of some “highly dangerous, radioactive” objects, a.k.a. raw eggs. The challenge for each group was to create a secure carrying case for this object, a carrying case sturdy enough to protect the object should it be dropped from a great height. Groups got a grab-bag of materials to work with, including paper plates, newspapers, rubber bands, plastic gloves, and more! Some of the creations were really quite fantastic–check out our Photos page to see! After each drop, groups got a chance to refine and fix their carrying cases. It was exciting to see campers debating whether to stick with a tried-and-true design, or whether they should try something new. The drops got higher and higher, culminating in a final drop of about 20 feet. Two out of the four groups successfully protected their egg from this epic drop!

After cleaning up from our epic egg drop challenge, campers headed to the camp gym and game room for some organized free play. Campers had lots of fun playing with our camp costumes–see the camp Photos for pictures!–and also enjoyed playing pool, air hockey, and ping-pong. We ate a wonderful snack of GORP, and hung out with friends until dinner. We had a delightful dinner at Grizzly Jack (the camp dining hall), and then headed back to our cabins to change into our swimsuits for a fun night swim!

We had a great time swimming in the pool tonight–campers enjoyed watching the stars come out and the moon come up, and also had fun submerging themselves to drown the few errant mosquitoes that decided to go swimming too! We finished up our evening with a quiet rendition of “Taps” in the pool, and then headed back to our cabins to shower and sleep. Campers are excited to go rock climbing tomorrow!

Sunday-Cabins vs Wild!

We began our Sunday with a refreshing late wake up (we slept in until 7:30!) and a delicious breakfast. After eating their fill, campers returned to their cabins to get them spick and span for the big inspection by Director Tommy. Then, we headed to the camp gym, where we played a rousing game of “Hail Hippie” and a complicated game of “Insanity.” Both games look very competitive, but they actually take cooperation to win! As the campers pointed out, the only way to win is to make sure that everyone wins. Then, we headed into the wild for some extreme cabin vs wild!

Campers headed into the woods armed with their knowledge, their counselors, a tarp, some rope, some webbing, and the information that a “storm” was coming and they needed to build a shelter that would hold all of them. We had a lot of fun discussing different ways of using both our materials and the natural world around us to create awesome-looking, viable shelters. And sure enough, each group successfully stayed dry and warm when the “storm” (Director Jen with some nalgenes full of water) swept over them!

After surviving the storm in our wonderful shelters, we headed back to Grizzly Jack (the camp dining hall) for a yummy lunch, followed by a rejuvenating rest hour. Then, we headed back to the Commons for some exciting team challenges–campers participated in water cup races, puzzled through the human knot, attempted to help their friends navigate a very tricky maze while blindfolded, and worked together using sound to arrive at the same finishing point from different starting places. It was very exciting to watch the campers working together and learning how to communicate to achieve their goals.

At 3:15, our new second-week campers and counselors arrived to great excitement! We all ran to greet them warmly, and helped them move their gear into their respective cabins. Then, we all headed together to the pool to spend some time swimming and getting to know each other. Some of Counselor Pete’s flips and dives were truly amazing! The campers also enjoyed playing water basketball and volleyball, and several chose to chill out while floating with a pool noodle for support.

After swimming, we headed back to our cabins, changed, and headed to the camp gym and game room for some organized free time. Campers had some delicious GORP for snack, and got the chance to play games with their friends or just relax and take some personal downtime. Counselors helped start lanyards and hemp bracelets, and some campers even made some very elaborate tumblebugs! After free time, we headed to Grizzly Jack for some delectable supper–campers are very good about drinking water at dinner!

We ended our evening with a second-week opening campfire–we enjoyed s’mores! and songs down by the river, and Director Tommy even played the guitar for us. Counselor Steve led us in a rendition of the “Baaarr!” skit–ask your camper to show you how it’s done! We ended the evening by heading back to our cabins for a candlelight ceremony, showers, and some much needed rest. Everyone is really excited to go rafting tomorrow!

Stellar Start to the Week

We had a great day in Canyon today!  The Radioactive Flying Portapotties from Jupiter went on a long and adventurous hike this morning.  A short story kept the campers hiking strong.  The Fiery Hungarian Dragon Citruses spent the morning on teambuilding; the campers found the activities challenging, but they persevered and they had a great debriefing afterward!  The afternoon was craft time for both groups.  Everyone made Tumblebugs, and the Flying Portapotties made marbled paper while the Dragon Citruses worked with clay.  Everyone closed the day with play, songs, and delicious GORP!