New Discoveries Each and Every DayJuly 12, 2013
Camp seems to foster new discoveries each and every day. A group of Freshmen boys have been tracking the growth of the tadpoles that live in a stream near the archery range. With thunderous excitement they came running to me today to announce that the tadpoles were gone, and now there were literally hundreds of frogs the size of a finger nail leaping all over a patch of grass.
I also spent time in the music building today and watched as different Evergreen campers tried playing the drums, keyboard and piano for the first time. One collection of girls managed to make sounds that were mostly pleasing to the ear by the end of the period, and proudly announced that they were in fact forming a band for Hollowpallooza, our music festival.
In our wood shop today Charley taught groups of campers a traditional method for creating spoons out of rough wood. After each had selected their block he took them to a campfire area, where he had hot coals burning. Using metal tongs he placed an ember onto each piece of wood, and had the camper exhale repeatedly to keep the fire burning. As the coal flamed it bore a sizeable divot. Over the next few days campers will carve and sand the rest of their blocks, with the divots ultimately becoming the bowl of the spoon. I was utterly fascinated by this project. Oh, and I should also say today I learned that one camper is making a space helmet in the wood shop. I love the creativity of our campers!
We had many trips out today. The Evergreen 11, 13 and 15 Basketball teams all competed in a massive tournament, and came home with two 2nd and one 3rd place wins. The Evergreen Freshmen had an intercamp at Camp Wicosuta, and won half of their games. Kenwood 10’s Soccer and 15’s Golf teams also had a good day out of Camp, while the Kenwood Inters and Juniors spent a leisurely day at Weirs Beach.
Typically on the Weirs trip, everyone rides the waterslides for a while, and then spends the afternoon enjoying time at the beach. This year the two unit leaders felt they just do a little bit more to make the day special for the kids…so they brought with them about 200 feet of rope and a bandana. After a terrific morning of splashing around on the slides they brought their campers to the beach and set up for them a series of team games, including tug of war. The units bonded as they worked on different ideas and strategies. In the end I heard from many campers that it was their favorite Weirs Beach trip ever!
Tonight’s evening activity in Kenwood was Watermelon League, our intramural softball league. What I loved most about tonight’s games was how enthusiastic everyone seemed to be. Our boys who love team sports were happy to be playing campers of different ages and abilities, and our boys who prefer other activities seemed to find encouragement interacting with an encouraging and accepting group of friends.
In the Hollow Evergreen had one of its most popular events of the summer: Jell-O Wrestling. Just after dinner our Maintenance Team hauled in well over 1,000 pounds of gooey, multicolored gelatinous cubes and poured them into a make shift inflatable wrestling ring. At activity call all of Evergreen gathered to shout, cheer and howl as campers and staff of all ages took tentative steps into the Jell-O for some friendly grappling. This event is what camp is all about. It’s silly and funny and just a little outside most people’s comfort zones. It’s also about collaboration, about supporting your friends, about taking a healthy risk, and about understanding the when to not be self-conscious.
We try to help our campers make new discoveries each and every day here, and today I saw it wherever I looked!