If there’s one thing we’ve learned this summer, it’s that the rain can’t stop us no matter what. The first day of camp started out hot and sunny as we went about our Sunday morning. Activity fair took place in the morning, which is where counselors will present their classes with fun skits and information pertaining to each class.
The CITs really stepped up their game this session with their first round of classes that they put plans together for and have been preparing themselves for these past couple weeks. The campers were smiling and laughing as the counselors made jokes, embarrassed themselves, and even put on a dance for the campers to encourage them to sign up for their classes.
Sunday School wasn’t until the afternoon, and then we all started marking our books together in the dining hall. It’s always a fun experience to mark books together. We talk with campers about how both the Bible and Science and Health are our pastors, showing us the way in Christian Science and helping us to learn more and become more connected with God.
I had never marked books until I came to CLC, and when I finally learned how to do it correctly, I was in awe of how different reading the lesson from the books was compared to MyBibleLesson. Suddenly, campers become more aware of all the knowledge and connections between both books. Being able to all sit down as a cabin and a camp together to mark books is such an enriching experience. We may find a quote in Science and Health that isn’t in the lesson, but close to where a marker is and it can spark a whole conversation. The best thing is during quiet hour we’ll talk about the story in the lesson and when campers have more questions, we can show them in the book where the rest of the story comes from and give a better explanation.
What’s also pretty cool about these past two sessions, is that we have the ability to see what the translated version is in Spanish. Sometimes certain words have other meanings that shed a lot more light on a thought or idea and we are just blown away by the vast majority of knowledge and understanding tucked into the pages we read on the daily.
But in terms of the rain, thunder started to taunt us in the afternoon as free swim was postponed to another day but we brought out some good, old camp games in the dining hall. The rain soon came down, but the campers and staff weren’t even fazed as we all walked down to dinner together and then proceeded to break out our best swing dance impressions during barn dance.
Barn Dance is the ultimate ice breaker. You’ll be dancing along to crazy songs you only hear once a year (when you’re at Barn Dance) and you may not even know the person but you will sure know them by the end of the night. It’s bare feet and crazy jumping around and usually a very intense game of musical chairs that takes up the entire dining hall.
The first thing that always happens when you walk into barn dance, besides taking off your shoes off of course, is a game called The Big Wind Blows. It’s a game where a camper or staff member is in the middle and starts off, “The big wind blows for anyone wearing a cowboy hat,” or any other something that the big wind blows for like, “…anyone that has blue eyes,” or my personal favorite, “…anyone having a good time.” (AKA everyone).
Then we all make a dash around the dining hall trying to find an open seat in the circle of chairs that completes the “Big Wind” and whoever is left standing is the next person to decide something the big wind blows for.
During the course of this game you’ll end up sitting next to someone different each time, and you usually have enough time to introduce yourself and give a smile or a funny comment about the game before you’re listening in to see if the big wind is blowing for something you are or something you’re wearing.
It’s completely ridiculous and absolutely the most fun. But of course, if we’re starting the night off with something that fun and crazy, then obviously we have to end the night on the same note. Scott pulls out his red truck, hooks up the hay ride trailer and we end the night looking at the stars up at the gate after a good ol’ fashion hay ride with your cabin.
The great thing about camp being in the middle of nowhere – sorry, I meant the middle of Pennsylvania, but same thing really – is that the stars are so visible in the night sky on a cloudless night. I’ve never taken astronomy in my life, but I can recall on multiple instances when my counselor pointed out a constellation or a planet in plain view from where we were at camp. We’ve seen the space station go over a couple times and even some gorgeous shooting stars. It’s really cool to be able to pass that knowledge onto campers now that I’m on staff, because I know that I found it to be absolutely breathtaking when I came here growing up.
It’s kind of a metaphor for camp, really. Because during the year you’re so wrapped up in your school work or activities you’re apart of that often you don’t have time to look around. Maybe, if you’re from a city, the lights are too bright to even see those stars. But when you get to camp, everything is so clear and peaceful that you have the time to look up and appreciate all that God has given us and know that all beauty and good things came from Him.
And I know for sure that there’s going to be a lot more beauty and goodness expressed in everyone for the rest of this session. Today is the first day of classes, and I know that that is going to entail lots of laughs, good memories, and solid friendships to last a lifetime.
All the Love,
Atira Counselor, Trail Blazer Director, Camp Photographer
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