Channeling Your Adventurous Self

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The last two days have been busy and full of action packed classes. Eagle Rock is back and having adventures all over camp property already, Trail Blazers took to the ropes course yesterday to do the Leap of Faith, and the swim classes have all been having a swimmingly fun and cool time in Crystal Lake.

Two nights ago was the Lenape/Canoya all camp activity night with the boys’ going straight to their intense and action packed game of 8-Sticks. And for the girls, Tatianna our Girls’ Head Counselor created the Canoya Carnival where the girls could all make friendship bracelets, draw pictures for each other, roast marshmallows, and paint their nails. The best part of it though, was that they could do all of this with their Session Sister – a girl older or younger that you can have as your special sister throughout the session. It was all a really good time for both camps, and smiles could be seen no matter where you looked.

The great thing about having a lake central to the camp, is that sound carries everywhere. If you’re sitting out back on the Lodge porch, then you can hear the games on the game field, all the people in the lake, and if you listen real hard a horse can be heard in the background. Walking around to all of the classes the past two days has been such a joy because as I walk from one class to another, it’s like I can hear the entire camp having a good time.

Classes are all going really well, with bigger classes and more diverse activities for campers to try a bunch of new things. We have several swim classes and archery classes, Quidditch is back for anther session, horseback riding and Hands-On-Horsemanship are having a blast up at the barn, and Eagle Rock and Trailblazers are both constantly running around and doing some of the craziest stuff both around camp and on the lake.

The CITs are fitting in perfectly to the camp atmosphere. The counselors are grateful for their helpful hands and patience in the cabins and classes, and they’re all doing such a great job that I sometimes forget they’re CITs and not counselors already. It’s amazing to think that some of these CITs used to be in Kiya – and it seems like they were in Kiya just last summer. It’s always such an amazing experience to grow up with the camp. Looking back, there are so many people I owe my middle school and high school years to because it was my camp friends that made those years so memorable.

I’m a counselor in Kiya this session, and I had one of the campers tell me how excited she was to continue to come here until she was a counselor and then she could be in Kiya as a counselor with all her friends. Having camp as that constant in your life – just like our relationship with God – is such a great and solid rock to build your foundation on. These past two days have really shown just how important the camp atmosphere is when you have the absolute perfect friends and family to share it with.

And so last night we had our second session Council Fire, which is my personal favorite here at camp. We had lots of interaction and different games and stories led by both campers and staff this session. The cheers were well thought out, the games were high spirited, and the stories had us all so quiet you could hear the breeze through the trees as we got caught up in the story. The CITs spent their afternoon planning their first fire dance, and it was immaculate and amazing as always. When you have lots of people doing the fire dance, it’s fun to get creative and try some different stunts, and the CITs pulled it all off without a hitch.

We have another day of classes today, but we’re also going to be getting ready for our overnights tomorrow during a rolling lunch time. The overnights have been finalized and the campers are starting to go over their overnight packing lists – no cotton, extra socks, headlamps, playing cards, good and sturdy shoes. I didn’t come to appreciate overnights until I was in my older years and we were going on these longer and more challenging hikes – especially my LT year where we hiked 52 miles in a week.

But looking back on these experiences, I’m so grateful camp has pushed me to know that I can do hikes like this, and I can canoe and portage my canoe for a mile or so. It’s trips like this that I know gives campers the confidence to go out during the school year and be that adventurous side of them. Having the knowledge of how to backpack through the wilderness, use a map and compass, pump water and know how the water filter works, and have a knowledge of your surroundings is so applicable in the real world – even if you don’t have to constantly filter your water and can just get it out of the tap.

What overnights teach you, is how to hunker down and be responsible and accountable for yourself and others. We have such a solid group of campers this session, as well as amazing CITs and staff, so I know that these overnights are going to be such great journeys that will have them all coming back stronger and even more excited for the rest of camp.

Until then, we’re going to do a little swimming, shoot an arrow or two, maneuver through a ropes course, swish some basketballs and ride some horses while channeling our most adventurous self. It’s going to be a great day!

All the Love,

Zoë

Social Media Director/Camp Photographer

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