Kicking Off Session 3!

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It’s third session! We’ve had a great summer so far and this session is going to be the icing on the cake. We’re excited to have all the campers here from England, as well as the rest of all our happy little campers swimming in the lake and running around the game field. This summer has been such a wonderful example of inclusiveness, with campers never feeling shy or unsure of who to talk to. Instead, everyone is friends with everyone and when you look out onto the game field before meals, you’ll always see groups of campers doing something and never someone oddly out. Games and activities will be started if someone suggests it, or if there’s a slight interest. A very intense and hilarious game of volleyball was started up yesterday where I’m pretty sure there was more laughing than volleyball because two of the Kiyans said something about never having played. Our camp mentality first and foremost is family, and these campers this summer have done a wonderful job of making sure every camper feels like a brother and sister to everyone.

A good example of this was Barn Dance last night. Now, Barn Dance is always crazy – that’s a given – but last night it was particularly so. We played all the typical Barn Dance games such as the Big Wind Blows and a crazy intense game of Musical Chairs. The Limbo ended with quite the spectacle of flexibility, and I’ve never Cotton-Eye Joed so hard in my life. This was the first event for the whole summer that I physically put my camera down and just had a good time with everyone. I got lots of great pictures of the campers and staff dancing, but the energy level was so high that you couldn’t do anything but dance. The CITs were in charge of Barn Dance last night and they did a great job of mixing in games and dances that had everyone on their feet and sweating in the crazy heat.

What was particularly awesome about this Barn Dance in particular, was the fact that everyone was dancing. Sometimes I remember the Barn Dance resembling that of a high school prom, where the majority are dancing but there are always those people surrounding the outside just enjoying the food and water and sitting down and bobbing their head to the music. It’s not that they aren’t enjoying themselves, but they’re just looking on from afar because maybe their funky chicken moves aren’t as funky as everyone else’s.

But not at this Barn Dance. Every time I looked to the outer area where the chairs were, not a one was sitting down or standing next to the water cooler. Sure, people would go and get water because it was hot hot hot, but we’d all go together and pass it around when we had water breaks. Everyone was up and dancing, no matter your skill level. We YMCA’d our hearts out and by the time it was time for Kiya and Dunwoody to go on the hayride, some old school Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana were making us all jump around and scream at the top of our lungs. Sure, some of the guys “pretended” they didn’t know the lyrics, but I caught some of them every once in a while mouthing the lyrics as they jumped around and did the Hoedown Throwdown with ease.

In the end was the hayride, which usually means lots of hay being thrown and screaming for Scott to go faster on our way back – which he usually does to a point. But last night we were told that the hay throwing needed to be at a minimum since the horses would indeed be eating it at one point. So this hayride was extremely pleasant. We all sat together laughing and screaming as we made our way up and down the camp road.

The hayride I was on was with Nikahu and Norman and also Atira, so the older campers in Nikahu and Norman as well as the staff were sharing stories with the Atirans and some of the newer campers about past hayride experiences they’ll never forget. I was sitting in the back with a few friends who recalled a hayride that we took back when I was around Atira age, and it was pitch black when we got to the top right outside the gate. Scott stopped the truck and turned the lights off and it was like the universe had opened up above us and was spilled stars left and right. Nabo was on our hayride, and our cabin was small enough that all the Senecans and Atirans could lay down and stare up at the stars as he pointed out constellations and what stars were actually planets. That was such a cool experience and it was crazy that about three or four of us all remembered it, but didn’t even realize we were all on the same hayride until last night. Camp really is one big family, coming back summer after summer to spend another great one with your brothers and sisters.

This is going to be a great session. Just like the last two sessions, there’s an uplifted feeling of love and adoration towards all the campers and staff as we go about our day. When I’m going around to all the classes to take pictures, the campers and staff are always asking if I’d like to be part of their class. I sit at the miscellaneous staff table for meals, and campers are always inviting us to sit at their tables so not only we can hear about their day, but because they want to hear about ours. The love and care everyone is expressing is so in line with this week’s lesson on Love, where Mrs. Eddy reminds us that, “[Divine Love] is my shepherd; I shall not want.” We are without wanting at camp this summer, only the want to be with each other constantly and express our God-given abilities to have a good time and love one another unconditionally.

It’s the first day of classes, and we have some really amazing classes the campers are excited about coming up. Breakfast was full of chatter with what fun things the campers will be doing the next two weeks, and we’re all excited for those things to come to fruition.

All the Love,

Zoë

Social Media Director/Camp Photographer

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