World Cup Soccer Day!

What a great couple days we’ve had!

When the campers came back from Overnights, we all rejoiced upon their return by celebrating International Night after a full day of classes. Though not a fully adventurous evening program, International Night is important to Crystal Lake Camps because it provides an opportunity for campers to all come together as a global community and learn about one another’s countries and cultures.

Majority of International Night is a dinner. Michelle, our Head Chef, and the kitchen staff worked hard to prepare a fantastic meal of enchiladas from Mexico, and rice prepared a special Brazilian way! Paired with homemade salsa and topped with avocados, it was definitely a meal we were blessed to share amongst one another.

Dessert was a thick, chocolaty treat also prepared by our visitors from Brazil. It’s called Brigaderio, and though we had it in a pudding form, it’s traditionally served in fudge ball form. It’s rich, sticks to your spoon, and warms your whole body when you eat it. We would not be opposed to having some more – no matter what form it comes in.

Once the meal was over, we opened up multiple booths from the countries represented by our campers and staff here this session – Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Each country had prepared some sort of dish that is prominent to their culture and something they would sit around the table with their family to eat.

Since everyone had just returned from Overnights the day prior, it was a nice and relaxing evening that ended in the least relaxing way – a dance party. We played popular music from each country, and all the camp came together to dance together and learn the dancing techniques from their fellow campers.

It was a great lead up into the hype that happened when World Cup Soccer Day came around. And boy, did it ever.

The campers awoke to music blasting from the speakers as a couple of the World Cup Soccer Day (WCSD) committee drove through camp playing past songs from the World Cup Soccer Day playlists. The activities started immediately after breakfast with teams coming together for Flag & Face Painting.

Each country – South Africa, China, France, Germany, Columbia, Australia – put together a flag they could carry for the rest of the day, a cheer they could say at the start of every game they played, and face paint they could use to decorate their faces and bodies in celebration of their team.

There were six games played in the morning with two going on at each time – one on the soccer field and one on the game field – that determined who would play in the semi-finals. We had an extended rest hour to allow our skilled and professional soccer players could rest up and prepare for the semi-finals.

In the end, it came down to France and South Africa in the finals, and after a hearty dinner we all hiked up to the soccer field for the finals. Music was playing, both teams were cheering, and there were dance parties popping up all around the field as everyone cheered on the final two teams before France took the cup.

In celebration of France’s victory, fireworks went off and they were given the trophy to celebration their hard teamwork and determination.

Overall, World Cup Soccer Day is a day to celebrate sportsmanship. It brings together campers and staff from multiple countries and age groups to all work together and strategize to play on the field as one unit. Teams cheer for each other, campers and staff are constantly supporting each other both in the spirit of the game and metaphysically, and in the end everyone has a great time and gets to enjoy a full day of sunshine and sportsmanship.

Though we are translating in three different languages this session, there’s only one language in soccer and it’s really wonderful and heartwarming to see the players all share this day of celebration together.

Tonight is the Talent Show! We have multiple acts already lined up, and a couple surprises usually pop up during the show as well to keep us on our toes!

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