Hey folks – this is Joanie, the Community Coordinator here at Merrowvista, reporting live from the Canaan Valley. We had a very beautiful, very golden day here today. In just a few days, the campers have already brought so much joy and energy to camp and I am so excited to see how they will continue to form this community in the coming weeks.
Today was the first full day that we followed the daily schedule! This meant lots of new things began – starting right after the rising bell with some Go-Getters – an exciting time for our Pioneer and Trailblazer campers. Even before breakfast, they start the fun with activities ranging from Jazzercise to Beefcake. Today, while some campers braved the heat to go for a jog around camp, many others could be seen on their yoga mats, stretching to start their day. After hearing from Voyageur C during Flag Raising, we all shared in a reflective time before we continued on to breakfast where we were in for had mini bagels for breakfast, along with our ever-plentiful breakfast bar offering oatmeal, yogurt, and chia pudding (among mountains of cereal and milk). During this meal, we said Aloha to the Voyageurs and to Shaw Village as they headed out on their trips. We look forward to hearing updates from the bikers in Nova Scotia and can’t wait to welcome Shaw back from their hike trip in a few days!
After breakfast, campers went back to their villages to KCISP (Keep Camp In Shape Please) for the first time this session. They made their beds, swept their cabins and did whatever else was needed to get their cabin looking spic and span. Right now, our campers in the Meadow Cabins (Pioneers) are keeping it real cool – a fan was added to every cabin! We have made some very fun (and very wet) adjustments here at camp to account for the heat. Today, sprinklers and misters abounded – as did reminders about refilling water bottles. We had lots of water incorporated into all activities– in a basketball interest group, the campers asked to be squirted with a water shooter for each layup that they did. Four Trails campers had meetings in the Adirondacks with the sprinklers on and many campers ran through during the day as well.
While beating the heat, campers also stayed busy this morning in interest groups – some went fishing, shot bulls eyes in archery and a few even climbed the rock wall blindfolded ! This all meant that we had tons of Public Affirmation at lunch – where we feasted on grilled cheese, fruit salad and some pretzels (and tons of water). The Food Program decided to switch things up today and gave us Italian Ice! At lunch! It was a special treat to have dessert at a meal other than dinner and the campers were absolutely thrilled. They headed back to their villages after a few song challenges for some Eaaaaaasy Time before their final interest group of the day. Then they were off to Village Time – some went on the low ropes course, some did outdoor cooking and one group spent some time in our Garden, exploring what we have grown and what they can eat. Then they were set free for Your Time! They had an hour to do whatever they wanted – as you can imagine, many made a beeline for the waterfront.
For Nights Doings, the Trailblazers and the Pioneers were split up! We had planned to play Gold Rush and Capture the Flag but decided to switch it up a bit to keep everyone cool and with a bit more time to spend in their Villages for Village Insight. The Pioneers got to show off their musical skills in a game of Sing Down in the Amphitheatre while the Trailblazers battled it out on the A Field in a game of Capture the Flag. Not to worry, the Trailblazers had sprinklers going next to the boundaries for the game so they could cool down whenever they needed. A ton of fun was had at both games – with lots of songs and dance for the Pios and facepaint and sprinklers for the Trailblazers.
As the sun sets on a jam-packed day at Merrowvista, I can’t wait to see how these campers will leave their unique marks on this community. Their enthusiasm and excitement is palpable and it looks like we have a great session ahead of us.