Closing Council and Odyssey Vespers

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Miniwanca, Summer Camp, Michigan, Lake Michigan, Polar Bear, Girls Camp

Today is the last full day at Miniwanca. We continue to be astonished that the session is nearly over. Campers came out in full force this morning to get in one last dip in the lake for Polar Bear, and then we all gathered on the beach for a Morning Reflection led by our Voyageur campers. The Voyageurs spent a moment to tell us what their Voyage had taught them to celebrate. From rainy days to sunsets to moments spent together, our Voyageurs learned to celebrate a lot on their trip.

This morning campers finished up their final round of Interest Groups. From soccer to creative writing, fishing to Miniwanca magic, embroidery to ceramics, and theater to dune discovery campers wrapped up their experience with Interest Groups this morning. Lunch was a fun and wild affair with rolling “funsies.” Typically, campers can only do three funsies, such as song challenges, demands for people to shake their booty, or just plain old banging on the table. Today campers started the funsies early and kept them going throughout the entire meal! It was a grand accompaniment to our quesadilla lunch and kept the spirits and the energy high.

After a normal Rest Hour, campers headed over to the Council Circle for an Awards Assembly. We celebrated our astonishing 138 Polar Bears (the most at one time in recent history) and our campers who referred a friend to come to camp. We also learned the “Secret of the Tags,” our special way to make sure your campers go home with everything that belongs to them.

This afternoon, amid distant rumbles of thunder, campers started the packing and cleaning process. After two and three (for some campers, even five and six!) weeks of camp, there is plenty to go through and pack up. Campers will be bringing home smiles, crafthouse projects, and a greater sense of self.

Dinner was another fun affair with our Avail Slumber Party Banquet! Campers came dressed in their PJs and enjoyed classic “take out” food (sweet and sour chicken with egg rolls), ice cream, and a movie playing in the background! Avail spent most of the afternoon decorating the Eating Lodge to really get us in the feel of the theme.

After dinner we all gathered in Council Circle for Closing Council. We celebrated and recognized many accomplishments from our Foresters who took their first step into wilderness adventure to our Avail campers who were leaders of their tribes to our Odyssey campers who biked almost 13o0 miles from Merrowvista to Miniwanca. First Year Camps, and Explorer and Adventurer campers were awarded patches to recognize their successes. Avail campers were awarded a long sleeve t-shirt. Voyageur campers earned their Rugbys, whose stripes connect them with all Voyageurs past and present. Odyssey campers earned their jackets, which they will wear with pride to remind them of all they have overcome. We are so proud of the accomplishments of all of our brave, daring, and loving campers here at Miniwanca.

We closed the night with an incredible Vespers led by our Odyssey campers in Church of the Dunes. Every story had the words, “nevertheless I persisted.” Through the good times and the hard, in rain and shine, through triumph and heartache, this summer we all persisted and here is the end too soon.