More Four Fold Tournament Week and a Four Trails Homecoming

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Greetings once again from the shores of Dan Hole Pond! Life at Merrowvista has been an exciting affair as the days fly by in this the final week of camp. Here is an update of all the happenings:

The Four Fold Tournament raged on and the camp was alive with the sounds of enthusiastic Best Self competition. Yesterday saw a camp classic, a signature event of the tournament known as Camp Conquest. This sprawling multi team version of capture the flag pit each of the 6 tournament teams against each other in a quest to capture all 6 territories, thus claiming the camp. Mental Fold meets the Physical as strategy, speed, and stealth ultimately carried the day. Some teams chose offense , some defense, and some spent their effort seeking out the elusive secession flag hidden somewhere in the main campus. In the end, Team Water got the final edge once all points were tallied.

Last night the community gathered to watch the Merrowvista Production, a stage performance prepared and performed by campers. A small group of committed actors and stage hands have been working on this piece over the course of the session, and their efforts showed in the final product. The story set in a galaxy far, far away told the tale of Merrow Vista Walker and her mission to unite the Four Folds, release the power of the Enkindled Spirit for all, and lead the rebellion against the sinister plans of Darth Ort. Well timed jokes, thrilling light saber fights, and brilliantly delivered lines were met with a well-deserved standing ovation from the community at the show’s conclusion.

Today saw the Four Fold Relay, the final and grandest of the tournament events. Beginning at the water front, the 6 teams embark on a multi stage relay race with more than 30 individual stations spaced over the entire camp and presenting a wide variety of challenges. A sampling includes: Canoeing to retrieve floating objects, washing dishes, finding buried flags, reciting the Gettysburg Address while donning a beard and stove pipe hat, and of course, thawing the frozen t-shirt. More than an hour and a half after the start, Team Light crossed the finish line, a result much lauded by our Camp Director. All teams are to be congratulated for the support and encouragement they showed one another throughout the week, and campers certainly seized the opportunity to show the best of themselves amid the heat of competition.

The afternoon saw the return of our Voyageur and Odyssey campers. The traditional parade is always a session highlight as the community flanks the road and the eldest Four Trails campers walk the final hill to the base of the farmhouse, regaled by the cheers of younger campers and staff. The Odyssey campers came in covered with mud; the Voyageurs pushing their bikes in crazy costumes. Their walk in concluded with a long run down to Dan Hole Pond where they hurled themselves into the water they had been away from for so long. It is always a beautiful moment when the entire community is whole again and all in one place, safe and sound.

That spirit carried on into Candlelight Sing. On this the final night of camp, all the joy and meaning were on display as villages led the community in a celebration of song. Kris shared some final words for campers to carry with them through their seasons away from camp, and at nights end, each camper received their Founder Medal before heading off to bed. There were tears, but tears representing a beautiful time together full of memories and friendships that will live on far into the future. It has been a great session, and while we are sad to see it coming to an end, we are glad to be welcoming all of you to camp tomorrow for Grand Council, and proud knowing these campers have much to celebrate .