Girls Camp celebrates Miniwanca Magic

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Girls Camp Director Bethany Wise recaps the Fourth of July festivities this year.

Camp Miniwanca 2024 is off to a flying start! We welcomed over 100 campers for our first week of camp, who have already been diving deep into their interest groups, learning quad cheers, and making new friends.

Yesterday was July Fourth, so we had a special day focused on the theme of celebration. In Girls Camp, we started with a Pajama Polar Bear in Lake Michigan before Cabin 20 led us in morning stretch. After breakfast, we held our Parade to Nowhere that ended on the Green Acre where and quads proudly waved their flags. Campers dug into the costume closet to dress their leaders for a gorgeous fashion show before spending the morning playing in the sand and waves at the beach.

It was still a little bit chilly (which did not deter most of the campers from playing with handmade yarn “water balloons” made by longtime volunteer PJ), so for lunch, we warmed everyone up with some white chicken chili and cornbread.

After a nice long rest hour, we did a Camp Swap The girls headed to Boys Camp to play quad games on Bryant Field, while the boys came to Lake Michigan to enjoy the beach, volleyball, and pickleball. The campers enjoyed experiencing the other side of camp for the afternoon. We returned to our own sides of camp for hamburgers and an intense game of Soldiers and Spies, a camp favorite Night’s Doings! As always, we ended the day reflecting on the beach as the sun set.

This week has been a perfect example of what makes Miniwanca so magical. One of my favorite moments was leading a Community Time block with the Seekers. When asked what qualities Seekers should possess, they created an acrostic:

Serene
Enthusiastic
Enjoyable
Kind
Empathetic
Respectful and Responsible (because both Rs were too important)

The juxtaposition of Serene and Enthusiastic perfectly represents Miniwanca. We have so many fun and exciting activities, but they are balanced by moments of serenity. Campers get time and space to reflect, appreciate nature, and leave feeling in tune with their best self. I am so sad that our one-week campers’ time is almost to an end, but I am able to say “Aloha” knowing they are returning home the best version of themselves, and I’m excited for them to return next summer!

Bethany Wise
Girls Camp Director