Merrowvista In-Camp Update July 27, 2016

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It has been a beautiful and sunny couple days here at Merrowvista, and everyone has been excited to soak it up in these first days of the 2/3 week session. Yesterday was the first day of the normal daily schedule, and everyone was glad to get into the swing of things. The morning started with Go Getters and everyone was out and getting their day going with some good old fashion exercise! Campers ran around the loop up in central camp, while others chose to start their day with a refreshing dip in Dan Hole Pond. More excitement came in the form of Jazzercise with Emily and Kristen who brought not only their rainbow tutu’s but lots of energy as well. After fueling our bodies with some French toast and sausage, we all headed out into the first round of interest groups. It was a great day for the kayaking Interest Group to head out onto the lake and start to learn about how to move and maneuver their crafts on the water. While wandering around camp I found myself learning some Spanish in the Adirondack chairs and saw a centered group of young people practicing Yoga.

Before lunch, everyone gathered in front of New Hampshire for Assembly where they learned some wacky new words and found out their KCISP (keep camp in shape please) scores from the lone inspector. The stakes are high because at the end of the session groups get to collect all of their scores and use their points to bid on KCISP auction activities like a spa day, a tea party, or cookie decorating. Soon lunch was upon us and we enjoyed chicken patty sandwiches and a beautiful salad bar with many vegetables and greens grown right up the road at Pork Hill Farm. Bellies full, everyone headed back to their villages for some EZ Time, and snores could be heard coming from down in the Meadow. The afternoon Interest Group came and went, and soon it was time for Village Time. Villages get to take time every day to catch up and enjoy each other’s company while baking Banana Boats in a fire, taking on the high challenge course, or brushing up on their archery skills. After dinner, it was time to come together as Pioneer and Trailblazer communities for Night’s Doings! The Pioneers headed down to the Meadow to piece together a falling star by collecting gold during Gold Rush, and the Trailblazers took over the A-field with the classic Capture the Flag with a little outer space themed twist. Thoroughly wiped out from the day, campers headed back to their cabins for Village Insight and a good night’s sleep.

The rising bell rung this morning signaling another day packed full of Interest Groups and village fun. As the second day of the Interest Group rotation, campers get to practice the skills they learned yesterday and start to build on them. Friendship bracelet makers are able to graduate from the spiral staircase to the candy stripe and the gardeners move on from smoothies to making butter with herbs. Another round of Village Time included conquering some team challenges and taking on the burly test at the waterfall. Campers got some time to play before dinner and joined together again in the Eating lodge for another meal together full of songs, joy, and tacos. Night’s doings flipped the Pioneers and Trailblazers to give the Pios a chance at capturing some flags and the Trailblazers the opportunity to mine for gold. Tonight was a special night because it ended with an Evening Reflection (ER). ER is similar to flag raising and is typically led by one of the older groups at camp. Tonight, Sentinel village reflected on the lessons to be learned from being in such a small village (their village is comprised of 6 campers and 2 leaders). They ended with a beautiful dare to the community to search for ways to apply these lessons to their own villages whether they be big or small. Another great day of camp in the books here in the Canaan Valley.