Amid the early morning birdsong and quieting crickets of the forest, a bell rang up and out of its small enclosure to deflect off the circle of mountains surrounding the Canaan Valley; It gently rose over the hundreds of the campers to join their energies together in the third day of Camp Merrowvista’s 95th summer.
This group of campers has already been identified for their incredible willingness to fully rise up to any challenge, as well as participate in and experience their community. The first two days of camp are well known by all who pass by Deejie’s Rock as potentially the hardest of the summer. We were privileged to see the challenge of being thrown into what is, in some cases, an entirely new world — a world that was met by these campers with an enthusiasm that made the first 36 hours feel like a breeze. Today, with their villages and personal foundations successfully built, the campers plunged head-and-heart first into the first day of camp.
The golden sky greeted the campers as they emerged from their villages groggy but excited for the day. A short hop, skip, and hike up (or down) a hill — one that leaves even those who spent their camp sessions hiking 128 miles of the Appalachian Trail out of breath — brought campers to the first morning of ~~Go Getters~~. Their Physical folds stretched and their bodies and minds limbered up, campers reflected as a community before enjoying a bountiful spread of breakfast bread to start their day.
And then began Interest Groups!! Interest Groups are the bread and butter, the Kris and Light, the sunbutter and jelly of any day here at Merrowvista. Campers’ interests were analyzed and compiled to create a day chock-full of activities for that anyone could enjoy. The community was firing on all cylinders with energy as campers learned everything from the classic and time-honored summer camp traditions of climbing, archery, and friendship bracelets to stranger and more esoteric activities like Stand Up Paddleboarding, Improv, and a Nature Walks interest group that isn’t all it seems…
The day was capped and sealed with a raucous game of Gold Rush. Our Valley was visited by two strangely-dressed, odd folks (leaders in costume, don’t worry) who brought a flood of gold, games, and good times alongside a flood of flash floods. Villages worked in teams to find and bring back the gold scattered around our Meadow, all the while avoiding the bandits who wanted to steal their gold for themselves. Huge brimming grins infected Merrowvista for an hour and campers turned in for Village Insights and headed to bed full, smiling, and satisfied from everything they accomplished today.
The Valley is beaming again because of the community that has entered this place. We’re so excited for all the stories yet to be created yet that will make their way home to you.