Camp bustled with activity this past week, and each camper shone brightly as she focused on expressing courtesy as part of our summer theme of “Living Love.” At Council Fire we introduced elements of courtesy, including good manners, good language and etiquette, and politeness. The Kohahna women learned that these things aren’t out of date and that we can express courtesy in the way we speak, dress, act, and care for our surroundings. One way we show courtesy is by refusing to complain because complaint undermines the reality that God is always present and always supplies all good.
With our week off to a good metaphysical start, campers were ready to start their various activities. Whether they were participating in the Challenge or they were back home at camp, the week was full and successful. In morning activities we had some significant level passing and achievements and classes full of happy girls bounding around camp. Many creative projects have been coming out of the Silversmithing room and the Ceramics classes, and the Arts and Crafts class featured the creation of Caribbean Island Jewelry plates! Out on the Riflery range one camper pass her Advanced, several graceful dancers one step away from passing their Beginner in Dance, and many swimmers diligently working on their skills in what are now the warm waves of Lake Michigan. We also featured a Gymnastics class this week where campers successfully completed levels on the mats and on the beam. Tennis has been hugely popular this summer with many girls signing up to learn the proper stroke technique and how to play the game. These activities and many more comprised our fifth week of camp.
This past week was also the week of The Challenge. 12 campers and 2 counselors representing the Sand team and the same number representing the Pine team ventured out into the woods to build a home for themselves, cook meals, and to play Capture the Flag. Both teams were successful in building structures out of logs and twine such as a backpack rack, a fire table (to cook on), a dining table, and much more. Three delicious meals were prepared each day, and the two counselor judges were very impressed by the solid structures, good meals, and sportsmanlike games of Capture the Flag. In the end it was the Sand team that pulled through with the win, yet both teams gained so much good from the experience. The Challenge provides an extraordinary opportunity to bond as a team, to demonstrate teamwork, to express mental and physical fortitude, to apply responsibility and careful planning, and, most of all, to take a tremendously gratifying opportunity to rely on God.
Our afternoon activities spanned the gamut from rock wall climbing to bike riding and many things in between! We had a lot of hot weather so the campers enjoyed water aerobics, going to the clay pits, friendship bracelet making, playing on the water trampoline, going waterskiing, and playing with and caring for the horses in the barn. On Wednesday for Cabin Day, one cabin made tie-dyed t-shirts, one cabin used our new zip-line, a few cabins went down the waterslide, several cabins spent some time playing in the waves and cool water, and others did a photo scavenger hunt.
We had a slew of favorite camp evening activities such as the Newlywed Game, where campers demonstrated their knowledge of their fellow cabinmates. What’s her favorite color? Where was her most exotic vacation destination? Does she prefer breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Each of these questions was answered and many laughs were had before the evening wrapped up with the reading of a bedtime story to all of camp. Tuesday night brought on a game of Dune Football played out at the back side of the Sleeping Bear Dunes. With a combination of football throwing skills, Capture the Flag techniques, and running speed and endurance, this game always proves to be a unique crowd favorite. The warm weather was perfect for a lot of dips – morning, noon, and night! We had a wonderful outdoor Wednesday evening testimony meeting with many lovely testimonies and a soothing breeze that cooled the night air for our hymn sing. Thursday evening was the famous on-camp Capture the Flag event where both teams did such a good job defending their flags that the score was still tied 0-0 at the end of the evening. Friday night brought an evening of fun games on the beach and we closed out the week with a jam-packed weekend of activity! On Saturday the campers went cherry picking while the Challenge girls took the afternoon to rest from their trip! We brought home countless bags of cherries that have been shared at many meals since. In the evening we all watched the fun Disney movie Tangled before heading off to bed. The next morning brought wonderful Sunday School classes, followed by a co-ed afternoon on the soccer field for our County Fair, a camp favorite. From pin the tail on the donkey and line dancing, to bobbing for apples and pony rides, the event was a smash hit for all.
We are halfway through the session and definitely feeling the blessing of “Living Love!”