Session one is here! We are delighted to have mustang back again this year. Check in day is always an odd day as it starts from 1pm. The campers all settled into two rooms in Hayden. We have the Unicorn Room and the Pegasus Room. Some girls have been coming for years and others are here for their first time. This is a great time for returners to show the new girls how much they love Mustang and why they return year after year. The first thing we did yesterday when all the parents left was expectations. We have the girls tell us what type of expectations they want from the staff and each other. These range from respect, manners, honesty, respecting each other’s property and being kind. After a few name games and social time to get to know each other, we went to dinner. At the start of dinner the girls learn about how our dining hall works. How we eat family style and how we recycle our compost at the end of every meal as we are trying to become a sustainable camp and have minimal waste. Frost Valley offers a huge range of food at all meals. From a hot meal from the main line to salad bar and fruit that is always fresh and available. After dinner the girls head bag to Hayden to change into sweatpants and a sweatshirt for our Opening Camp Fire! This is where all Wawayanda villages come together on the first day. This is normally held on the hill overlooking CIT point but due to a down pour this was moved to Lower Geyer where we had a lovely fire built within the building. Every session Lyndsey, the Wawayanda director, puts ashes from the previous fires on to this one as a long tradition. After that we have all the staff from each village come up and perform a skit! This year Mustang staff and our brother village, Durango performed a skit including bananas that they squished on their heads! This amused most of the campers and the girls loved watching their staff perform. When opening camp fire was over, the girls were very tired and so we all headed back to Hayden. When all the girls were in their pajamas and ready for bed the Mustang staff did a Daily Report with each camper. This is a chance for the girls to tell us what they did and didn’t like about the day and what they would like to do within the session. Michaela, the mustang VC, then has all the girls do a Devotion. This is a quiet time to reflect on their day and speak about things they may be looking forward to. We like to do these every night so every camper gets a chance to express their views on the day. Once every one is in bed we have a few minutes of “flashlight time” where the girls can just socialize and relax before we get some sleep!
The first morning!
The girls are ready for their first full day at Frost Valley! Every day we have Flag Raising. In this time of reflection we raise the flag and pledge allegiance. Followed by campers birthdays and if anyone is missing teeth! (happens a lot at camp!) We also do words of wisdom and campers can share with the villages something that they like to hear. For example a camper today said “treat others how you wish to be treated”. Then it’s off to breakfast! Today we had biscuits and the girls enjoyed them. Along with all the fruit and yogurt from the salad bars. This helped them gain their energy for water front! Today we had a lot of orientations on how the water front and boating works and what to do when we have a LBD (lost bather drill). Our life guards always practice this drill at the start of the session so the campers understand what to do if a camper was to be missing at the water front. Normally if an LBD is called, it is because a camper has gone to the bathroom without returning their buddy tags. You obtain a buddy tag by initially doing a swim test. This consists of swimming from one end of the blue section to the other and back again without touching the floor or the dock. Once this is completed the campers will be allowed to use canoes and swim in more areas of the lake. After the first swim test the life guards will have the campers tread water in the green section for two minutes and if this is completed, the campers will be allowed to use all boats and swim in all areas of the water front. This also includes the awesome trampoline and slide! We have a huge range of swimming capabilities in Mustang as well as the staff that love to splash around in the lake! Once we are all dry and changed Mustang met up with their brother village Durango to practice singing their chants for the Lunch time Hoopla! The Hoopla is where all the villages get to show off their chants to each other and see who can be the loudest. Then its off to rest hour. Some of the girls like to read, some like to make bracelets and some even like to Nap!
Next up is the barn! The girls got to come down and finally meet the horses they will be riding this session. On our first day at the barn we have what we call an evaluation ride to determine what level of a rider they are. This is great fun as they get to meet some of the horses and potentially the one they will ride for the whole session. Whilst some are riding, others are doing what we call a Ground Lesson. This is where the campers get to learn all aspects of horses. From grooming, tacking, leading and tying, down to parts of the tack, vet care and much more. We like to give the campers a sense of independence when they are around the horses. They always lead the horses down to the arenas, ride independently and understand what it takes to be a rider. They always lead the horses down to the arenas, ride independently and understand what it takes to be a rider. Once we finished up at the barn I got to take the campers on a hay ride! We have a big John Deer Tractor and two huge trailers that we drive down our Neversink trail. Along the way we sand some camp songs and ate snack! After dinner our evening program was Paper Bag skits. This is where we separate the campers into groups and give them a bag of random items. This could be anything from a hat to ice cream scoop. They then have fifteen minutes to come up with a small skit/play to show to the rest of the group. They all get so creative and incredibly funny! But now its time for bed! The campers are tired from our fun filled day! Ready to ride again tomorrow and meet their horses!