Session 4 has begun! The campers all filed out of their cars and buses and checked into the dining hall before heading out to the village or to their respective trips. We’ve done this a few times this summer but I can guarantee you the energy was up like it was the first session all over again. CAMPERS ARE HERE!!!
This session we’ll be running 3 trips. Habitat for Humanity Catskills, Maine Coast, and Adirondack Rambler. All three trips arrived well and began packing out their gear before heading out to the lake to take their swim tests. The campers then headed back to packing out and eating delicious pizza. After a sunny day like today, an evening dip is actually really refreshing, and very warm. At this point the campers have made their way up to Trip Village, village of lean-to’s we put on the hillside for the trips campers to have a home before they begin their journey, where they will be holding their opening campfire and setting their full value contracts. It’s important for groups who will be traveling together to set communal standards expectations. We really like having these standards come from the group so that they can be bought into the cause.
Early tomorrow morning the trips will be departing. First Maine Coast, because they have the furthest to travel, then Adirondack Rambler, then Habitat who’s just going to the other side of the Catskills. For now we get to rest up and enjoy a beautiful night in the mountains. If we’re lucky, we’ll be able to see some of the shooting stars tonight! A natural phenomenon appropriate to symbolize the beginning of our journeys!
Once the campers arrived they made their way out to the village. In the village they were greeted by their counselors and the rest of the village. Campers settled into their tents and living arrangements nicely. Once a critical mass of campers had arrived the campers met in the communal yurt to set expectations and rules.
6:30 PM means dinner, and it’s the opening night so it’s pizza! On a full stomach the Adventure Village campers made their way back to the village to begin their opening ceremonies. This means the campers do a blind-folded trust-walk into the woods to the secret campfire location. Once they’re there they sing songs and learn Adventure cheers. They also get the opportunity to sample some of the traditional raccoon poop (melted chocolate chips). Sampling the traditional raccoon poop symbolizes stepping out of their comfort zone and trying something new, that they might not have thought they’d like. Maybe, just maybe, they might find that they like it! In Adventure we’re always trying new things, and trusting each other. Additionally, the campers will learn that in Adventure we are collectively agents anything that prevents them from being themselves. We are an inclusive community and that means allowing people to express themselves appropriately without being judged. Announcing this around a campfire ceremonially makes it a cause that the campers can rally behind and we will be nothing short of absolutely inclusive.
Once the campfire ends the Adventure Village campers will make their way back to their tents and sit with their cabin groups to do a circle share before going to bed. It is Frost Valley tradition to do a devotion before we go to bed and this essentially means we do something that unites us, either sharing or listening we bring the group together before we go to bed. Tonight we’ll sleep well, as the cool air blows into the village and we dream about the Adventures tomorrow brings.
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