The first night at Frost Valley is always exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Meeting new people, going through all of your things, learning about your equipment, it can all be a little crazy but we have found a few things that help relieve some stress. Dodgeball seems to work really well, or at least it helped Isaiah as he dominated the group. Then it was off to bed for an early morning drive.

Keeping entertained on the bus can be a challenge, but Ken got everyone going with Uno and showed them how it was done. Yuki was folding origami birds and throwing stars as well, so the ride was a great chance to have fun and relax. After a day of driving, they set up camp near Boiling Springs, PA, for their first 2 nights out.

Chester and Eric took charge of the first dinner and managed to do really well with the pasta – they only burned a small batch. Post-dinner activities included what Kenny described as, “one of the best games of French Revolution ever!” For those that are not familiar, French Rev is played at night and requires the campers to spread out in the woods around the staff. The staff have flashlights and try to find the campers as they sneak up. Sasha, Danielle, and Amelia were all amazing but Djoulde was a stunning as he got within 2 feet of the leaders before they noticed him. Paul was having a little trouble as he came across a few thorns and at one point tried to hide behind a twig. Once everyone had their fill of French Rev, it was off to be in preparation for their first big activity day.

Tuesday morning was spent on the low ropes and team initiatives in the small groups. Problems were

solved, issues were sorted out, and the teams came together as cohesive units all in preparation for the

afternoon on the Alpine Tower. With multiple ways to ascend the tower, the group came together to provide a safe and challenging experience. Everyone learned to belay and was responsible for the safety of individual group members during this time. Besides climbing the tower (which Eve and Camille loved), there was a chance for a zipline and some excited campers ready to take part and get the most out of their day.

Dinner was next Bryce and Jasai also took a shot at cooking and were masterful with the stirring of the chili and rice. Of course, all of the stirring in the world won’t prevent some sticky stuff in the pot and Jason stepped up and cleaned that thing with vigor.

A long day of climbing and working together put everyone in bed early as they prepared for another drive to Oak Hill, West Virgina where the group arrived later on Wednesday. Ryan has become the fire-builder of the group and even got a rager going with damp wood! Zach was the cook of the evening and cooked up some mean burgers for everyone.

Thursday is their first day on the water as they conquer the class I-III rapids of the Upper New River with duckies (inflatable kayaks) in preparation for some bigger days later on. Check back in a few days for another update from Wild, Wonderful West Virginia.

About the Author

Zach eigenbrodt

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Zach couldn't keep himself out of the woods when growing up. He started working at a Northern Wisconsin YMCA Camp as a wilderness trip leader while in college and fell in love with getting kids into nature. The smiles on kids faces after returning from a once in a life time wilderness experience is why he is here today. Zach brought his talents to Frost Valley YMCA, in 2014, when he started as the Trips Coordinator and soon was promoted to Adventure Director. Zach loves all forms of Wilderness exploration, though some would say his heart lies most with canoeing.

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