Our Susky campers completed their overnight on Thursday and despite the rain they weathered out the conditions and had a very successful night under the stars (which appeared for a little while at least)!

Preparation is key to all good outdoor fires and the girls set about gathering as much kindling as they could find, even the wet stuff! Birch bark was the fire starter they settled on and after some tending to and a few wafts of a crazy creek or two they had a fire good enough to cook on…and that they did.

Fifty-two pitta pizzas later and enough s’mores to open a small store, the girls ended their overnight with an evening hike and stories and games in the lean to’s of our sequoia trail before hitting the hay. They awoke to a new dawn and a new appreciation for mattresses but more importantly, a new and greater love for the outdoors.

Frost Valley people dating back to the late 1950s and 1960s will remember the (in)famous overnight camp site dubbed “The Haunted House.” There was of course nothing the least bit haunted about this spot, but, well, it’s camp—and we like to make a great deal out of an otherwise ordinary situation. Toward the west end of the property, along the Neversink River down there, there was an abandoned two-story house. Quite aside from the old house, this spot presented itself as the perfect site for overnight camping. When the camp opened here in 1958, and this site was prepared for campers, no doubt the staff sought a catchy name for it, looked up at the dilapidated structure, and came up with the name. Long after the house fell down and was removed in pieces, the site is still known as The Haunted House. I’m guessing most campers spending the night there have no idea why it has this name. I walked all over the site and its surroundings and here are some photos.

The little shed here stands just where the “Haunted House” did through the 1980s.

Not far from the Haunted House site along the Neversink is the Flyfishing Cottage—the house built c. 1910s for members of the Flyfisherwoman’s Club, part of the Connell Family property in those days.

The Neversink just below the campsite.

The three directors of Camp Wawayanda visited our youngest village Pokey-Totem at their overnight. The campfire roaring and all of the campers were excited to make s’mores. They had already eaten their pita pizzas for dinner, cooked over the campfire of course! Tonight the village will get to experience sleeping out underneath the stars, which will be the first time for many campers. The photo captures the enthusiasm of so many campers for the overnight!

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It can now be said, that all of the first Session of Wawayanda Campers are all tucked in and sleeping safely in their bunks. We had a fun, high energy opening campfire this evening, full of laughter, cheers, and lots of songs. We even made Lakota Omlettes, and Outpost Pot Roast! Here’s all of Wawayanda, doing funny faces for a panorama photo shoot.

 

We wanted to thank all of our parents for sending your campers here to camp. We are so honored and excited to spend the next 11 days (4 days for some of you) with them! We are looking forward to sharing many magical moments and stories with you throughout the summer.

 

Peace, love, and Wawayanda,

Lindsay

 

Hello There!

Just wanted to let everyone know that we are all having a great time!  The kids helped make the overnight a spectacular success!  We had wonderful weather, it rained just a tad before we headed out and the wee ones got rides up to Pete’s Pavilion.  We hung out, played GIRANIMO, cooked hot-dogs over the fire with one of our chef’s – Anti – and made the traditional S’mores that we all loved!  We all ended up rolling our sleeping bags out on the ground and slept under the stars and it was so beautiful!

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When we got up in the morning we had a simple breakfast and were treated to a fantastic performance by our theatre class who preformed a skit about what it’s like to come to Farm Camp.  We then headed back down the mountain with our Gorp and found some fun ferns, mushrooms and got to eat some fun edible plants like hemlock needles (no, they are not the poisonous water hemlock) and some Yellow Wood Sorrel, commonly called by the campers as Lemon Hearts because of their bitter taste.

Once we got back to Farm Camp (YEAH!) everyone sat down for a big brunch and off to Colonial Day we went!  There were mule rides, a blacksmith demonstration, a rousing game of town ball and we even had a treasure hunt all before our BBQ dinner!  Our evening program was a crazy game of Capture-the-Flag – and we all (as counselors) picked up some fun tricks to running that even better the next time 😛

Today is our chill day – good to recover from the chaos and high energy of last week.  We all slept in, had a lazy brunch, had some team building time and we’re about to head over to the Straus Center to do some more Project Adventure Games, Outdoor Living Skills, Low Ropes and Trust Games.  We’ll pick back up on the regular schedule tonight with Dinner, Chores & our evening program – MOVIE NIGHT up in the Hayloft!

All in all – we are having an amazing time and are getting to learn not only a lot during our different classes but also are being reminded everyday of working on some core values of friendship, trust, forgiveness, responsibility, accountability, teamwork and many more.  The campers are doing a great job helping to learn from each other and challenge each other to work on all of those skills.

Have a fantastic rest of your weekend & I’ll check back in soon!

Cheers,

Leigh