The First Day of Adventure Camp is in the Books!
This first Adventure blog post for session two will include all the activities from yesterday as well as today. Additionally we’ll toss in some information about the Adventure Trips. But before we get to that we do need to briefly touch on some terms. Adventure Village can and will be referred to as anything from Adventure Village, AdVill, Sequoia Village, to even just The Village. All are the same program and all are Adventure Village. Adventure Trips is commonly referred to as just “Trips,” though we also say Teen Adventure Trips. Additionally we do refer to a place called Trips Village, which is where the Trips Campers stay while they are on camp property.
Adventure Village all arrived promptly this session. We had some late arrivals from transfer campers who moved in and acclimated quickly. The first thing campers do when they arrive at camp is to congregate in the yurt and learn about the expectations for Adventure Village. We also go over names and where people come from. After campers are acclimated and we know all the rules we head to dinner at the Dining Hall with all the other villages. Pizza and popsicles with salad and soup for those who’d like it.
After dinner campers are lead back to the village where opening ceremony begins once the sun begins to set. Campers are paired up with another camper and they are instructed to do a blindfolded trust walk while counselors lead them through the forest to the hidden opening ceremony campfire. Of course in AdVill we don’t pronounce it “ceremony.” It’s a “ser-ah-mini”. At the opening ser-ah-mini campers will sing songs and scream call and responses. They will get the opportunity to join Frost Valley adventurers past by tasting the traditional heated raccoon poop (chocolate).
After the ser-ah-mini has finished and campers are tired from all the travel and get-to-know-you activities we all hit the sack under bright stars on the Catskills forests.
All the campers for Adventure Trips arrived in record time this session. Trips gathered their luggage and hit the ground running. We all spent time with name games and fun ice-breaker games. My favorite is World’s Greatest Fan. This is where the campers play Rocks Paper Scissors and the winner gains an entourage of cheering fans with every person they beat. It’s a great game to begin the conversation of core values and what we have as expectations among the group. Adventure Trip campers represent Frost Valley to the broader community and empowering the campers with this idea is imperative for a fun safe journey.
Trips campers spent most of the night studying gear and packing the food and equipment into the bus. Once all the loading was done and the groups we all set to go the next morning the trips campers headed up the hillside to the brand new Trips Village. Trips Village is three pairs of lean-tos we’ve created for the Trips campers to use as a base-camp on camp property. Trips Village represents the bookends of their adventure. They begin at a sacred place where they establish the goals for their trip. Then they return to the same place once they have successfully completed their journey. Trips Village is also beautiful. Nestled in the trees you could just see patches of the crystal stars through the branches. The night was cool, but we had small fires in front of the lean-tos and the campers slept soundly while they dreamed about the adventures to come.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
More posts by Zach eigenbrodt