The Windsong Village of Camp Henry Hird at Frost Valley’s Main Camp spent one of their overnight nights at the farm! The girls of Windsong did an AWESOME job as they led evening activity, Beat the Clock Charades, and we had a GREAT time. It was full of energy and a lot of laughs! We loved having visitors and they loved seeing the farm!
Hello and greetings from Prague!
Yesterday the group concluded a week long YMCA Youth Festival. There were several thousand representatives from over 50 countries. It was an amazing multi-cultural experience. During the week, we did not always have the best wifi capabilities to post every day, but each day was a new and enriching experience for all of us.
Most days, our teens were interacting with teens from all over the world. It became almost a competition each day as to how many different people from different countries we could meet. Our group met people from Norway, Scotland, England, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Belarus, Russia, Colombia, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Denmark, China, Ukraine, France, Jamaica, Spain, the US and the list would go on and on!
On Friday, our group presented on Camping at the conference. In addition to telling our story about Frost Valley, teaching games and songs, our teens also met Y Camping people from Russia and Australia!
With the festival over, we are spending the next few days sightseeing in the Czech Republic. Today we will join a guided tour of caves in the countryside. We can’t wait!
Creative juices of outpost and lakota campers have been flowing today; into the clay and crafting tools of our pottery studio as they prepare tiles for the kiln. These tiles will soon top a table purpose-built in our woodworking studio next door.
Elsewhere, in arts and crafts, campers design and create ‘stained glass’ panes that will soon become colorful foliage of a tree made from paper mache and wire.
In these ‘specialty’ periods campers can choose where they spend the period for a number for days, giving them the opportunity to discuss, plan, and create their masterpieces.
For those who choose not to take these trinkets home, they leave behind a legacy that lets future campers see the fruits of their labor for years to come.
The heat is climbing and we are doing everything we can to continue making sure that all of these campers are staying nice and cool. Rest hours are mandatory and water and sunscreen are a-flowin. I think I speak for everyone when I say we are glad its not raining, but that being said we are making sure to take lots of breaks for water and shade.
Today our AdVill campers started out their morning in the true Adventure Village spirit — by braving our various high element courses! The first group decided to conquer the infamous Y-Tower, our mighty rock climbing structure. By 10 am, the lactic acid was building in the forearms of our fearless climbers. The second group climbed the Giants’ Ladder, an over-sized ladder suspended above the ground. The only way for one camper to get to the top is to work together with another, helping each other up the widely spaced rungs. There were many successes. The third group decided to tackle the hardest thing of all — their inhibitions. They played improv games, acting out various comedy scenes and performing all sorts of antics for the amusement of all involved.
In the afternoon, our AdVill campers once again enjoyed the simple pleasures of life in the forest. Traveling up the creek, our campers began building dams across certain sections of the creek, experimenting and toying with fluid dynamics. Some campers found small pieces of sedimentary rock, and soon discovered that these rocks had special properties. When rubbed vigorously against harder rocks, the sedimentary rock rubs off and forms a sort of ‘paint’ that was soon being applied to faces, arms, and legs in ritualistic fashion.
Soon our creeking AdVill campers were joined by the girls of Susky Village. Our campers wasted no time in making friends — many of the older campers stepped up and began helping the younger Susky Villagers to make rock structures in the creek.
After such a busy morning, our campers took a ‘tent time’ after lunch, taking time to clean up their living quarters and rest their pleasantly sore muscles.
The evening brought more fun — the campers closed the day with a game of “Killer in the Castle”, another game of stealth played in the dark.
Once again our campers flopped down into their bunks after a long day, and quickly, with smiles on their faces, drifted off to sleep.
The idea of a cabin in the woods, to some, is rustic as far as sleeping is concerned. Others would say, that without the soothing glow of a touchscreen, sleep would be a hard thing to come by.
So I challenge you; ask a camper from Susky village how many walls her campsite at Moonshadow had, where she and her cabin-mates made pita-pizzas beneath a ceiling comprised entirely of leaves. Ask one of the boys in Outpost if he prefers the smartphone left at home to the glow of a thousand new stars, that he’s seeing for the first time, as they fill the night sky…
If you asked, their answers would be filled with tales of hikes in the woods, and of new experiences. Last night saw the villages of Forest, Lakota, Susky and Outpost venture out towards their favorite spots, helping counselors to hunt for firewood, and settling once and for all which marshmallow makes a better s’more; ‘burnt’ or ‘golden brown’?
After a session that saw clouds feature heavily, the sun finally made an appearance. July fourth saw over 150 campers set out into the woods, each with a sleeping bag and a spirit of adventure. Whilst no fireworks lit the skyline, the mixture of woodsmoke, constellations and fireflies were a welcome replacement.
For these campers, sleeping in the woods isn’t rustic; it’s magic.
Assistant Wawayanda Director
Today was a warm day here in the valley! I walked through the Dining Hall and asked campers how they kept cool when things are hot. Here are some responses:
“I keep filling my Frost Valley water bottle and pouring it on my head!”
“I am totally gonna swim 4th period!” (4th period is Camp Henry Hirds waterfront period)
“I run from one shade to another shade when walking to activities.”
One of the many things our counselors do on hot sunny days is make sure our campers are hydrated and have access to sunscreen. When I asked a counselor how they keep cool they responded with this:
“I’m a counselor, I’m always cool.”
Rock on counselors.
Director of Camp Henry Hird