Catoctin Quaker Camp Session 2 Report

By July 21, 2015 January 6th, 2016 CQC, General

Dear Families and Friends of Catoctin,

Life here at Catoctin Quaker Camp is dancing forwards with its usual joyful noise and light as campers balance wacky fun with exploring the deep connections between themselves, their community, the environment, and each other.

We have just finished up a week full of fun and challenging overnight unit trips:

  • 4/5 went to the Ayler’s farm, home to a local sculptor and metalwork artist, and learned about gardening.
  • 3/4 braved the Antietam and Potomac rivers on their first ever canoeing trip, learning the canoeing basics that will prepare them for canoeing in future years.
  • 2/3 visited the farm of Slim and Brenda, a local couple of storytellers and musicians with deep ties to the Catoctin Mountain area and culture.
  • 1/2 set out on a hiking trip that culminated in a rock climbing session at the beautiful Annapolis Rocks.
  • 1B completed their hiking intensive trip that prepared them for the rigors of their upcoming 10-Day trip.

However, the excitement certainly doesn’t stop on the trail! We’ve also had a remarkable number of day trips and special visitors this session, providing the campers with unique opportunities for fun and growth:

  • Last Sunday, Slim and Brenda came to Catoctin to call a square dance – which Slim performed live music for, with the help of counselor and fiddle player Max – and tell stories. Campers danced the night away and then settled down for stories of the mountain back when there were barely any paved roads, and Slim and his friend Boots traveled down to Harper’s Ferry on a toboggan in the winter.
  • On Thursday, after campers returned from trips, they were treated to a visit and performance from the Traveling Players, a youth music and theatre company.
  • On Friday, campers were invited to Islamic Society of Frederick to celebrate Eid with them, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. Campers ate delicious food, listened to a sermon, and got to converse with members of the mosque about faith and religion.
  • This Sunday, a group of campers who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to rock climb this session are heading out to climb, while another group is visiting Dharma, the local Buddhist meditation and community center, to participate in the service and discover some inner tranquility.

The second week of this session is Project Week. Campers are gearing up to set off on their choice of themed trips in mixed age groups, giving them a chance to socialize outside of their units. This week, we have the choice of:

  • Canoeing
  • Service Trip
  • A spiritually-focused Hiker’s Hike, which is a hiking-intensive trip
  • SPA DAY Trip (as you can imagine, many campers are excited for this)

– while 1B is heading out on their bonding trip, in which they get to know each other as individuals and as a unit. Last week, we prepared them physically for the 10-Day, and this week, we’re preparing them emotionally and socially.

This upcoming Friday is also CAFROOGIN, an all-camp celebration of community and gift-giving. Campers, counselors, and staff will draw names and work all day on thoughtful, creative gifts for their secret recipient. Past gifts have ranged from anything to a live musical performance to tea and scones for two to found object mobiles.

Some reminders for families and caregivers:

  • Pick-up at the end of this session is Sunday, June 26th, between 10:30am and 12:00pm. Families and caregivers are welcome to join us at 10:30am for Meeting for Worship at the Fire Circle. Please remember that you must check out with the Director before you leave.

This session so far has been a gift, full of creativity, energy, love, and light. We relish the chance to come together as a community to bask in the magic of camp. Thank you for your support, your well-wishes, and most importantly, your children.

Love and Light,

Dyresha Harris and the Catoctin Staff