Catoctin Quaker Camp Session 3 Report

By August 6, 2018 CQC

Hello Families,

Catoctin is brimming with life; staff and campers have been working and playing hard, creating joyful noise, deep Meeting for Worship, beautiful singing and goofy games.

In last week’s trips:

  • 5/6 explored our mountain, hiking to Ridge Post and Fishing Creek.
  • 4/5 went on a search for the illusive Mid-Atlantic Pineapple by Blue Lake, surprisingly turning up two specimen growing right there in the ground!
  • 3/4 carried the passports they had created in unit activity on a trip to cross the border to “Canada” (which looked a lot like Penn-Marr, the park at the dividing line of Pennsylvania and Maryland)
  • 2/3 & 1 /2: Hiked separate routes into Frederick, MD to come together at Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s Annual Session (a gathering at Hood College where members of the Yearly meeting come together for meetings, workshops, and community building). They participated in the intergenerational panel and all-ages celebration sharing their joy and wisdom with a wide variety of participants.
  • Despite being rained out of the canoeing portion of their 10-day, 1B campers and counselors showed true resilience in their alternative plan. They engaged in a wonderful show of inter-camp love as they visited Opequon Quaker Camp for a service project and then “rocked out” on an extensive day of climbing at Annapolis Rocks. We are excited to welcome them back to camp this Wednesday.

The moments and memories campers shared on their return are setting the stage for another round of great trips leaving on Tuesday.

In camp, this session we had an amazing special day where each camp socio (groups of campers from all units) worked together to create a parade float. Some highlights included the giant paper mache bowl for the socio “Sock Salad” and a rolling canoe for “Wet Crisis”. Each group also created their own unique way to announce their entrance into the parade, showing off their socio pride. The culminating event was an all-camp procession that lapped twice around the goon (only one lap was planned, but it built up enough momentum and joy to carry them around again!).

Some of the afternoon activities this session have included: stick racing, where twig was pitted against twig in the stream next to the ancient firecirlce; the Ministry of Silly Walks, complete with goofy costumes, noises, and the utmost fanciness; Spochtlicht, the soapy reverse-slip-n-slide obstacle course on the hill outside the dining hall; and of course, no session would be complete without singing through the entire songbook, taking advantage of the new bathhouse’s wonderful acoustics.

We have also been graced with a number of visitors. Before our first trip local storyteller Fanny Crawford came in to share beautiful stories of water, identity, and connection to nature (and helped us create and share our own!). We all came away with a new song and a deeper appreciation for the resources around us. Today we are anticipating a long time friend to camp, Slim Harrison, who will be coming to call a square dance this evening. We are excited to have him come and visit, so we can spend the night dancing, singing, and listening to stories before heading out on trips.

Firecircle this session has been full of thoughtful messages and beautiful singing, allowing us to learn from each other and come together in literal and figurative harmony. Our firecircle committee (a group typically made up of a director and any interested staff and campers) presented these queries at our two Sunday night fire circles:

“What does it mean to care about someone? How does it happen? How does it feel?”


“In meeting for worship and in life…how do we listen? What are we listening for?”

Each query was met with insightful and profound responses from campers, staff, and volunteers.

We are grateful to have had another wonderful summer full of amazing people. Thank you to everyone who sustained our work here. We are continually awed by the community we get to be a part of. Thank you for your support, your well-wishes and most importantly, your children.

In love and Light,

Dyresha Harris and Jesse Miller

Some Friendly reminders when you pick up your campers:

  • Pick-up is from 10:00 – 12:00 on Sunday, August 12. (From around 10-10:30 family members are welcome to join us in some silence, singing, and goodbye activities at the firecircle.) Some things to keep in mind when picking your child up:
  • Remember to claim any items you notice in our Lost and Found.
  • Grab your child’s toiletries from the bathhouses.
  • Pick up medications from our Medical Staff, who will be stationed down by the front porch.
  • Take any crafts your child created from the Craft Shelter.
  • Check-out with one of the directors before officially leaving.
  • Be on the look-out for your post-camp quick-survey coming soon to your inbox. We want to know how this experience was for you so please take a few minutes to give us feedback, suggestions, and testimonials!