Hello family and friends of Catoctin!
As we prepare to launch into our last week of camp, we take a moment to reflect on our time together. Stories from trips, Fire-circle, Special Day, and Afternoon Activity, act as windows – revealing the charm and pleasure of life in the mountains of Catoctin.
- Unit 1B started the week by setting off on their 10 day trip. In addition to their normal schedule, they enjoyed a bonus day of rock-climbing. They continue making their way back to camp on foot and in canoe as we await their triumphant return.
- Unit 1/2 took a canoe trip from Antietam Creek to the Potomac River stopping to visit Harpers Ferry along the way. In fire-circle we heard many a thank-you for great collaboration as canoe-partners worked together to run rapids and support each other.
- Unit 2/3 showed their hiking prowess on the Appalachian Trail, enjoying some spectacular views.
- Unit 3/4 hiked to the house of camp community members Slim and Brenda Harrison where they were taken on a tour of historical parts of the property and learned about it’s link to the Underground Railroad.
- The 4/5 trip stayed cool on their water trip, hiking from lake to lake around the mountain. They encountered lots of wild life and build a huge tower of algae.
- Unit 5/6 enjoyed playing with paint rocks at Coffee Hollow and got a special treat of going to Cunningham Falls to swim and enjoy the afternoon. There they created a song about the proper way to treat your food, which we’ve been told will have its grand debut at our upcoming “Sing Em Up” talent show.
After trips, campers and counselors returned to camp with new bonds that were founded from their shared experiences on the trail or on the river. On the evening of a joyous arrival back to camp, individuals shared their collective stories around an orange blazing fire at fire circle. Campers and counselors offered responses to a query asking them to describe moments of gratitude, beauty, or heroism they experienced on the trail.
Fire-circle, an integral aspect of Catoctin encourages campers to think about and articulate their thoughts. Earlier in the session, fire-circle committee posed the query, “What makes you feel welcomed and included? And what can we do to be a community where all our different strengths and personalities are valued?” This query sparked many thoughtful and passionate responses.
Fun and creativity also serve as important tools for growth and relationship building. Afternoon activities have included such fun options as Fraz and field games, tie-die, sock-wrestling, running for president (the way we wish it were being done!), modern art making, silly poetry, writing love letters to yourself, t-shirt alterations, and fire-building to name a few. At the end of our first trips we were treated to a live performance by the youth group, Traveling Players, who acted out Shakespear’s The Tempest for us with a musical score and elaborate costumes. Campers showed their own acting prowess during paper-back skits in their socios, putting on fairytales with a twist such as: Three Little Pigs in outer space” and “Little Red Riding Hood as a silent film”. A freak “summer blizzard” provided us with a Snow Day Special Day complete with water-slide sledding, dock-side “ski” jumping, snow-flake making, bare-foot ice-skating on the front porch and ice (soap) hockey in the dining hall.
As we gear up for our next trip (and a visit from Slim for square-dancing!) we celebrate and appreciate the time we’ve gotten to spend creating community with each of your campers!
In Love and Light,