Dear Opequon Families & Friends,
Greetings from the ridge; we’ve had a wonderful session so far! We had a fun, sweet, fire-circle with raucous and beautiful singing and a query on Sunday night when in-coming campers arrived on the 14th. Monday we had a lovely first full day of camp for the session with fun morning activities in Units and plenty of time in the pool and creek in the afternoon. It’s been a hot week and we’ve been making it work with lots of time in the water at the pool and creek and in the shade up on the ridge. Everyone’s doing a great job of staying hydrated and having a fabulous time, even in the heat!
Tuesday morning they headed off on their overnight adventures. Unit 1 did a service trip at Fox Haven farm in Jefferson, MD where they built a giant loom, made prayer flags, and a beautiful rock formation, cleaned up trash along the surrounding roads, and cut grass. They loved being on the beautiful farm and the staff loved having them there! Unit 2 hiked from Blackburn on the Appalachian Trail to Crescent Rocks, rock-climbed on the second day of their trip and then hiked to Snickers Gap to be picked-up on the third day. Our rock-climbing instructor reported that they did a great job, had fun and climbed for eight solid hours! They met up with Unit 4 who ridge-hiked on the Appalachian Trail and did a fabulous job on what was their very first hiking trip for some campers. They were proud, dirty and happy when we picked them up. Unit 3 canoed on the Antietam Creek and the Potomac River and met up with Unit 3/4 from Catoctin and they all camped together! All the trips returned with tales of adventures, beautiful moments on the river, rocks, trails and farm, thank you and gratitude stories and they shared them around the fire-circle when they returned to camp on Thursday.
Friday was a day to sink back into camp, sing, play, do all kinds of fun activities and get ready for workshops on Saturday. The workshop line-up for this week includes Printmaking (they’re learning about design, and how to carve into linoleum), Storytelling, Photography (with prints & their own artists’ statements!), Creek Art (nature art), Baking (including baking some of their creations in the camp outdoor cob oven which was made by a workshop many summers ago), Ultimate Frisbee (the art of Frisbee, learning the skills, creating team jerseys, and more!). The Art Walk where we get to see and hear about these amazing three-day workshop experiences is this afternoon and we’re all looking forward to it! Saturday night we also played a rousing game of Jugs, which is similar to capture the flag but you capture plastic milk jugs on a big field and dress-up for the occasion in true Opequon fashion (see the accompanying picture).
Tomorrow is ODWAD (One Day Workshop Adventure Day), a themed camp-wide special day where campers get to sign-up for which theme they want to participate in for the day, including a rock-climbing day-trip to Crescent Rocks, and a creek adventure and art infused throughout the day. Wednesday we’ll begin our next set of three-day workshops; it’s another exciting line-up of new workshops that campers get to sign-up for!
For those of you with campers who are here for the first month of camp, the last session wrapped-up swimmingly with countless highlights from our two weeks together including a surprise whole-camp trip to see fire-works, wonderful overnight trips, fun and creative workshops culminating in a great Art Walk, joyful, meaningful fire-circles including a moving graduation ceremony with lovely singing and a query about what we learn from the nature we live in here at camp that inspired many, many campers to share their reflections. We wrapped-up the night with a whole-camp dance party and sent off our two week campers the next morning with lots of warm and teary goodbyes and singing and guitar and banjo playing as their send-off.
We look forward to the rest of the session, to seeing you when you come to pick-up your campers and to the second half of the summer up here on this magical ridge.
Signing off to go see what your amazing campers will share in the Art Walk this afternoon…
Love & Light,
Elaine & the Opequon Staff