Greetings from Opequon!
Second session has been full of excitement and joy! Twenty campers stayed on from first session, and they helped to welcome our arrivers both new and returning on Sunday afternoon. The weather cooperated with us to make for a sunny, warm, fun day of introductions, reunions, and excitement.
We had a nice relaxing day together full of swimming and creek exploration before setting off on our overnight camping trips (we call them CI’s: Cabin Intensives) the next day. Mother nature decided to give our campers an extra challenge on their CI’s with Tuesday night’s downpour, but made sure there was an abundance of sunshine in the daytime on the river, rocks, and trails! Units 1 and 3 each had a beautiful, full day of rock climbing at Annapolis Rocks, and Unit 3 even got to climb with campers from Catoctin, one of Opequon’s sister camps! Unit 2 had three gorgeous days of canoeing on the Shenandoah River. Unit 4 hiked on the Appalachian Trail and discovered the legendary Appalachian Pineapple, a magical tropical fruit that only sprouts on the trail once every 8 years (wink, wink)! All four units returned to camp invigorated, sweaty, bonded and ready for the first round of workshops!
We’ve just completed the second day of our three-day workshops, and already the campers and counselors are producing some absolutely incredible projects. Our workshop lineup this time around is outstanding. The Shadow Puppet Workshop has been working on scripting and performing a puppet show featuring characters and scenery made entirely from shadows. The Fairy City builders are busy designing and implementing new city plans for the camp fairies who dwell in the trees and rocks around these woods. The Fashion Workshop has been spotted strutting some fabulous new outfits, the designs of which have been inspired by tie-dye patterning and other campy motifs. “I-dentity, You-dentity” is full of inquisitive, introspective campers who are exploring their personalities and inner-selves using Myer-Briggs-type personality quizzes, as well as more abstract ways of thinking about their identities. The Superhero Rockstars are finding their inner superheroes and rocking out costumes to match; this workshop promises to inspire the superstar in all of us. Finally, the Camp Cartographers have been diligently plotting out the trails, structures and natural features of Opequon Quaker Camp, while learning map-making skills and some history of this land. We’re all looking forward to Art Walk this afternoon, during which we will get to take a walking tour of all the projects around camp that have been coming to fruition over the past three days. It’s always a magical delight to see what our young artists have created.
We have also had two lovely Sunday night fire circles this session where, after some joyful and beautiful group singing, we contemplated the queries, “What connects us” and “What does it mean to be free”. It is always such an honor and gift to hear what campers and the rest of the community have to say about these big questions.
Next week will be full of more adventures and art-making. ODWAD (One Day Workshop Adventure Day) is coming up on Tuesday, and it always turns out some quirky, silly, and often adventurous activities. The next batch of workshops is also in the works for next week. Our fabulous graduates will be leaving for their grad trip on Monday, which will include some canoeing, hiking and teambuilding. Upon their return, we are excited to celebrate their wonderful selves at the graduation ceremony on the last full day of camp.
Thank you so much for sharing your youngsters with us; they are wise, creative and SO FUN! We can’t wait to see what the next week will bring! For any of you whose campers are enrolled for the first month, we are so excited to share all of our adventure stories of the first few weeks with you when you come to retrieve your campers! And to the caregivers who we won’t see until the end of next session…stay tuned for more updates from the ridge!
Love and Light to you all!
Sara, Elaine and The OQC Staff