Opequon Quaker Camp Session 3 Report

By August 5, 2014 January 6th, 2016 General, OQC

Opequon36Warm Greetings from the Opequon hilltop!

What a fun, sweet session it’s been so far! The first of our one week sessions was a wonderful mixture of new and returning faces. Our first night fire circle (actually a candle circle under the art pavilion because of the rain) was full of enthusiastic singing followed by an inspiring query. In fact, it was so inspiring that we had a fire circle first: a camper posing a follow-up query!

The C.I.’s (overnight trips) were fun and filled with new experiences for campers and counselors. Unit One went on a canoe trip on the Antietam Creek and came back raving about its’ beauty. Unit Two rock-climbed at Annapolis Rocks, a site that Cotoctin frequents but that Opequon hasn’t climbed at in years! Way to be adventurous, Unit Two! Unit Three embarked on a challenging 10 mile hike ending in the breathtaking Sky Meadows State Park, while Unit Four hiked out to a beautiful farm and slept under the stars before hiking back the next day. There was a lot of pride and excitement from every unit when they returned to camp.

We had seven amazing workshops this week, culminating in an Art Walk where each workshop shared what they had done and learned. The dance-ganza workshop had 3 energizing days of learning and sharing and choreographing amazing dances. Our improv troupe had a full workshop experience of hilarious and fun acting improvisation along with learning some skills and tricks to performing confidently on stage. The rugby workshop had tons of fun learning to play rugby, creating team jerseys and of course getting lots of exercise! Our beloved mascot Compost Lobster “disappeared” until the members of the Exploration workshop learned to express their full selves inside and out by getting in touch with previously un-explored sides of themselves. The mask-making workshop created gorgeous masks out of paper mache, paint, and a ton of creativity while the Body Art workshop made individual artistic ‘body maps’ that expressed their personalities, spirits, and dreams while breaking down stereotypes of “beauty”. Last but not least a group of dedicated and enthusiastic campers and counselors rejuvenated our “Fairy City” (where the fairies of camp abide!), creating amazing structures built around their collective ideas of community and communal living. Needless to say, it was an incredible round of workshops!

Our week culminated in an incredible and inspiring display of talent, skill, and hilarity with our Off The Hook Variety Show! There were poems recited, portraits drawn, dances danced and songs sung, all met with roaring applause. We laughed, we cried, we laughed so hard we cried.

We now embark on our final week of camp! On Sunday we had 32 campers stay and 32 more campers arrive! It was a full day of sweet farewells and joyful hellos. We had a lovely fire circle that night with beautiful singing and thoughtful sharing on the query, “What is Love?”

Soon our campers and counselors will go on their overnight trips. Unit One will be going on a 2 night graduate trip hiking from the stunning Shenendoah National Park to Sky Meadows! Unit Two is doing a local hiking adventure, and Units Three and Four will be rock climbing at Annapolis Rocks.

When the campers return we will start another round of workshops that include nature camouflage, mural painting, recording camp songs, movie making, and more! Before we know it, it will be time for our candle-making and graduation ceremony, always a magical and memorable occasion. And then we say our tearful goodbyes and carry our memories of this amazing summer throughout our coming year!

With love and gratitude for a truly wonderful summer,

Sara and Elaine and the entire OQC Staff