Hello from Opequon!
We are having a fantastic first session! Camper arrival day was full of joyous reunions and exciting introductions and it’s been a very full and joyous week up on the ridge. Our first set of C.I.s (overnight trips) went swimmingly and the campers came back proud, happy, dirty, and bonded with their units. Unit 4 went tubing down the Opequon to a beautiful farm where they learned about farming and did some service work before hiking back to camp on the third day. Unit 2 went canoeing down the Antietam Creek and the Potomac River, with a stop in historic Harper’s Ferry, and units 1 and 3 went rock climbing and hiking on the Appalachian Trail. Unit 1 exceeded their own expectations by hiking over 20 miles on the second day of their trip! Every group had lots of adventure stories, beautiful moments, thank yous and hero/shero stories to share at fire circle upon their return.
On the Fourth of July, we ventured back out of camp to a fireworks show in nearby Stevens City. It was a fun and magical night! The next night, the fun and magic continued with the first Jugs game of the season. The Jugs buzz was palpable. Fabulous costumes abounded and both teams played hard!
On Sunday, we concluded our first set of workshops with a wonderful art walk during which each group shared their experiences and what they had learned and/or created. In “My Roots Go Down”, campers explored and learned about local history; In “Herbs and Fleurs”, they began rebuilding our camp garden; In “Terrific Traveling Tarot Troupe”, they created an Opequon Tarot card deck; In “Monster Mash”, they imagined and sewed their own monsters; In “The Eggness Protection Program”, they figured out how to drop an egg from a great height without breaking it; And in “Round and Round”, they wrote original camp rounds and taught them to the whole camp to sing for years to come! And that was just the mornings! After lunch and rest period each day, campers chose from a variety of afternoon activities including swimming in the pool or creek, post card making, musical meditation, Frisbee, giving speeches, hair braiding and much, much more. It was a wonderful and busy three days!
During our two Sunday night fire circles of the session, after some joyful and beautiful group singing, campers and staff have shared on the queries, “What is adventure and how do we welcome it?” and “What is community and how do we create it together?”
In between our first and second sets of workshops, we are enjoying our first ODWAD of the summer (One Day Workshop Adventure Day). The theme of this ODWAD is the four seasons. It’s been a full day but here is a sampling of the activities: The Autumn group went rock climbing in Halloween costumes; the Spring group collected bouquets of flowers and decorated the lunch table; the Summer group had a fun car wash; and the winter group enjoyed baking bread and knitting.
Tomorrow, the graduating Unit 1 campers will return from their Grad Trip; we can’t wait to hear all about it! Soon, we’ll begin our second set of workshops which will include beat boxing, camp TED Talks, building a miniature cabin as part of a creative fundraising idea, painting a mural onto our beautiful new building, and more. Speaking of our new building (which now houses our laundry room, office space and gear storage), we are loving it! A big thank you to everyone who made it happen, especially David Hunter!
Stay tuned for more exciting news from the ridge! The fun never stops around here!
Love and Light to All,
Sara and Elaine and the Opequon Staff