BYM Camps are Closed this summer, 2020, due to COVID 19
Opequon Quaker Camp is located just north of Winchester, Virginia.
What Opequon Offers
Campers live in screened cabins and share meals in the pavilion in the center of camp. The day includes all-camp activities, art projects, games in the playing field, swimming in the pool, and exploring in the creek.
Art activities might include:
- digging Opequon Creek clay to create original pieces for firing
- carpentry projects such as building tree houses and tipis
- painting life size murals
- weaving fiber and words
- workshops in theatre, dance and music
- time to play musical instruments
Other activities include:
- cooperative games
- exploring in the woods, and tubing on the creek
- singing and working together
- making sailboats for the creek
- fire circle, star gazing
- batik, puppet making, candle making
- overnight trips out of camp
Rooted in nature and celebrating our connections to the earth and to one another, we nurture the divine within and around us. We experience community through fun and through working together. Everyone at camp begins the day in worship at the fire circle.
Life at Opequon
Typical Day at Opequon
- 7:45 Wake Up Bell
- 8:00 Breakfast
- 8:45 Breakfast Chores
- 9:15 Meeting for Worship
- 9:45 Art Workshops
- 12:00 Lunch Set-up
- 12:30 Lunch
- 1:00 Lunch Chores
- 1:30 Rest Period
- 2:30 Afternoon Activities
- 5:30 Dinner Set-up
- 6:00 Dinner
- 6:30 Dinner Chores
- 7:30 Evening Activities
- 9:00 Bedtime
Campers go on age- and ability-appropriate 1-2 night trips out of camp that exercise their body, mind and spirit. Trips build community, challenge campers to take risks and push themselves within their abilities, and allow campers to explore art and nature in new ways. We are committed to being as accessible as we can be for all campers.
‘CI’ stands either for Cabin Intensive or Choice Intensive. During Cabin Intensives, counselors and campers from a particular cabin group go on an overnight adventure together (see below for examples). Sometimes we leave the camp property and sometimes we go on an adventure in our own woods or by the river. Choice Intensives are a little different. Campers take a break from their cabin mates, form multi-age groups, and choose from different overnights planned by the counselors. For choice overnights we provide a wide variety of options, usually five different trips, several of which are not physically challenging. We have fun and experience opportunities for growth as we discover why these intensive experiences are so enriching.
At Opequon, meals are served family style at tables in our dining hall where all staff and campers eat together. Kitchen staff are all work grant members, which means that each cook is a family member or friend of a child in the program and has a real interest in making sure the meal goes well. Our experienced head cooks prepare meals with an eye toward food that is both kid-friendly and nutritious . Surrounded by rich farmland, we also buy locally wherever possible, as well as pulling from our on-site garden. At Opequon our creative cooks prepare meals that are inclusive to all dietary needs including gluten-free, lactose-free, no pork. Vegetarian options are available at every meal.
We believe that working together in a way that’s both productive and fun is a great method to create bonding and to help each individual at Opequon feel that they have investment in and responsibility to the greater community. Campers work in mixed age and gender groups called Affinity groups. Many campers are surprised to find that their favorite memories of camp are singing songs while washing dishes or cleaning the bathhouses. Parents and caregivers often don’t mind that their children come home excited to do chores, either!
Meeting for Worship is a period of silent reflection where any person (regardless of religious belief) can pray silently or simply have a quiet moment to reflect on their day and the natural beauty around them. If participants–including and especially campers–have some words of wisdom they would like to share during this silence, they may. On Sunday nights we have Sunday night Fire circle where after singing together, a query or question is asked and campers and staff take time to reflect upon that query and are invited to speak out of the silence and share their wisdom. The night campers return from trips we have a Hero/Shero/Thank you/Appreciation Fire Circle where after joyful singing campers and staff have the opportunity to share stories and appreciations from their adventures.
Our thematic workshops last 3 days (except in during the 2nd and 4th week of camp where they may be longer) and support our goal of exposing campers to many different art forms in a fun and physical way; deepening their spirituality; and nurturing their understanding of themselves and the connections between creation, nature, self-expression and spiritual life. Workshop options vary from summer to summer and from session to session though we always offer a wide range of options such as song writing, theater, puppet making, creative writing, movie making, building structures, dance, painting, woodworking, bread making, and so much more.
We conclude each three- or four-day workshop with a camp-wide “Art Walk”. The entire camp walks from one workshop site to another to experience what each group has produced. Depending on what the workshops were for that week, we hear poetry, songs, and creative writing, see musical, puppet and theatrical shows, watch dance performances, and admire building projects.
The afternoon is a time where campers move around camp and join one of the many activities being lead by counselors and staff. Activities include a mixture of active, artistic, and environmental activities. Swimming is a popular choice for many campers. Certified lifeguards are always present while campers enjoy splashing in the pool or swimming in the Opequon Creek.
Artsy activities may include: tie-dye, sculpture, friendship bracelets, dream-catchers, candle-making, knitting/crochet, drawing and painting, wood-working, collage, stationery, mask-making, singing, poetry writing, creating skits, face-painting, baking, etc.
Active activities may include: basketball, soccer, Frazleeram, Ga-ga-ga, volley ball, capture-the-flag, obstacle courses, dance, hula-hooping, relays, running charades, and many other active team-building games etc.
Nature activities may include: day hikes, natural art, magic spots, bird-watching, stream-wading, etc.
Learning about the natural world around us, becoming comfortable living in nature, and treating the earth gently are important components of the Opequon curriculum.
Spiritual development is nurtured through daily silent worship at the fire circle, regularly scheduled campfires, and in less formal ways by example and through continuous sharing of love.
Opequon Camp Address (Driving and Mailing)
Opequon Quaker Camp
2710 Brucetown Road
Clear Brook, VA 22624
During the summer only: 540-678-4900
Year Round: 717-481-4870
Driving directions to Opequon Quaker Camp
From I-81: Take exit 321 (Clearbrook). Go east on Hopewell Road to a ‘T’ with Route 11. There will be a church in front of you and the Olde Stone Restaurant to your right. Turn left, then take your immediate right onto Brucetown Road. Opequon is three miles from this turn.
As you proceed on Brucetown Road you will pass Clearbrook Park, cross a set of railroad tracks, go through the little town of Brucetown and pass through a residential area. You will go down a hill passing several single family homes/trailers on your right. At the bottom of this hill make a right turn into the camp driveway. If you get to a ‘Y’, the right fork of which crosses a one lane concrete bridge, you’ve gone too far.