Hello parents, guardians, Friends and family!
Greetings from our little verdant paradise here at Shiloh Quaker camp, where the campers, staff and chickens have been enjoying a particularly temperate summer.
Our project week trips just left camp this morning; unlike last week’s Unit Trips, where campers went out into the wilderness with the cabins of their own age bracket, our Project Week Trips mix the units together with fun and creative themes. We guarantee the campers get to go out on one of their top three choices, which this year included Fashion Show Rock Climbing, wherein our climbers will be ascending the facade of Little Stony Man, a one-hundred-foot climb overlooking a great swath of the Blue Ridge landscape, dressed to the nines in whatever they felt compelled to pull out of our costume bins; the Spirit Quest, a low-key contemplative trip with a focus on writing, repose, and holding Meeting for Worship in the depths of the forested hills; the Adventure of a Lifetime trip, where even the counselors don’t know exactly where we dropped them off (but they have compasses, maps, and they know they’re within a ten mile radius of camp); and, the Super Canoe trip, wherein the campers and counselors are attempting to clock the highest number of miles that a two-night trip has ever achieved. The winds and waters are with them, as well as our hearts.
Our in-camp activities have been as diverse as ever. Campers have gotten the chance to choose between classics like Ultimate Frisbee, Building Fairy Houses, Stream-Walking, and Clothing Modification (sorry, hope you weren’t expecting those shirts to come back looking the same as when they were packed), and, in the spirit of our unofficial camp motto, Try New Things, we’ve introduced instant classics like Making Balls Out of Things and Hitting Them with Bats, the Drawing Relay (a relay race which required illustrations be composed at each station), and the incredibly popular Spying on Other Activities activity, which was, ironically, the largest and most easily identified activity of that particular afternoon.
This summer, for our ever-changing Special Day, we decided upon Snow Day – school was cancelled, the dining hall was transformed with snowy decor, and we spent the whole day playing in a wintry wonderland. Activity choices included Slip-and-Slide Sledding, Baking Cookies, Shoveling Ms. Gunderson’s Walk (again, a surprisingly popular one – this activity primarily involved the shoveling of several tons of gravel around the shores of our pond), and, as we were concerned about the implications of having a snow day in July, campers had the option of Writing Letters to Congress to address the issue of climate change. The whole day culminated in a Snow Ball, with music provided by our very own Jake Butler, who opened the mic up to any and all who wanted to perform; campers played violin, electric bass and guitar, as well as singing songs for the whole camp to enjoy.
The session’s been a joy, and we’re sad that it’s so close to ending. Our head chef Betsy’s been hard at work in the kitchen, baking fresh bread, sourcing local meats and poultry, catering to several variations on dietary choices/restrictions, and utterly defying all stereotypes about the quality of summer camp cuisine. Our beautiful pond is keeping us cool in the day, and the crackling fire circle keeps us warm at night. Singing abounds throughout campus, from campers, staff, and the local birds with whom we’re sharing our home for the summer.
It’s a joy to hang out with your kids for as long as you’ll let us, and, as far as we can tell, they seem to be pretty into it too.
All the best,
the Shiloh Quaker Camp staff