Day One Tuesday of Sampler Week
A warm welcome…
Well here it is week three (sampler week) and around nine a.m. this morning there was something in the air. Camp really is different without kids here — it’s like a party with no guests — and so until around 3:00 the counselors walked around chatting eagerly about all the campers who were about to arrive.
As soon as campers arrive here at CYC counselors direct those who don’t need a bathroom detour to the field. There the campers and staff play field games (games like "tunnel tag" which is the same as freeze tag except for the way in which tagged players are unfrozen: another player has to scurry beneath them without themselves being tagged). They also make circles and start to sing camp songs. By the time we officially start things off with the opening ceremony (at around 4:00) campers have already been introduced to Mrs. McGrady (she was a lady who had a daughter whom I adore) a great big moose who liked to drink a lot of juice (his name is Fred and he likes to drink his juice in bed) and countless others (Sally Walker for instance and the Princess Pat).
Then at four our executive director Natalie King starts things off by introducing the staff and telling the campers how much we’ve been looking forward to their arrival. From there it’s off to dinner.
A hearty dinner…
Dinner here is served by our fabulous cook Gloria (and some of her daughters and sons). Tonight we were treated to a staff (and camper) favorite: quesadilla pizza. Of course the salad bar is always an option and there were plenty of slices of watermelon veggies and sherbet to go around. Campers are our special guests here and from the very first meal we like to show them. No one goes hungry while Gloria’s on duty and the few who still were after their first helping were of course invited back for seconds.
And a roaring fire…
Right now campers around 8:00 are enjoying the opening campfire. This campfire has become a ritual here at CYC and in addition to the songs and games that we learn here there are many parts of the fire that have become steeped in our very own tradition.
One thing that the staff immediately asks campers to do is to imagine themselves in a perfect world. After a while campers are given chances to share with the group what they found in their own perfect world. Answers range from "a place where I can play and be myself" to "a place with no trash on the ground." CYC the campers are then told can be such a place. While there certainly is no whole world that is perfect campers are encouraged to work hard to respect themselves and each other. With everyone’s help and support they’re told (as we absolutely believe it) CYC could just become if just for the week (or the summer or each summer) the closest thing we could find to a perfect world.