Camp was off to a great start this week. Many returning campers were happy to reunite with old friends. Our new campers quickly made connections too, and families made plans for play dates over ice pops at pickup time. One thing I've noticed over my years at camp (both as a leader and a parent) is that the kids seem to bond with each other more easily and quickly than in other environments. I think it's because of the small groups, gentle guidance from our adult group leaders, and the relaxed pace of the day. Our staff works hard behind the scenes to create a daily rhythm that strikes a balance between structure and freedom. For the two morning sessions, the kids go with their group to their assigned stations of the day, maybe sewing or art or music. They get a chance to try new things together in a low-pressure way. And then in the afternoon they can choose their stations. John might decide to go to woodworking with his new friend Niko, and Saisha and Joanie may meet up at chess with their friend Justin from another group. This gentle ebb and flow seems to create the perfect backdrop for creativity and for getting to know each other on a deeper level. I know that one of the reasons my kids keep coming back (this is their sixth year running!) is to see their friends.
This week the kids worked on a lot of projects with Maria and Wendy, our sewing station masters. Many campers went home with new stuffed friends; there's nothing like the feeling of snuggling with a kitty or bear you made with your own hands. We watered the garden and picked fresh mint to try. In woodworking with David, a few kids started building a fairy house, and others are working on a marble track. Our excursions and foraging guru Joy helped the kids bake some delicious muffins, and in chess with Danilo we learned some new strategies. In jewelry-making with Brittny, the kids made some lovely things for themselves and for their families. The oldest group (The Intergalactic Stars!) went on an excursion with Joy mid-week. They were lucky to get to pick the last of the season's strawberries at Cropsey Farm, and they also went for a nice hike and met some farm animal friends. And of course for all the campers there was plenty of playground time, relaxing in the classrooms and playing games with friends, cooling off in the pool, and telling jokes in our outdoor amphitheater at lunch. To see more of what we were up to this week, please take a look at the gallery below. See you next week!