It is our second full day of Session 3, and camp is in full swing again: mentor hikes in the morning, lunch, rest hour, a flurry of activities, some free time, and an evening program to end each day. Last night, we played our inaugural game of Predator vs. Prey, sang Sisters Brothers (the song with which we close out each evening), and headed to bed.
Most campers have played this game multiple times, and they understand the drill: insects are at the bottom of the food chain, then frogs, snakes, and the always-colorful hawks. A water source might be contaminated, or the pesticide DDT somehow makes its way into the ecosystem, and bioaccumulation occurs. Multiple animal groups die off by the end of the game, whether from these numerous contaminations or a simple lack of resources collected. The lessons here are clear: teamwork is crucial, and the lives of animals are often extraordinarily difficult.
Although this spiel wasn’t new to campers, and the Predator vs. Prey routine was a familiar one, campers and staff still found innovative ways to have fun. The front field was teeming with groups, attacking one another, chasing one another, or otherwise vying for survival. But the atmosphere was different, the energy a bit higher, the attacks all the more frequent. Some campers just wanted to run.
Although Predator vs. Prey is always a camp favorite, this shift in attitude is representative of the way GRP can make even familiar routines fun and exciting. Every moment of GRP hides the chance to create something new and amusing: the ten minutes before mealtime, the twenty minutes before bed, the sweaty, bumpy bus rides. Singing songs, inventing off-the-cuff games, adopting strange accents or simply acting ridiculous are some of our favorite ways of injecting every moment with something engaging. And even with Predator vs. Prey—one of our more extravagant and involved evening programs—there is always room for improvement and for innovation.
Story by Katherine Poore with Photos by Samantha J. Keebler & Brandon S. Marshall