Canoeing, Orienteering, Mountain Biking, BB skeet, Archery, Outdoor Skills, Pioneer Cabin, Climbing, Fly Fishing, Yoga, Music, Drawing & Painting, Arts & Crafts, Low Ropes, Nature Art, Field Games, Pottery. There’s no shortage of new things to learn here. It’s a place for kids to find a passion for something they never would have experienced otherwise. This summer, I’ve seen new discoveries made every day. Teenagers who were dreading theater doing improv exercises for the rest of their sessions. Groups of nine-year-olds who finally find a moment of stillness in yoga. New painters, musicians, sculptors, all taking the first step in their journeys.
Each afternoon is dedicated to activity time. Two activity periods a day and every activity period is different. We have a lot of unique kids of varying ages with different needs and learning styles. Leaders listen to their campers and shape their lesson plans to best suit each group. Each leader is a member of staff who picks a few activities to teach and stays with those for the length of a session. For about an hour and a half, campers split up into groups and participate in one of the activities. Walking through base camp during activity time is wonderful chaos. If you start in the back field, you’ll see campers sitting peacefully, focused on their sketches and watercolors. You’ll probably hear a bell close by, and you’ll know that a camper managed to reach the top of the climbing wall. As you head up to the lodge, you’ll smell smoke, from the attempted fires in outdoor skills, and from the pioneer cabin, where kids will be drinking tea or making corn husk dolls. You’ll know you’re close to the lodge when you hear splashing and laughing. The lake will be full of canoes, spinning in circles, floating back and forth, as their pilots learn rowing technique. You’ll have to walk off the path and make your presence known, to avoid the hooks being cast by fly fishers. Outside the lodge, there will be kids all around, in pairs and groups, having intriguing conversations as they work on their theater exercises. If you peek in the pottery studio, you’ll see clay covered hands and a colorful variety of glazed clay sculptures. You still haven’t seen everything activity time has to offer. There are groups all over base camp, all of them having new experiences and making new memories.
Story by Molly Watson with photos by Brandon S. Marshall & Samantha Keebler