Week 5 Letter, 2017
There’s one more week of blissful summer camp days to go. Next week’s theme is What We’re Made Of. This theme leaves lots of room for interpretation by our activity leaders:
- making pasta from scratch
- putting garden beds to sleep
- discovering just how much we and the world around us are made up of water
- listening to Joni Mitchell’s words as she sings the lines, “We are stardust, we are golden, and we’ve got to get back to the garden”.
- finding different animals and plants that make up the ecosystem as we explore forest, field, and stream – holding a slug, an earthworm, a chicken, the animals brought by Outragehisss Pets, a blade of grass, apple, acorn, giant tree trunk, a dandelion flower.
Throughout our week, campers and staff alike will find a deeper understanding of what makes each of us ‘us’, and how each person plays a unique role in making up our Nature Place Day Camp community, as well as the world community.
This past week:
- swimmers practiced their strokes
- gamers practiced outer body awareness of others and objects
- curiosity seekers helped solve the riddle of how Mary lost her little lamb
- outdoor skills people practiced some of the oldest primitive hunting techniques (no plants or animals were hurt)
- gardeners finished making compost for next spring
- artists used our sheep’s wool to make felted soaps
- chefs made Shrewsbury Cakes (cookies that Shakespeare himself might have eaten) and learned that theatergoers in Shakespeare’s time snacked on oysters and chicken during the performances
- all ages enjoyed the Barefoot Zone, where they were able to feel sand, dry beans, uncooked rice, sponges, flat rocks, clay, air, ice, oobleck, green and red jello and more, with their feet. After freeing their feet, some campers made blacktop angels
- The felted soap mentioned in the paragraph above lathers up and scrubs at the same time. One camper said, “It’s like a bar of soap and a washcloth all in one”. True words.
- “Discovering things in the garden is way better than discovering them on a screen!”
- Using turquoise-dyed wool for the first time, a camper asked, “Do sheep really come in that color?”
- When asked where the quote “to be or not to be?” comes from, a camper answered. “Hamilton!”
- While walking with her group along the trails at camp, a young camper’s shoe came off. The counselor jokingly said that if she left it there Prince Charming might come along and find it. The camper immediately responded, “Oh, I’m not quite ready for a Prince Charming yet.”
Next week we’ll have a second visit from the Robinsons, a father/son team of wildlife rehabilitators , who take in and take care of sick or injured wild animals. We will meet different animals than last time!
There are day hikes scheduled for next week, a climbing day trip in Harriman, as well as a climbing trip up in the ‘Gunks’, a world-renowned climbing area just outside of New Paltz.
There of course will be all the regulars: swim, chickens, games, nature, garden, hobby, Outragehisss Pets, art, music, drama, and more.
Harvest Day, on Thursday, will have all campers and staff walking up to the Fellowship fields to help the farmers and gardeners with the harvest. I know that the crops are ripe and ready, and awaiting eager hands to pull them from the earth and put them into waiting baskets. Last year we harvested – literally a ton – 2,000 pounds, of onions.
Our Remembering Summer Slideshow event will be held Wednesday, August 9th, at 7:15 pm. The rain date is Thursday the 10th. There’ll be music, time to talk, dessert, dancing, and a great slideshow of photographs from the summer. For more details see our recently sent email about this event. Hope to see you there!
Lastly, we have just a few spaces left for the second week of our Farm and Garden Days program. The dates are August 21st to the 25th. If interested, log on to your camp account and fill out an application for this week. If you would like to get on our waitlist for the first week of Farm and Garden Days (the 14th to the 18th) please shoot us an email.
While excited for next week and all of its celebratory ‘end-ness’, I’m also already sad that camp – ephemeral, powerful, and fun – has to end.
Until next week,