Campfire Notes

Whadda In Place

Whadda In Place

“Look, Mom! We made a fort!”

I hope the wince on my face looked more like a smile as I surveyed the efforts my children, ages 4 and 7, had made to create a fort using every pillow, blanket, and stuffed animal they could find. I am glad the girls had some fun (and even more fun learning how to fold the blankets as we put them all away), but this scene is representative of the chaos that ensues after days on end of being stuck at home and having to juggle our work schedules while supervising playtime.

I can’t imagine how any parent could feel successful in every realm of life right now. Between parenting, e-learning, work commitments, household duties, cooking, shopping, and self-care, everyone is stretched and scrambling to find balance in our “new normal.”

For the past three weeks, we have been working with some of our awesome GAC counselors to put together virtual events to help provide connection and fun for our campers and camp families in an otherwise challenging time. We hope you have been able to attend some of our live events on Zoom or on Facebook or have viewed the recorded events on YouTube.

Our Afternoon Assemblies have been a fun time for campers and counselors to play games, sing songs, hear the Joke-of-the-Day, and reminisce about the fun we have at Morning Assembly each day at camp.

Our Virtual Campfires have served as a great way for campers to connect to similar-age peers in small groups. The group leaders facilitate discussions, play games, and help campers meet and talk with each other. We have been very happy with the campers’ ability to engage with each other, listen patiently, and share openly in their groups.

Big Virtual Campfire was a big, virtual success, with many campers and counselors submitting acts that showcased a variety of talents. We’re looking forward to our next Big Virtual Campfire next week!

For the next two weeks, we are launching a series of virtual events we’re calling, “Whadda in Place: Bringing a Little Summer into Spring!” Our virtual events have some new and exciting twists, including special events at the beginning of each Virtual Campfire, a virtual camp dance for the whole family, and our next Big Virtual Campfire to conclude the two weeks of fun.

Here’s the schedule of the upcoming virtual events:

This Week:

TODAY, Monday April 6, 4pm PT: Afternoon Assembly on Zoom or Facebook Live.

Tuesday, April 7 @ 4pm PT: Bingo Fun & Virtual Campfire (email us for login details)

Thursday, April 9 @ 4pm PT: Magic with Dan Chan the Magic Man & Virtual Campfire! Bring a quarter, 2 rubber bands, and a deck of cards to join in on the magic! (email us for login details) 

Next Week:

Monday, April 13 @ 4pm PT: Afternoon Assembly on Zoom or Facebook Live.

Tuesday, April 14 @ 4pm PT: Trivia Game & Virtual Campfire (email us for login details)

Thursday, April 16 @ 4pm PT: Jersday Thursday Sports Dance! Dress in your sports gear as we host a virtual dance party–just like a camp dance!  (email us for login details)

Friday, April 17 @ 4pm: Big Campfire  (Send your acts of kindness or theme day activity photos & videos by Wednesday, April 15, for the slideshow!) Watch the fun live on Zoom or Facebook Live, or watch it with your popcorn and Red Vines on YouTube when you want. 

Family Fun Days!

We love having theme days at camp, and we’ve put together some great theme days for you to do at home with your family. We have curated activities, recipes, crafts, and songs that correspond with the themes and hopefully take some of the work out of creating family fun at your house. Take pictures or videos of your family doing these activities and email them to or post them on social media with #whaddainplace. We will use the photos for a slideshow at our next Big Virtual Campfire to show our GAC families having some fun together!

Each theme day provides several suggestions for family fun, and you can pick and choose the activities, recipes, and crafts that work best for your family. Even if you only pick one or two activities from each theme day, we hope you will find these to be helpful and fun resources.

Click each graphic below for the theme day information and a materials checklist:





We would love to hear your feedback about these virtual events and can’t wait to see pictures of your family as you “Whadda in Place!” You can email us your photos or tag us on social media (@goldarrowcamp) and use the hashtag #whaddainplace. We can’t wait to see what you do!


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12 Stay at Home Tips

12 Stay at Home Tips

Want some stay-at-home tips for your family?

We’re all spending a lot of time at home these days during COVID-19, and it’s good for our mental and emotional health to mix things up once in a while.

Here’s a recap of the ideas Sunshine’s been sharing at our virtual Afternoon Assemblies!

#1 Participate in 30 Days of Kindness

Focus on others by doing small (and large) acts of kindness, and it will make you feel better, too!

#2 Mail a hand-written letter or note

Everyone LOVES getting a real letter in the mail. Collect the random cards and stationery from around your house (or in your camp supplies). Next, write a postcard, note, or letter and mail it to a friend, relative, or even a stranger (see ideas in 30 Days of Kindness)! You might even get one back, which is super fun!

Many kids do not know how to address a letter. Take time to learn, and you’ll be all set for writing letters from camp!

#3 Learn to cook something new

What’s a favorite recipe you want to learn how to cook? Take this time at home to learn how to cook something (or several things)! Cook the recipe three times, each time doing the cooking more independently.
Step 1 Cook the recipe with your parent.
Step 2 Cook the recipe with your parent supervising, but you doing all the cooking.
Step 3 Cook the recipe on your own. Let your parent relax while you cook!

Here are a few moments of video of Sunshine supervising (Step 2 above) her 16-year-old making this POMEGRANATE HABANERO SHREDDED BEEF RECIPE:

Bonus: Send us your favorite recipe and/or create a video tutorial of how to make the recipe (see Joss’ below):

#4 Clean out your game/puzzle cabinet(s)

What’s even in there? Go through your games and puzzles. Find a favorite or two to get out to play as a family. For ones you no longer use because they are for younger kids , create a stack to donate to another family or neighbor. For ones with missing pieces, recycle, use for creating a craft, or put in the trash.

#5 Make a list of 10 things you’ve been wanting to do

With school now online and extracurricular activities, sports, and in-person social time with friends limited, we’ve got some extra time on our hands. This is – for many of us – a new situation. And it can feel uncomfortable having so much down time. Try writing a list of 10 things ranging from random “to dos” to things you’d like to learn. This can include books you’ve wanted to read, hobbies or crafts you’ve been interested in trying, a musical instrument you’d like to learn to play or practice playing more, learning sign language, or anything else that comes to mind for you! You can try to include things that include:
• Something physical (train for a 5K run, do a daily plank, try an online yoga class)
• Something creative (friendship bracelet, crochet, painting)
• Something social (call or write a letter to a friend)
• Things you haven’t had time for (a book you’ve wanted to read or movie you’ve wanted to watch)

Then, take the first step. Start reading the book or research how to do the hobby.

#6 Sort your books by color

Do you love books and reading? Take some time to organize your books. Create a beautiful shelf by organizing your books by color!

#7 Move some furniture (or create a little quiet space just for yourself)

To make your home feel a little different, move some furniture around a bit so that it feels “new.” Or, create a little space for yourself on a cozy chair or on some pillows in your bedroom or a closet or room that doesn’t get much use. Put some of your favorite “quiet” activities in a basket or box there – things like mazes, coloring supplies, books to read, or crafts to do.

#8 Call or FaceTime a friend

Now that you’re an expert on Zoom and other online meeting platforms, organize a get-together with a friend or group of friends. To make it even more fun, have a theme like “crazy hair.” For a fun activity, get a game like Yahtzee that you can play together by each having your own set of dice! Or, play “Name that Tune” or “Pictionary.”

#9 Make family dinner like a campfire

Pretend you’re at camp around the campfire and you’re the counselor. Lead a discussion like counselors at camp do! Have every family member share their high, low, and hero of the day or ask a question that everyone answers.

#10 Brainstorm (as a family) things you’re interested in doing together for fun

Create a list with your family of things you’re each interested in (rotate whose idea you do together as a family)
    • Nature walk: identify birds, build a trail
    • Movie marathon: pick an actor and watch all the movies with that actor in it
    • Puzzle competition with another family

#11 Make a list of things to organize or spruce up in your room or house

Take a walk around your house and make your list of things you’ve wanted to do around your bedroom/house (Ideas: hang a picture, make a collage for your wall, clean out drawers of things to hand down to a sibling, friend, or to donate). Take before and after pictures and send them to us!

#12 Find things to laugh at

Laughter makes us all feel better. Find funny memes and videos to share with each other. Even better, tell a joke or create a funny song or skit and share it with your friends at GAC so we can use it at our upcoming assemblies and campfires!

What are your tips for stay at home activities? Share them with us!

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