Last night, to celebrate a great Session 2, the whole camp headed down to the grove for the sports dance! Campers danced, smiled in the photo booth, played board games and enjoyed delicious drinks and snacks!
Yesterday, the dining porch was adorned with flags from all over the world as we celebrated International Day! This session we have campers from Chile, China, France, Mexico, New Zealand, the UK, and Russia!
“Big Campfire” is a highlight of the session for campers here at GAC. At Big Campfire, each cabin group performs a skit, song, or dance. The evening provides a fun opportunity for kids to work together to provide a fun, entertaining performance for the community.
Our younger campers (Bears & Tigers) celebrated Big Campfire on Saturday evening, and our older kids (Lions & Eagles) had their Big Campfire on Monday evening. Here are a few highlights from this session’s Big Campfires:
Ring toss, cotton candy, splash zone, nachos! It’s carnival time at Gold Arrow Camp! As always, this afternoon was a blast for all campers and staff!
My office is above the dining porch, so as I write this recap of this first week of Session 2, I’m listening to our Junior Counselors sing along to Taylor Swift songs on the Dining Porch while they package up popcorn for the Bears and Tigers cabin groups for Big Campfire (Saturday evening). Our Junior Counselors are a terrific group of young adults with a huge number of years of GAC experience between them.
We’ve had a terrific week full of new friendships, new challenges, and a whole lot of bucket filling! One of our favorite ways to fill each other’s buckets has been writing WOWs. Each morning at assembly, Cheerio reads a few of the WOWs from the previous day, and then all of the notes are delivered in the camp mail. WOWs are a fun camp tradition that reminds us to thank, compliment, and celebrate each other.
Our daily podcast features campers and staff talking about what’s happening at GAC. Campers (usually with their cabin group) serve as hosts for our daily update, which is usually recorded right after Morning Assembly. You can listen or subscribe here.
A new and fun addition to morning assembly 2019 has been the “Stat of the Day.” Each day, Soy and the other hosts present a stat challenge question. Each cabin group can put one guess into the yellow “Stat of the Day” box. The winning guess gets the special “Stat of the Day” trophy on their dining table for the next day.
We love having special celebrations here at camp. They give us an excuse to dress up (or stay in our jammies) or just get a little crazy. Here are a few picture highlights from some of this week’s special events:
We’ve got more fun planned for the second week of the session, including International Day (Tuesday), the Sports Dance (Thursday), and our end of session celebration banquet and Appreciation Campfire (Friday). We’re also going to be focusing on some important friendship skills, including asking questions & listening, staying calm, and being a great friend.
The second week of the session always flies by here at GAC, and we are going to make the most of our time together by remembering to have fun, make friends, and grow!
Be sure to download the Campanion App if you want to view photos and keep up with this week’s news on your phone!
Our water provider, China Peak Ski area, had some issues with their water system on Friday morning, and we found ourselves without water for a few hours. Fortunately, we were able to get water delivered to camp within a few hours and kept a steady series of water truck deliveries on Friday and Saturday so that we always had plenty of potable water for drinking, hand washing, dish sanitization, etc. As of yesterday afternoon, the water problem was resolved at China Peak and our regular water delivery from China Peak resumed at the normal level.
During the short period of time (a few hours on Friday) when we did not have running water, our operations team used creek water to keep toilets flushing properly.
Because of the water deliveries, all normal water use was encouraged, including showers. We did encourage campers to use “start-stop” showers (turning off water while lathering) to conserve water, and many campers enjoyed the option of taking a “lake shower” (with biodegradable soap we provided). Many kids thought that was pretty fun.
At Saturday’s dinner, to be cautious with our water supply, we turned off the juice machines to conserve some water, which probably had the most impact on the campers, who really like their juice. As of today (Sunday), all regular water use (including the POG juice machine, hot chocolate machine, and regular showers) is back to normal.
During the short period of time on Friday morning when we did not have water flowing throughout camp, we provided campers with fresh drinking water in igloo containers throughout camp and had plentiful baby wipes and hand sanitizer available at all the bathrooms and at the dining porch.
Campers were never without drinking water or the ability to sanitize their hands. Our food service operated as normal, albeit with paper plates, and camper activities were not affected. And our operations team were heroic in their efforts to keep water flowing through all of our bathrooms.
We now have a 5,000 gallon back-up tank installed (specially delivered Friday evening and installed by our operations team) in case we ever have another issue with our water provider. Rest assured that the juice machine and hot chocolate machines (two camper favorites) are back in action.
A highlight of the two-week session for our youngest campers (grades K-3), and their version of “backpacking,” is Bears’ Adventure. This one-night trip allows campers to experience sleeping outdoors under the stars and cooking over a campfire. Campers’ luggage is taken for them to the campsite, so they are not technically “backpacking,” because they have no pack to carry. With just their water bottle and their positive attitudes, they set out from camp singing and talking on their hike.
The best part of Bears’ Adventure is the free time kids get to play and explore the area. For many campers, the longer sticks provide the perfect start to a fort. Others enjoy laying on their sleeping bags talking with friends or silently watching clouds move overhead. Some participate in crafts and games while enjoying being outdoors. For many of these kids, Bears’ Adventure is their first experience “roughing it,” and they absolutely love it.
When they hike back into camp the morning after their Adventure, our Bears’ campers stand a little taller. And their dirty, smiling faces are the best indication that they have experienced the awe of nature.
Yesterday, we all made sure we came to morning assembly with our wildest headgear, our wackiest hairdo’s and our craziest craniums! See the video below for a quick look at our morning fun!
We always start our first breakfast of the session making ourselves feel comfy and at home in our jammies! Today we celebrated the first Pajama Breakfast of the summer. Here are a few pictures from the morning!