So where to start....So much happened and it was all so amazing I dont know what to talk about first.
I guess I could start with first day,
So I arrived at the park feeling odd and "left out" cause as other campers arrived everyone would run to greet them. So a few people said I was shy, but that wasnt the case, I just didnt know how to act around these people yet. So when the buses got there and we went to get on I walked up to a girl who was quite shy and said "Hi, I'm Kyra." And she looked at me and said "really?" as though in shock, and I said yes, and she said her name was Kira(spelled with a I)
So that was intresting having to say "Which one" when the staff called our names on the bus to make sure we were there.
My nickname almost became Ducky at camp because of my little ducky necklace, but there was already someone with that nickname.
So we got to camp and a staff person helped me to get my stuff upstairs(yes my cabin was upstairs(and my baggage was heavy)) So then we all meet in a huge circle in the field and we get called out into our Advisee groups...They are the group you meet with every morning(more info in a minute on that) So then each group of about 12-14 campers each meet in the field in smaller circles and that was our very first check in.
Now I know a few of you were curious about this, but that is when I broke my toe, yes I said broke.
We played a game where we all get in a circle touching shoulders and then sit back on eachothers laps in a circle. Not to bad right, it was pretty awesome cause we stayed up. Then we had to lean back on eachother to see how long we would last staying up, and we all toppled over, obviously, and my foot got caught under me funny, so my toes bent backwards and so the toe next to my big toe was then in pain. But I thought I had just jammed/sprained it. Half way through the session though it was still hurting, especially going up and down the stairs to my cabin. I am not positive it is broken, I dont know for sure, but I vibrated it last night and it hurt like hell, so its probably broke. and I dont want to go get a Xray just to know for sure and have them tell me what I already know, just to wrap it to the toe next to it. but anywho.
So onto advisee meetings every morning. So our schedule was basically wakeup call was around 9am every morning(some days where later other days earlier, but mostly just at 9am) and then we had breakfast, check in(you just get in your respecive line(a-k or l-z) and that makes sure that your still alive haha, then we had morning meeting and morning hugs :], then we had advisee meetings, where you met with your advisor(a senior staff member) and the group of 12-14 campers you were with, and you would do a check in where you basically went up in front or in the circle and basically said what you were feeling, how much sleep you got, what you wanted to do that day, etc...and you didnt have to include all that, you could leave it at "I'm tired and happy today" or you could go into a slightly lengthy check in, and then if we had time we would play games or something.
And our advisor(Blake) would do a surprise every morning, one morning we had to take a picture of ourself, another morning we had to do our check in on a mouthful of candy, and it was fun stuff like that :]
It was amazing, it always felt like you could then go and do stuff during the day without having to explain to a bunch of people how you were feeling, and if you were feeling bad then a few people then knew how you were feeling and could comfort you. It was really good.
So then to fill out our schedule we had lunch at like 2:30pm every day and dinner at 6:30pm and in between we either had projects, siesta(quiet time right after lunch), workshops(yes there is a difference between projects and workshops), and there was sometimes evening activities. Which were fun!
One night there was a formal banquet and right after a dance party, which was super fun.
Another night there was a 50's night, where you dressed somewhat 50's style and danced to 50's music, it was the night I actually partner danced! and the guy I danced with leaned me back and I didnt get dropped
There was prom one night(which was boring for the first half and I ended up going to bed early that night, which everyone said that after 12:30am it got better, but oh well.
And dont even get me started on Bonding Night, Trust Circle, and Closing Cermony.
ok...I guess I will go into them haha
So I cant say anything about Trust Circle except for the fact that it was really super eye opening and brought up a lot of stuff I was trying to forget. Basically everyone gets in a circle in the lodge area and a couple of staff members read statements and if they are true to you, then you step into the center of the circle, and depending on how true it is that is how far you step into the circle. So if its only a little bit true then you take one or two steps in, and if its compeltely true then you step to the middle of the circle, and pretty much anything in between. I didnt cry during it, but I did after wards.
Closing ceremony was great! We started out in the field in a circle and then sang and spiraled into the lodge, we got in a large circle and did appreciations, our intentions for the next year, graduate speeches, and then there was a huge hugging circle where you got to hug everyone. It was amazing.
Now my favorite part....Bonding night
So this I can go into more detain about than the other two really.
So it starts out with everyone who is participating(which was pretty much everyone) circles up in the field and we sing and spiral into the lodge to form the circle, the first part of the exercise is everyone closes their eyes, and you are taken to a 'partner' and you are asked to sit down in front of the person, then when they tell you to open your eyes you are sitting across from someone you either know well, dont know, or dont know very well. And this is the eye contact exercise(dont know what else to call it but a exercise) So then sitting across from this person, you are told to make eye contact, you can not break away. And they do this in three intervals, first one is 10seconds, then a 30second one, and then you do it for a full minute. And the only way I can discribe it is that you then are bonding with that one person. So then they take three of the pairs and put them into a circle of six, this is the second part of the first half. And you do a appreciation circle, where one person will be appreciated by the five others, just things that you appreciate/love about that person. And that lasts for about 6-7 minutes. There is then a break to get water and such, then the room splits into two halves, one half spreads out an arms length away from eachother and closes their eyes. The other half of the room then goes through and hugs everyone that has their eyes closed. Then after about 15-20 minutes the half that went through and hugged the half that had their eyes closed then spreads out and closes their eyes while the opposite half that was getting hugged first goes through and hugs the people with their eyes closed. Its called Unconditonal Love .
It was the most amazing night of my life, I dont think I can really describe it better, it was one of those things that you would really have to be there to get the full force of what it was. I just felt like nothing else existed except for the love that was in that room.
Wow....my fingers hurt haha....I dont really know what else to say except for the fact that I will be going every year until I cannot go anymore as a camper, and then I'll probably sign on as a Junior Staffer after that. I can safely say that camp is my home away from home.