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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.  Albert Einstein

Week V The Summer Fun Continues!

Noah Winslow, August 3, 2018

Week 5 of summer was a pretty rainy one, but campers didn't seem to mind!

Hidden Trails:

Arriving at Ellis Hollow every morning, campers made do with the weather that they had. All in all the week was fantastic! Campers waded through the creek and collected clay to make into pots and plates. They honed their awareness skills by walking through the forest blindfolded, playing "Keeper of the Keys" where they had to move through the forest silently and of course had a ball with Capture the Flag. Campers learned how to make friction fires with a bow drill kit through watching an in depth demonstration by their primitive pursuits mentors.


Campers play a circle game during afternoon choices.


A camper balances on a log at Ellis Hollow.


A camper explores the creek next to her camp base at Ellis Hollow.


A camper checks to see if his clay pot has hardened during the lunch fire.


Primitive Pursuits counselors and campers play "Dead Ants" to finish out the day.

Base Camp

The KEE-urr and ZREEEP groups braved the rain to explore and connect with nature at Ellis Hollow this week. Campers wandered through the misty woods and played awesome games that helped them to practice their awareness skills. They were challenged to build fires in the rain and brewed tea and popped popcorn at their base camp!


Campers chat underneath the tarp between activities at the YMCA Outdoor Adventure Area.


A camper looks for dry material for her clan's lunch campfire.



A camper keeps a coal alive before his clan's lunch fire.

Jedi Academy:

Jedi Padawans traveled from the far reaches of the galaxy and landed at the YMCA Outdoor Adventure Area on our rainy planet. The Padawans practiced mindfulness and focus through Jedi training, and expanded their imaginations by listening to the Master's stories. They carved their very own training lightsabers from sticks found in the forest and practiced primitive crafts like making cordage and drilling through stones to make jewelry. Padawans learned to channel the force to construct fires that they attempted to light with only one match.

Campers craft cordage from Basswood while others practice stone drilling.

Campers work together to build a fire before attempting to light it with just one match.

Campers finish carving their lightsabers.

Growing Wild:

Growing Wild campers were able to adventure in a brand new place to them. At Ellis Hollow, they trekked through the forest together, made adventure sticks, and scanned the canopy with binoculars looking for birds. Both clans came up with names for landmarks in the woods that helped to orient themselves like the "Moss Bump" and "Rocket Ship Log". Campers explored the creek too! On Friday the clans met up to celebrate their time together, and made Banana boats over the fire.


Sarah helps a Growing Wild Camper saw a piece of wood to make an adventure stick.


A Growing Wild camper climbs a log at Ellis Hollow.

Colleen paints a campers face with charcoal.

Black Bear Camp:

The Bear Campers lived out of their tents at Arnot Forest for the week! They quickly got used to the rain and had a ton of fun learning new primitive skills. They carved their own bow drill kits to make friction fires, happily wandered through the woods, ate wild raspberries and blackberries and made baskets from materials they harvested themselves. The Counselors in Training who were part of Coyote Trek created a game to play with the Bear campers unofficially dubbed "Funball".


A camper carves a spindle for his bow drill kit.


Bear Campers explore the creek at Arnot in the rain. Photograph by Sarah Chaffee.


A camper works to create a coal with a bow drill kit.


Bear campers start a fire underneath their tarp in the Arnot Forest.


A Bear Camper crafts a basket from materials harvested from the Forest. Photograph by Sarah Chaffee.


A camper cuts through a hemlock tree. Photograph by Sarah Chaffee.

A camper carves a notch into a piece of wood for his friction-fire kit. Photograph by Sarah Chaffee.

Coyote Trek:

Photographs by Sarah Chaffee

Coyote Trek is an opportunity for committed Counselors in Training to learn new primitive skills and practice old ones like crafting and using bow drill kits, textile weaving, coal burning and whittling. They also practiced working with children and focused on learning about the different developmental stages seen in the age ranges of all Primitive Pursuits camps. The CITs were able to put their skills to the test in a real-life situation where it was raining a lot of the time. What kind of fun things can you do when it's raining outside? That was their challenge and they succeeded by creating a game for the Bear Campers called "Funball".

Daniel observes a Yellow Swallowtail butterfly that landed right on his body!

A CIT throws a bandana ball during a game between Coyote Trek campers and Bear Campers at the Arnot Forest.

Need a trail guide?

We’re happy to help you navigate. Give us a call at the office (607) 272-2292 ext. 195 or use the link below

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Need a trail guide?

We’re happy to help you navigate. Give us a call at the office (607) 272-2292 ext. 195 or use the link below

Get In Touch

Don't miss a beat, add yourself to our list to get all the latest details.