Yellow Warblers, Purple Finches and Forest Village visited Fall Creek on Thursday. Campers were asked to notice when they heard a bird and what the cool water felt like on their skin. The senses were also put into action in a grand game of Crow’s Spirit with Adventure Academy and the Pathfinders. After the two rounds campers came together to review how the senses were key in playing the game. 

Another camp this week used many senses for a common goal. Gifts of the Deer took deer skins from raw skin with fur and fat on them to beautiful tanned hides. The process begins with cleaning the fat off the inside of the hide and using a knife with two handles to remove the fur. Then after cleanup of this process, hides were soaked in artificial brains. Danielle was quick to point out that all animals have just the right amount of brains to tan a hide. As the hides came out of the brain solution, they were rung out completely. Then came the fun stretching process. It starts slow with campers and staff pulling on all ends of the hide. As the hide stretches, campers are asked to lay in the hide and be bounced to assist in it stretching even more. Finally, the hides are smoked and can be turned into custom wallets and bags. It was a very interesting and fulfilling process. All the campers who participated had a great time learning more gifts of the deer. 

Primitive Cafe also explored many avenues of taste and smell. Their culinary delights during the week included hemlock, raspberry leaf and mint tea. They paired these teas with ash cakes and honey for a proper tea and crumpets. Unfortunately, I missed the pizza day at camp which I heard was delicious. I did make it for brownie day. The camp made brownies in the cob oven in the cast iron cookware. The smaller thinner brownies came out first. The thicker ones took a long time in the oven. While they waited, they enjoyed another round of ash cakes with garlic in them dipped in tomato sauce. Everybody raved about this combination, comparing them to pizza bagels. Finally, all the brownies were ready and they paired them with a raspberry syrup. There were many groans of delight upon eating them.


A camper is bounced on a stretching deer hide in Gifts of the Deer.   Photo: Ben Bookout

Growing Wild campers enjoy their Friday blueberry and chocolate pancakes.   Photo: Ben Bookout

At Ellis Hollow, campers enjoyed a game of coyote and deer where the deer can run but the coyotes must use teamwork and a ball to try and hunt down the deer as they stay stationary. Afterward, they headed into the woods to play various games. Some chose to play camouflage, some played rugby pass with Reed, some built slug hotels and some played in the existing shelter. 

Friday is always a fun day at camp with special treats in each camp. Growing wild enjoyed blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes. Most wanted just chocolate chips and the staff had a bit of a challenge with the heat of the fire and getting the pancakes just right. They figured a method and cranked out delicious blueberry and chocolate pancakes for all the campers and some of the other camps as well. Forest Village enjoyed roasted marshmallows and Adventure Academy had their chocolate banana boats. Primitive Cafe had a cook off with apple turnovers and breakfast sandwiches. I was very tempted to stay but I went to the big match. Crow’s Spirit, with Adventure Academy joining forces with The Pathfinders to defeat the troll staff. In round one the campers found the crow quickly and defeated the trolls handley. In round two the staff banned talking while in the game and the crow did an excellent job of hiding and the trolls took round two. 

All in all week eight was a sensory experience on many levels and many campers enjoyed the variety of experience being offered at camp.


Breakfast sandwiches comprise part of this groups menu in Primitive Cafe.   Photo: Ben Bookout

Campers came upon this very interesting wolf spider along Fall Creek.  Photo: Ben Bookout