Our third week of camp flew by quickly. The theme for this week was birds, so I listened to many bird stories and watched some bird games this week. The campers learned about different species of birds, how they came to be, how to build nests, and more.
Starting off the week strong, I observed Bow Camp doing some target practice in the meadow. Forest Village was building a human-sized bird nest while also listening to a story about how owls came to be. I saw the Yellow Warblers stone drilling to make a fire. They were playing a game called coyote and deer. Deep in the Hemlocks, I heard the Wood Ducks playing the same game.
The Purple Finches played a game of camouflage. They had 30 seconds to find somewhere to hide, and the seeker could only stand in one spot while trying to point out where his or her fellow campers were hiding. We played that game during staff training week.
I spent a good deal of time with Bow Camp in the middle of the week, learning about the process of making a bow. Sean, one of the experienced instructors, explained how the bows are made from chopped-down trees from the year prior and carved into something much smaller. He explained that by the end of the week, the campers will have chopped their wood, carved it, sanded it, and created a bowstring, leaving them all with a bow they made themselves.
I listened to a story about owls with Forest Village during their snack break. The story surrounded the idea of the three R’s that instructors teach at Primitive Pursuits. It’s important that campers know how to respect themselves, respect others, and respect everything around them.
Near the meadow, the Yellow Warblers were building fairy houses. The community was called Slugville, and there were about 20 small structures in the village. It reminded me of when I used to build fairy houses when on vacation with my parents.
I’m always surprised when the kids have so much knowledge about nature. One group was playing a game of bird trivia and I decided to hop in. The trivia question was to list three species of owls. I only knew one, but the kids helped me out and I was able to cross the log.
On Wednesday, my co-photojournalist and I embarked on a journey in the woods with the Wilderness Explorers. We met about 20 minutes from 4H and set out on a hike to find a lean-to. They learned about how to navigate the forest, what to look out for, and how to treat the trails. The instructors stressed gratefulness to the earth, as well as respect for all the creatures living on it. It’s important that the campers learn to use all of their senses when they are out in the woods.
On Thursday, Forest Sports were playing capture the flag and learning about the importance of teamwork and strategy. Forest Village was playing a game of sneakiness that teaches them about patience and self-awareness.
Enchanted Forest was charcoal painting and playing games, while Bow Camp was continuing to work on their bows. They shaped and sanded their bows to perfection.
On Friday, the two Pathfinder groups came together to play a big game of Forest Fire. Forest Village played with hammocks and also made pancakes over the fire for their lunch. Forest Explorers made a fire as well and cooked up some banana boats filled with chocolate chips and marshmallows.
At the end of the day, all of the groups gathered at the pole barn to watch Enchanted Forest put on a play about villains and heroes. The play showed that sometimes, things aren’t what they seem. They featured great costumes, songs, and acting.
Overall, week 3 was a blast, filled with fun, creativity, and excitement.
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