It was a pleasure to welcome all the parents and campers who were able to come out and help us kick off the 2016 camp session! After a wonderful opening ceremony on Saturday, campers are already adjusting to camp life and are making new friends.
On the first night of camp we planned a bonfire. Cabins prepared skits and presented them to other campers to show a display of their cabin spirit. Campers also joined in with their cabin leaders and counselors in the singing of traditional Russian folk songs. Counselors also prepared an original song called "Eating Kasha with Me," which was about making new friends and eating kasha (oatmeal). Three days later, campers are still singing and humming the very catchy chorus!
On Monday, cabins competed in a game called Keem. In this game, cabins must memorize items they see during a certain period of time. The counselors put a special twist on this weeks Keem; cabins had to memorize items they saw flying about their heads! All of the cabin members laid down on the ground side-by-side, and items were tossed over them. They had to memorize each item thoroughly so that they could write it down. Each cabin was very successful and they had lots of fun!
Later in the day, campers dressed in all black clothing for night games. This week, they broke into 2 teams and played a camp-wide game of "capture the flag". The game consisted of two rounds in which campers put their tactical skills to use in an attempt to win the game for their respective teams.
As a tribute to the USA on the 4th of July, the counselors held a red, white, and blue outfit contest! girl campers wore face paint, American flag headbands and earrings, as well as patriotic colored knee-highs! The boys also tried matching the color scheme by wearing festive clothing. To end the day, the entire camp sat on the beach to watch a very dazzling fireworks show. Campers enjoyed a tasty cake-pop to complete a wonderful day of celebrating our country's freedom!
On Tuesday, cabins had a fun time outdoors in an activity called Varka. Varka is a very competitive activity where each cabin must build and light their own campfire. When they have their fire going, they must make a soup for lunch. They must then present their soups to the counselors with a creative skit. For Varka this week; the counselors dressed up as chefs from different countries and held a jelly-bean taste test. If the cabin guessed the jelly-bean flavor correctly, they were awarded an extra match to assist in their fire lighting.
On Thursday, cabins competed in yet another major camp activity called "Beg". Beg is a scavenger hunt in the woods where cabins have to find hidden items. For example, they might see something as small as a battery on a log or as big as a hat on a tree branch. Cabins also stop at stations made by the counselors in which they participate in various activities. This week, counselors dressed up and had the campers slide down mudslides, splash around in the water, and play real-life fruit ninja! After Beg, the campers were caked with mud and enjoyed a fresh watermelon snack.
To end the week on a high note, the entire camp gathered in the cafeteria to watch a movie. The room was rearranged in a movie theater style layout. Campers watched the movie "Zootopia" and a tasty snack as well!
Overall, the first week was very successful. Campers have made many friends and wonderful memories. As everyone continues to bond even closer, the excitement is becoming even greater in anticipation for the next 3 weeks of activities and fun!