2 out of 4!! (Sessions 3 & 4, June 28)

By Sandy Schenck

We had an exciting morning here at the Green River Preserve—campers and staff saw two of the four animals needed for a Grand Slam this session!  After breakfast, campers and staff went back to cabins and packed up daypacks; then they set out on mentor hikes.  One group hiked over to Fawn Lake, in Dupont State Forest; after a fun hike, they went swimming, which felt good on this sunny, warm day.  We also had lots of “polar bears” up at Uncle’s Falls—campers and staff stand under the waterfall for as long as it takes to yell “polar bear!  polar bear!  polar bear!”  Another group hiked up to the Upper Bald, where they “flashed” another mentor hike group hiking on another ridge—they took out watches, mirrors, glasses, and held them so the sun reflected off them, in the direction of the other group—who flashed them back!  A couple of groups stayed in camp, where they had the opportunity to climb the climbing tower and to try lighting fire by friction at the Pioneer Cabin—one group had 100% success rate in lighting fire by friction, which is great.  Another group’s hike—which they described as a “spiky, sweaty, freaking epic!”—was topped off by seeing a rattlesnake.  A venomous snake is one of the animals needed for a Grand Slam—when campers and staff have seen a turkey, a bear, a deer, and a venomous snake, that’s a Grand Slam, and we celebrate with fireworks and an ice cream party.  Another group was excited when they saw a copperhead, which is another kind of venomous snake that counts towards the Grand Slam.  It’s very unusual to see two of the Grand Slam animals in one day…but that’s not all!  Another group was hiking up at the Indian Cave and around Long Rock, and they saw a wild turkey—so that’s our second type of animal toward the Grand Slam.  Our chances of getting a Grand Slam this session have just gone up tremendously!!  We’ll keep you posted on the other animals we see.

After lunch—delicious tomato bisque, grilled cheese sandwiches, eggplant fries (yummy!), and salad bar—everyone took a well-deserved rest hour.  Then we started our first round of activities.  Campers who take dance were introduced to swing-dancing; they picked it up quickly!  A couple of campers who had signed up for advanced guitar rehearsed some popular camp songs, perhaps preparing for the camper variety show that’s coming up.  Other campers began pounding the air out of clay, and throwing pots and mugs on the wheel.  Several campers hit the “dream” shot in archery and BB Skeet, and one archer even hit the moving target!   Knitters were making up their yarn balls and learning how to cast on.  Lots of bright colors were involved, and we’re sure they’ll bring home some pretty projects!

Tonight’s evening program was the Upper Council Fire, a more ceremonial welcome to camp.  We share stories and songs and readings that express the values of the Green River Preserve; Sandy usually reads “Chief Seattle’s Letter,” an eloquent statement on the ways man and earth interact.  The evening gets more light-hearted as we go along, and we finish the evening with a story from Bob—tonight’s story involved an uncle covered in vanilla milkshake whose wife momentarily mistook him for a ghost…. !

You’ll find pictures from today here, and we’ll have another update tomorrow!