Base Camp Session 2/3 Day 2

By Sandy Schenck

Sessions 2 and 3 are off to a great start here at the GRP! Campers went on their first mentor hikes this morning; several campers took the “polar bear” challenge at Uncle’s Falls, braving the cold water under the falls for as long as it takes to yell “polar bear” 3 times. They also saw huge crawfish and a big salamander-at least 7 inches long. Another group of hikers saw scat from at least four different animals, including, they think, a coyote, a deer and a bear. Some campers went down to the GRP farm (an addition to the program this summer). We have been planting and cultivating earlier this summer, and will continue to do so; today they harvested our first crop of potatoes-42 lbs. worth!! Enough for some hungry campers. Other campers spent the morning in camp, climbing at the climbing tower and learning to make a fire at the Pioneer Cabin. And the group that hiked from the Upper to Lower Bald had an exciting morning—they spotted a wild turkey at the edge of a field—the first animal that counts toward a Grand Slam for the session! (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 an ice cream party.)

After lunch and rest hour, campers also started activity rotations today. A favorite camper activity is fencing, and they were out in full force on the front field this afternoon, practicing their extensions and parrying. Canoe-ers reviewed their strokes and also the T-rescue-it’s good to know how to help out your friends when their canoe capsizes. BB Skeet is another popular activity, and this afternoon, a bouquet of Lily’s were down there-three or four campers named Lily, all in the same activity period. Today they were learning about safety and practicing their aim. Another group of campers are taking “A Bug’s Life,” a new bug-examining activity. One of today’s entomological specimens was the waterbug. We’ll see what they turn up tomorrow. Other campers began making pots and other creations in hand and wheel pottery; others, who are taking painting, are learning about working with oil paints.

We ended the evening with our traditional Upper Council Fire. Sandy opened the campfire, reading “Chief Seattle’s letter” and explaining some of the GRP traditions, like the spirit stones. We heard more readings and sang some songs, and then we finished with a story from Bob. We’re looking forward to more exciting events tomorrow!