First Campout Success!

By Green River Preserve

Campers and Staff headed out on the season’s first Campout Friday morning! Spirits were high as the brother and sister cabins hiked out on their three-day adventure together out on the Preserve. Each group made it to one of the 10 shelters on the Preserve before 3:00pm and began to settle down.

After taking a restful break, the campers and staff began divvying up camp projects such as hanging the bear bag, prepping for dinner, and setting up the Boysville and Girlsville shelters. Hemlock Hut and Spirit Winds then set up a daring game of “Laser Maze” while All Tucked Inn and Little Tree built “Bug Hotels” filled with residents like slugs and crickets.

Approaching 5:00pm, the 5 staff began cooking a delicious and filling meal of cheesy pita pizzas for each of the campers. Following the meal, campers and staff helped wash dishes and clean up the campsite in preparation for their evening program out on Campout. Staff told campfire stories and encouraged campers to reflect on their difficult, but meaningful experiences throughout the day. Campers showed tremendous amounts of resilience and fortitude as they backpacked through the Preserve. A short rainstorm rolled in about this time, giving many campers their very first experience of falling asleep to the sound of rain pitter-pattering on the tarps above them.

As the Campout Coordinator for this season, I was lucky enough to pop in and visit several sites while they were out camping. Campers were energetic and excited to be spending a few days out in the real wilderness, with nothing but nature to keep them occupied. I observed a group prepare and cook a Trout all on their own, and another perform an incredibly touching ceremony where the counselors presented a special bracelet to each of their campers, with a meaningful description of the amazing traits and values each of the campers displayed along the trip. Both the campers and staff had an amazing weekend that neither will ever be able to forget.

The first Campout of 2014 was a resounding success that promoted such growth and bonding.

Elyse (COC)