Our Evenings are Chock Full of Fun. Chock.
By Sara Huffman
Here at GRP we have a lot of activities for campers to take part in. I mean, I hope you’d assume so; we are a summer camp after all. Naturally, these activities have to last from the wake-up bell to bedtime, and some of our best activities (at least some of the ones campers remember the most fondly from session to session) are our Evening Programs. Our EPs generally shortly after dinner (once campers have had enough time to get ready) and last until about 9 p.m. Examples of EPs include things like Predator-Prey (our flagship of EPs), Lower and Upper Council Fires, the Variety Show, Capture the Flag (a favorite among staff and campers alike), and a plethora of others.
Whatever EPs are happening each session depends on which session is in progress. During the one week sessions we usually only run Predator-Prey, the Variety Show, an Upper Council Fire, a Lower Council Fire, and Staff Hunt. I should probably take some time to explain what these EPs are, so let me explain some of them briefly. Capture the Flag is a game with two teams that is played on the Front Field (the whole camp participates). Each team has two flags and campers try to take the enemy’s flag back to their side. Staff can’t score. Predator-Prey is a game designed to simulate real-life scenarios in the animal world and how humans can impact wildlife. The Lower Council Fire is more or less a campfire with lots of fun entertainment and participation.
The Upper Council Fire is more of a formal event used to open and close camp sessions. Both UCFs are opened with excerpts from Chief Seattle’s letter and closed with stories usually told by a senior mentor. Then there’s the Variety Show, which encourages campers to show off cool skills, creative ideas, and unique talents. Campers are encouraged to sign up in groups, incorporating friends and acquaintances into small collectives (sounds artsy right?). Last we have Staff Hunt, which, as the name might imply, calls for a sizeable number of the staff hiding around camp and other staff members leading campers around trying to find the nefarious hideaways. During one week and two week sessions we only run some of these programs (during the two week we run all of the above).
It’s only in the three week session that we are able to incorporate all of our EPs, such as Coffeehouse, Science Fair, and Long Rock Sunset (among others). The EPs here at GRP are truly a grand part of the experience, though they only last for a fraction of the day. The best part is they’re always being subjected to improvements, dynamically changing from session to session and summer to summer. For example, Science Fair is a brand new Evening Program started this summer, and it was an instant hit, while CTF has been subjected to numerous manipulations, such as added flags, boundary adjustments, and fun, quirky rules. It’s always changing and there’s always something new.