Session 2 Day 18; Mini Session Day 3

By Sandy Schenck

Mini Session campers have headed off to bed after a fun-filled day. After breakfast this morning, they packed their water bottles and raincoats and set out on their mentor hikes. One group headed up to Uncle’s Falls today, where several more campers polar-beared and ventured into the salamander cave. Another group hiked from the Upper Bald to the Lower Bald, a hike that allows them to pick copious amounts of blueberries! Two other groups got to visit the Indian Cave, one at a time. The first group that went in started off by talking about what might have created the cave; many campers guessed water. We put on raincoats and helmets and, taking flashlights with us, headed into the cave single file, with staff members spaced out and assisting campers. The first “room” of the Indian Cave is often called the Chimney Room, since there’s an opening through to the sky. Then we talked about how it was chillier in the cave than on the earth’s surface, and how people once upon a time had root cellars, using the earth’s naturally cooler temperature deeper in the ground to keep perishable items cool. Then we squiggled through a narrow, short tunnel into the Dry Room; this was a “challenge by choice,” and campers who were not comfortable doing this remained in the Chimney Room with a staff member. When we got into the Dry Room, we sat in a circle and tested our bravery, turning off our flashlights and seeing if we could remain in complete darkness, first for 20 seconds and then for 30 seconds. We talked a little bit about what it might have been like to have been a Native American, using the cave as shelter. After we emerged from the cave, the other group got the chance to experience it, while we played “Bat-Moth,” a game that is like Marco Polo on land and is designed to teach campers about echo location.

Then we headed back to camp for lunch, rest hour, and activities! Mini Session campers were canoeing, climbing, BB Skeeting and making crafts again today. Some also chose Creative Writing, and others opted for Stream Exploration. Tonight for dinner and evening program, Mini Session campers had a hot dog cookout—we split into four groups again and roasted hot dogs and veggie dogs over campfires. We also sauteed up green beans picked fresh from GRP’s farm—crisp, with a dash of salt—tasty! We finished with s’mores and some guitar playing and singing around the campfires.

Session 3 participated in some more intriguing GLP’s today. One group spent the day learning to make two crafts according to Native American tradition: flutes and moccasins. We have been hearing music all afternoon and the flutes sound terrific! We had climbers going out yesterday; today we had canoers headed out to Cascade Lake for an all-day long trip. Yesterday we had fly-fishers heading out; today we had a group experimenting with primitive fishing. Another group, the Homestead group, spent time at Hemlock Field and in the Pioneer Cabin, learning practices of the pioneers, such as how to make salves from plants. Our last group headed up to Beth and Paul’s house for some gingerbread making. Their gingerbread houses were actually cleverly made and decorated gingerbread cabins, a gingerbread climbing wall, a gingerbread Pioneer Cabin … a gingerbread camp!

Session 3 finished up their day with a session-wide game of World Trade. Tomorrow they will participate in service projects around camp. These sessions are flying by!