Session 4 Day 4: 1 Down, 3 To Go!!

By Sandy Schenck

Campers and staff are very excited here at the GRP because today we had a sighting of a deer—one of the four animals required for a “Grand Slam” at the GRP. The other three are a bear, a wild turkey, and a venomous snake. When we see all four within a session, we celebrate with an all-you-can-eat ice cream party! So we are hoping that we’ll have some bear and copperhead encounters soon…from a safe distance, of course. In addition to the deer, one mentor hike also saw a red-headed woodpecker. Another group spent time playing games that hone their awareness; then they hiked for a while and, along the way, picked a lot of blueberries (they report a heightened sense of enjoyment of all the blueberries they tasted!). Another group practiced their orienteering skills; they rode blindfolded in the bus to their drop-off point, and when they disembarked, they hiked for a bit blindfolded (another exercise that helps increase awareness). Then, after removing the blindfolds, they used a compass to navigate their way back to base camp. Our campers are having fun on their mornings out, but they are also learning skills and building self-reliance, fortitude, persistence.

Campers started a new rotation of activities this afternoon. Canoers were learning their strokes and also the T-rescue, a way to help capsized friends empty their canoe of water and get back in the game. Outdoor cooking is another popular activity at the GRP. Today they were making cornbread from scratch, baking it in an iron skillet over coals. While they waited for it to cook, they made butter by putting heavy whipping cream and a marble in a jar and shaking it. Some campers are taking fly-tying. Today, they learned how to make a woolly bugger; tomorrow, they’ll get to make a fly of their own design.

After a delicious dinner of chicken pot pie, rice, and salad (with squash and zucchini quesadillas and black bean salad for our vegetarians), campers and staff headed out to the front field for Predator-Prey. We had planned to play this yesterday, but the weather was a bit uncertain, so we played World Trade, another camp-wide game, last night, and held off Predator-Prey until tonight. The skies cleared, and Predator-Prey was tons of fun!