Session 2A: Campers of the world, unite!

Sunday
Today we welcomed all of our new campers for week 2 of camp – our busiest week this summer! We had a little bit of rain during check in (ok… a lot!) but our lovely staff were out directing all of our families to their villages with a smile. Rain doesn’t get us down here at Camp Friendship, and we still had our outdoor opening campfire!

Monday
After raising the American flag, all of our campers made their way to their first activity of the day. There has been a high demand for a wide variety of activities this week, so our counselors are very busy! Campers can choose to start their day by jumping into a kayak, or take a more relaxing route and begin with yoga. Archery continues to be very popular, thankfully we opened up our second archery range this year so everyone has the chance to try this great sport. After a full day of activities we all headed to cookout. Junior girls made their dinner in their own fairy-light pavilion; junior boys hosted at our bike pavilion with their own fire pit; and our senior villages joined together to cookout at the lake and had a dance party!

Tuesday
On Tuesday everyone continued learning in their five periods and got to know their new friends a little better. Our evening activities were some classic camp favorites: powder fairies for the juniors and counselor hunt for seniors! Who knew dressing up as a fairy and running around a field with a flour-filled sock could be so much fun! (It’s a camp thing.)

Wednesday
How is it already Wednesday? Campers in pottery are perfecting their projects today to make sure they’re ready for the kiln; photography and video production are out capturing moments on camp and drama workshop, dance and glee are rehearsing their campfire skits! Our junior villages took part in ‘Camp Friendship’s Got Talent’ this evening, showcasing the impressive skills our campers and counselors have! We saw some standing Os (like a standing ovation, but way more fun!) and our audience cheered everyone on. Meanwhile, the senior villages headed to the lower fields for the ultimate camp challenge… Capture the Flag!

Thursday
Thursday saw our weekly Camp Friendship dance- this week’s theme was ‘Yo Ho Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life For Me!’ Stripes, bandanas and eye patches everywhere! The gym was transformed into a pirate ship, with sails and pirate flags hung around the room. We danced to the classic songs ‘cotton eyed joe’, ‘wagon wheel’ and ‘the cupid shuffle’.

Friday

Yet another week that has gone by too soon, today our campers finished off their friendship bracelets, had their final jumps off the lake’s high dive and practiced their acts for our closing campfire. It’s always difficult to say goodbye to new friends, but the best thing about camp is that there’s always next year!

Session 1: And so it begins!

Finally, the summer gates of Camp Friendship are open! Our first week of camp has been one to remember, from our hilarious opening campfire (featuring two counselors lip-sync battling to Moana) to our awesome pajama dance party- where we saw some of the best onesies ever created! Everyone here at camp has had a blast, here’s what we got up to this week…

Sunday- A Warm Welcome!
After settling into their cabins, our campers had some scrumptious pizza and headed to International Flag Ceremony. This is where we ask all of our campers and staff from different countries to raise their flags and celebrate the diversity we have here at Camp Friendship. This week we had campers all the way from Saudi Arabia and counselors from New Zealand, not to mention at least 15 other countries! We then moved to our opening campfire, where the campers got to know how funny their counselors can be; the famous “How Animals Eat Their Food” and classic skit “Suzie” were definite favorites!

Monday- Here we go!
First day of activities! Today was the first time our campers got to try all the program activities we run here at camp. Archery, fencing and paddleboarding have been very popular choices this year, as well as pottery wheel. Over at our Equestrian Center, the campers met the horses they would all be riding for the week (we have over 80!) and started a full day of riding camp! In the evening, all of the villages had their own cookout and got to know everyone a little bit more; we’ve already had campers promising to write to each other when they’re back at home- which is what Camp Friendship is all about!

On Tuesday, our junior campers played ‘Minute to Win it’, the fast-paced, intense group competition to establish: Who can catch the most marshmallows while blindfolded? Who can get the most steps on a pedometer in one minute? Who can move a cookie from their forehead to their mouth without using their hands and eat it under one minute? As we said… very intense. Our seniors had a massive noodle hockey tournament, and were pretty tired after running around waving pool noodles in the air for an hour!

Wednesday brought us the classic evening activity… Slip ‘n’ Slide! Campers and counselors went sliding down our mountain boarding hill, aiming to knock down some inflatable bowling pins. Human bowling is now a thing at Camp Friendship!

Thursday arrived and our counselors started to see how much our campers have learned and improved in just one week. We had junior fencers parrying and working on their fancy footwork; mountain boarders riding the big hill without any worries; drama students performing in front of an audience without feeling nervous, and so much more! We all dressed up for our ‘Pajama Party’ dance in the gym Thursday evening. There were minion onesies, unicorn onesies, even a giraffe with a tail! Our classic camp routine ‘Everytime we Touch’ got every camper on the dance floor and we all danced until it was time for bed!

And here we are already, Friday. We had a little weather trouble Friday morning, so merged our activities and created the ultimate basketball tournament in the gym- as well as a 10 V 10 volleyball match and our seniors all got to try waterpolo in our pool! As the evening drew in, we prepared for our closing campfire. This time around, our campers were the stars of the show- performing everything they had been working on in the week as well as some village skits they’d created. At the end of our campfire, everyone joined together and we sang our Friendship song, followed by ‘Linger’, which sums up our first week at camp pretty perfectly… ‘This is goodnight and not goodbye.’