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.’