The Final Day of Summer Camp

session9a94It may seem crazy, but we have made it to the final day of the summer! Although the days may be winding to a close, we are as busy as ever here at camp. Last night we enjoyed an Olympics-themed dance before heading down to the drama theater to watch the play, Beauty and the Beast.

The dance was full of patriotism and Olympic excitement! With costumes including the Olympic rings, various athletes and national pride, it was a fun time for everyone.

session9a95During the dance, the campers and counselors involved in the drama production were running through scenes down at the theater. Everyone got into costume, practiced lines and prepared for the rest of camp to arrive.

The play was a definite success! THe special effects, including a fog machine, projector and cool lighting, set the scene. THe acting was excellent, including Junior Girls counselor Kerry Lester as everyone’s favorite Disney villain, Gaston. After the production ended, the audience gave the actors and stagehands a standing ovation before heading back to bed.

Tonight we have the final closing campfire of the summer, and it is sure to be a good one. With campers and counselors alike preparing acts, summer 2016 is sure to be sent off in style!

What a Summer!

session8a92The past eight weeks have positively flown by, but there is no denying it- this is the last week of summer 2016. Although we are nearly done, there is still fun to be had this week at Camp Friendship.

Last Friday, everyone participated in our second Color Wars of the summer. The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows theme meant that the teams were the Elder Wand, Resurrection Stone and Invisibility Cloak. The Elder Wand, captained by SV1’s Claude Kirton and JG’s Antonia Lanaras, wore green all day. Meanwhile, the Resurrection Stone team was led by JB’s David Ross and JG’s Amy Pedlow and favored white. The day included a surprise for me, as I was one of the captains of the Invisibility Cloak team along with JB’s Daniel Hajdar. Our team sported purple throughout the day.

session8a97The day was full of fun competition, even with on-and-off rain throughout the morning and early afternoon. In the morning, campers played dodgeball and volleyball, competed in lake events and worked on the songs, dances and floats for their teams. They earned more points for their teams during silent lunch, with groups of campers and counselors performing silent dances and skits to entertain the supervisors. In the afternoon, it was time for the House Cup relay race. The race ended at the edge of lower fields when the team captains built a fire to snap a rope suspended off the ground. Following the relay race, the teams met at their headquarters so that everyone could learn the songs and dances. After a break for dinner, it was time to head to the drama theater to show off the songs, dances and floats.

session8a98After performances in the theater, everyone headed to Campfire. After acts from various activities and campers, it was time for the big reveal. The captains were called down onstage and the supervisors revealed a Sorting Hat. The Sorting Hat announced that, after a day of fierce competition, the Invisibility Cloak team had won!

There is a lot more to look forward to this week. In addition to the production Beauty and the Beast being staged on Thursday, we have an Olympics-themed dance and the final closing Campfire of the summer coming up.

A Little Competition This Week at Summer Camp

Competition is in the air here at Camp Friendship this week! Last night, Friendship FC squared up against Triple C in a good-natured soccer friendly at lower fields. Tomorrow, we will have our second Color Wars of the summer.

The soccer game was an enjoyable night for everyone! The counselors who played for the team ran out to the song “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” earning cheers from campers and other staff members. session8a95While the game raged on, campers enjoyed burgers and dogs and rooted for their counselors to defeat Triple C. Although in the end Friendship FC was unsuccessful, it was a competitive matchup. Sports supervisor and team captain Antony Shinks scored a goal for Friendship FC, heading it into the net off of a corner kick. At halftime, a music mashup was played and campers danced around, keeping the energy up for the team.

session8a98We may be done with the soccer game, but we certainly aren’t done with exciting events this week! Many of the counselors and campers have been very excited about last weekend’s release of the script of J.K. Rowling’s play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. This excitement exploded earlier today, when the theme for tomorrow’s Color Wars was revealed. As everyone filed into the dining hall for breakfast this morning, they were surprised with Harry Potter themed decorations. Meanwhile, supervisors were dressed as witches and wizards, complete with their own wands.

Tonight’s 90s-themed dance is sure to hold more surprises about tomorrow. Stay tuned for more information about Color Wars and closing campfire in the next blog!

Fun Adventures at Summer Camp

session8a92As impossible as it is to believe, we are already into Week 8 at Camp Friendship. Although the summer is slowly but surely drawing to a close, we are still having as much fun as ever! With plenty of activities to choose from and fun events throughout the week, the campers are always having fun.

One popular activity area is the ropes course. The high ropes activity, reserved for senior campers, consists of several different elements like the Pamper Pole. To conquer the Pamper Pole, the campers must climb up the long pole to the platform at the top. Once up there, they can jump and try to grab hold of a bar several feet out. In addition to the Pamper Pole, campers can try other elements like the Stairway to Heaven or Jacob’s Ladder. Throughout the week, ropes-trained instructors like Junior Girls supervisor Lauren Lyons teach and encourage the campers to challenge themselves and conquer the elements. It is no surprise that high ropes is quite a popular activity among senior campers!

session8a97Performing arts supervisor Cody Payne and Junior Girls counselor Kerry Lester are already hard at work preparing for next week’s drama production, Beauty and the Beast. With all the roles filled, campers are beginning to learn lines and get into character. Cody and Kerry are also hard at work developing the set and special effects. The play is sure to bring down the house!

Tomorrow night the Camp Friendship soccer team will square up against the Triple C soccer team in a match down at Lower Fields. The squad, consisting entirely of staff members, has been practicing together all summer to prepare for the game. Campers and other staff members will enjoy a cookout on the field while they watch the game and cheer on their counselors, supervisors and support staff members. With friendly competition and good sportsmanship, it is sure to be a fun night for all!

The week’s fun will not be over after the game, however. On Thursday night we will enjoy a ‘90s themed dance in the gym, and Friday is sure to be full of fun events as well.

Refreshing Activities at Summer Camp

session7a93On the hot summer days we get here at camp, all anyone wants to do is jump into the pool or lake to cool off. For some lucky campers, this is an everyday reality: one activity, waterskiing, allows campers to spend all morning at nearby Lake Anna.

Waterskiing is a half-day clinic run by SV2 counselor Rebekah Pirie and Junior Boys counselor Hagen Abbott. The campers leave at breakfast and head to Lake Anna, where Rebekah and Hagen take them out on the boat. Before any campers are able to try it out, Rebekah and Hagen go out and demonstrate the fundamentals of waterskiing. After that, campers take turns out on the water for several hours.

Throughout the week, campers learn and practice until they are able to stay up in the water. When it isn’t their turn, campers can relax in the boat and enjoy the lake. On Friday, as a special treat, they go tubing instead of waterskiing.

Campers don’t have to leave camp to enjoy aquatic activities, however. Every day, each village has a free swim in either the pool or the lake. In addition, the pool runs water polo and pool swim throughout the day, while campers at the lake can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, lake swim and fishing.

The lake is divided into three sections of water: red water, yellow water and white water. While red water is typically used only for swim checks, the other two sections are full of fun activities. When yellow water is open, campers can fly off the rope swing and shoot down the slide as well as relax in tubes in the water. White water includes the floating dock, diving board, high dive and zip-line. With so many fun options in the lake, there is no going wrong!

session7a92One of our most popular evening activities, slip and slide, also includes water. The slip and slide is stretched out down the mountain boarding hill and covered in water. Campers take a running start and slide down the tarp, shooting off onto the grass at the other end. There is no denying that everyone gets muddy at slip and slide, but that’s all part of the fun!

There is a lot of fun left in the week here at camp. In the next few days we will have a Hawaiian luau dance as well as a horse show. Stay tuned to hear all about it!

Wild West and Charlie Make an Appearance at Summer Camp

session6a-295Another week has come to an end, and we are still having a great time at Camp Friendship! After the excitement of Camplified earlier this week, the past few days have been nice and relaxing. On Wednesday, the seniors enjoyed a movie night for evening activity, while the juniors had a pool party. The activities offered the perfect way to unwind after a busy time at camp.

session6a-296It has certainly been busy! Campers in activities like drama workshop, dance and school of music have been preparing all week to perform at closing Campfire tonight. In drama workshop, campers learn some of the fundamentals of drama and acting, play improvisation games and rehearse a skit to perform for everyone else. In dance, campers learn a choreographed dance routine throughout the week. Set to popular current songs, the dances are always a hit at Campfire. Finally, in school of music, campers get to choose a song or selection of songs to sing at Campfire. With all of the preparation going into the acts, they are sure to be showstoppers tonight!

Meanwhile, some of the counselors have been hard at work practicing for the soccer game against our rival camp later in the summer. Sports supervisor Antony Shinks, acting as team captain, has been coordinating the practices and preparing for the game. The contest is only a few short weeks away.

session6a-294Last night we enjoyed the Wild West-themed dance. Riding Camp decorated the gym to perfection, including saloon doors at the entrance and hay bales scattered around. Although almost everyone dressed in cowboy or Western outfits, there were a few outliers- such as a wild Kanye West and a wild Adam West! The dance was a hit, as everyone enjoyed songs like the Cotton Eyed Joe.

Though it’s already Friday, we still have a lot of activity left in the week! After dinner, everyone will head down to the theater to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Following the play, we will see more performances at Campfire. After the performances are over, everyone will join in a couple rousing renditions of the Friendship song. At the end of Campfire, supervisors will sing everyone off to their villages with “This Little Light of Mine,” the perfect way to end another perfect week at camp!


Games, Music, and Friends at Summer Camp

session6a93The past few days have flown by, so it’s hard to believe that we are already halfway done with Week 6 at Camp Friendship! Our campers have been very busy with all sorts of activities as well as yesterday’s big event, Camplified.

Throughout the summer, various musicians join Camplified and tour at camps across the country. Yesterday was Camp Friendship’s turn to welcome the talented musicians. The event proved to be a big hit with campers, who enjoyed the music, freebies and meet-and-greet. In the afternoon, campers were able to participate in Camplified activities. The juniors loved the record-painting station, where they were able to choose an old record and decorate it as they wished. Other activities included Frisbee, sound-mixing, dancing and a photo-booth. When campers got tired, they could relax in blow-up chairs with a free bottle of Hint water.

session6a96After dinner, the entire camp headed up to the gym for a concert. With music from Jagged Row, Pom Oak, Tyson and DJ Kiss, everyone enjoyed the night. In addition to original music, the bands played current hits like Shake it Off and Stitches. Campers and counselors demonstrated their own talent to the Camplified visitors by showing them the classic Everytime We Touch dance.

Following the concert, there was a short meet-and-greet opportunity. The musicians signed posters and papers and even posed for photos with the campers. It was a great way to end a fun day full of music and activities!

session6a99The week is not over quite yet, though. With the Wild Wild West themed dance and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory coming up, there is more to enjoy coming up at camp.

Anabelle – former camper, former cit, current counselor

A Bit of History at Camp This Week!

Tsession5a95he past few days at Camp Friendship have seen scorching hot temperatures as well as thunderstorms. We have not let the weather get in the way of enjoying another week at camp, though! Campers and staff alike have participated in activities and prepared for upcoming events. 

Our French campers and staff were able to celebrate the French national holiday of Bastille Day this morning at flag. After explaining the significance of the day, they sang the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, for everyone. 

session5a93For the past two weeks, riding camp has been hard at work preparing for their horse show. Campers have the opportunity to ride in front of judges, win ribbons and show the audience the skills they have learned at camp. All the hard work is definitely worth it when campers can show off their talent and win ribbons!

Meanwhile, the drama production class is gearing up for next week’s play. The production, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, is directed by performing arts supervisor Cody Payne with Junior Girls counselor Kerry Lester serving as assistant director. Over the course of this week, campers auditioned for roles and began memorizing their lines as well as practicing onstage. Rehearsals will continue next week until the production is staged on Friday evening. With plenty of campers excited to bring the story to Friendship Stage, the play is sure to be a hit!

session5a96During the hot summer days, our campers love to visit the snack bar, where they can order ice cream and cold drinks to cool off. The snack bar staff- April Moore, Michael Calvelli and Sophia Barsanti- work hard every day to make sure each camper can enjoy their preferred snack and beverage. One of the most popular snacks at camp is the classic Chipwich, which consists of vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies. 

Our 50th anniversary celebrations continued on Wednesday when camp welcomed special visitors to film a segment for the local news. Several staff members and campers as well as the founder, Chuck Ackenbom, were interviewed about their experiences here. The segment aired Wednesday night on Newsplex in Charlottesville. 

As Week 5 winds to a close, we are already looking forward to the coming weeks! With Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and other special surprises happening next week, the fun is sure to continue at camp. 

(Camper, CIT, Counselor)

A Fun Week Starts Now!

It may be hard to believe,

but we are already halfway through the summer at Camp Friendship! The weeks have really flown by, and our campers are still having as much fun as they did on the first day.session4a-ColorWars92

Last Friday, all of camp was divided into red, white and blue teams for one of the biggest events of the summer, Color Wars. In the morning, campers competed in land events like dodgeball and lake events like biggest splash. The afternoon’s relay race proved to be a very popular event, as all campers were able to participate and help their team towards victory. The relay race ended on the lower fields, where each team’s captains built a fire to snap a rope six feet off the ground. After dinner, the teams presented their song, dance and float. While everyone fought hard for their team, in the end only the white team prevailed. The evening ended with fireworks and music over the lake.


“Thank You Kitchen Staff”

On Sunday we welcomed new campers and watched performances at Campfire. Although everyone gave wonderful performances, Senior Village 1 stole the show with their act, “If I Was Not a Counselor.” Led by their supervisor, Minou Adriaans, SV1 earned a standing ovation, Camp Friendship style.

One of our most popular activities here is water polo. Typically taught by Junior Boys counselor Joe Hyman, it involves treading water in the pool and trying to throw a ball past the goalkeeper and into the net. Campers love cooling off in the pool and playing water polo.

session4a-ColorWars93Another popular activity is my personal favorite to teach, sports variety. In sports variety, campers can choose different sports, like dodgeball or gaga ball, to play throughout the week. Everyone gets to play their favorite game over the course of the week, and it is fun to change it up from day to day.

On Monday night, each village had a cookout for dinner. While some villages enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs for dinner, others preferred the ever-popular taco skillet. Prepared by counselors, taco skillet includes meat, tomato, onion and corn served over Fritos. For dessert everyone was able to roast marshmallows and eat s’mores.

There will definitely be more fun later in the week, as camp will host the Royal Ball dance as well as the horse show. Stay tuned for another post describing the second half of the week!


Summer Fun, Rain or Shine!

session4a92 2It has certainly been a very busy week at Camp Friendship! After our campers settled in o Sunday, everyone headed to Council Fire to see performances from campers and counselors alike. Our staff brought out some classic performances for Campfire, including the crowd-pleaser Smooth and Creamy. The night ended with two renditions of the Camp Friendship song before bedtime as everyone prepared for a busy week of activities ahead.

The week started on a patriotic note, as campers and staff celebrated American Independence Day on Monday. Rain and chilly temperatures could not dampen our spirits, as many staff members and campers wore their favorite red, white and blue and even painted their faces to celebrate the holiday. Each village enjoyed a cookout to finish off the day. In my home village of Junior Girls, we enjoyed our hamburgers, hot dogs and s’mores with music, dancing and crafts.

session4a94 2The week’s fun continued as the days passed. On Tuesday and Wednesday the weather cleared up and the skies became sunny. Campers took advantage of the nice temperatures to enjoy activities like mountain biking, soccer and archery. The seniors ended Tuesday on a high note playing a variation of capture the flag, tri-cone ultra, for evening activity. Meanwhile, the juniors cooled off at a pool party. On Wednesday, the seniors enjoyed their own pool party while juniors played the always-popular Chip Cup at Lower Fields. Campers had to search for chips scattered across the soccer field, collect them and trade them in for cups of water to throw on friends and counselors. The big water fight was the perfect way to end the hot day!

session4a95 2There is much more excitement in store for the week. There was a disturbance after flag today and supervisors have been driving around in golf carts dressed very strangely. It almost seems as though they are building up to something… Maybe Color Wars? Tonight campers will head to the gym for the IndepenDance, enjoying one last Fourth of July celebration. I’m positive our questions about today’s disturbances will be answered at the dance tonight. There is sure to be more excitement tonight and a fun day of activities tomorrow!