riding a horse you can experience improved visual perception of space and stimulation of your senses.
The 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.
The 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.
After 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.
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. While 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.
We 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!
Another 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.
It 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.
Last 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!
The 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.
After 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!
Anabelle – former camper, former cit, current counselor
The 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.
For 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!
During 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)
We are less than a month away until our co-ed summer camp near North Carolina gets underway! With the school year coming to an end, your house must be booming with excitement for a summer of fun at summer camp!! Of course it’s perfectly normal for first time campers (and parents) to experience some anxiety as departure for camp gets closer and closer.
It’s just as normal for a parent to worry about missing their child as it is for a child to worry about missing home. This may be the first time your child will not be home at night and there in the morning when you wake up. But, this is what the sleep away camp experience is all about! It’s a learning and growing experience for children and their parents!
Your children will be in a controlled, worry-free, and safe environment. Just because you aren’t there to watch them, doesn’t mean they will be alone! The great camp staff will be there to make sure your children have the best summer of their lives!
And, this of course is why you decided to send your children to summer camp in the first place! You recognize the value and benefits camp has on children. Camp is a place to grow, learn to be independent, and build long lasting friendships with a new group of children.
Of course, this doesn’t make it any easier on you as a first time camp parent! Here are some tips and ideas to remember as this year’s camp season approaches:
- As parents, we run into situations where we tell our kids that it’s okay to be nervous. Remind yourself of this very fact! Assure your nervous kids that camp will be a blast, and remember to practice what you preach!
- Embrace this time away from your children. Focus on a hobby, activity, or project that you’ve been “meaning to get around to”. Maybe there is a class you’ve always wanted to take?
- Your children will someday go away to college, and this is a perfect opportunity to experience what life will be like!
- Just think of the joy you will experience when you see that smiling face on your camper when you go pick them up at the end of their time at camp!
Most importantly remember that you don’t have to worry! Your camper is safe and thriving at summer camp. They are learning to make decisions, learning new skills, and gaining confidence in themselves and their abilities!
If you are still concerned, check out our Parent Resources. And remember, camp is only a phone call away, and Visiting Day is just around the corner!
If you’re looking for a overnight camp near Maryland, check out Camp Friendship located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Camp Friendship has a special sleep away summer camp program in VA where they can have their own space, be free to
be themselves and enjoy a new sense of responsibility. This program is for teenagers who want to explore new interests, learn new skills, and participate in a rewarding summer. A overnight summer camp experience can provide teenagers with independence, social values, and confidence. Camper’s develop a sense of accomplishment through activity skills and enhance their personal growth and independence.
Your teen has the opportunity to meet international campers, build social values and confidence, gain independence and create wonderful memories when they spend their summer at Camp Friendship. To schedule a tour or for more information about our teen camp in VA, contact us at 1-800-873-3223.
As parents we have a responsibility to our children to help them grow to be the best they can be. In this digital world we all live in today it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep our children connected to people as opposed to their digital devices. It seems to go against everything our society dictates these days as everything is headed to an even more digitally focused way of life. This however couldn’t be further from the truth and I’m about to tell you why.
A study completed by the P21 Organization which is comprised of global leaders like Apple, Google, and Dell, demonstrates the skills that are essential for 21st Century success. The outlined essential skills are:
- Critical Thinking
- Creative Thinking
- Social Skills
These skills are the basis of what we have done here at Camp Friendship for over 49 summers. Campers are introduced into a world where they will interact with fellow campers and staff face to face. Cell phones are not allowed, screens are minimal to non-existent. Communication is rewarded through new friendships and discovering new skills by participating in new activities with their fellow campers.
Camp Friendship is a global community with campers and staff from all over the world. Our campers adapt to these new situations and experiences by living in close quarters with campers who may not speak English natively.
In just one-week at Camp Friendship our campers are being exposed to a world very different from the one they’ve left behind for a short time. They are away from their parents, meeting completely new people they must interact with, trying new things, and realizing they must work together, communicate on their own, and be responsible for their decisions.
As we prepare our children for success in a digital world just take a look at the skills employers are looking for based on a survey by Millennial Branding of 225 employers.
While the traditional skills such as math, reading, and writing are the foundation there’s a huge deficit in the essential skills our children are going to need in the future.
As child development professionals we see our campers come summer after summer with a sense of wonder. They arrive not knowing what to expect, saying good-bye to their parents with this mix of excitement and fear. That first step alone is a learning opportunity that they can’t get anywhere else. Our campers are greeted by our staff and welcomed into a new community of people just like them. Immediately they are meeting new people, interacting face to face (without a phone, Facebook, or Snapchat) they are pushing themselves. Even our homesick campers are adapting to a new experience where they must persevere and communicate with the staff to work through their homesickness. We help our campers engage in new activities that will challenge them to be creative, to make decisions, to think outside the box.
As a parent this may sound a little scary at first. Think of it this way though, your child is being educated and challenged in ways they don’t even realize at first. All of this happens through games, day to day structure like getting to meals on time, activities they get to choose like archery, soccer, pottery, performances, and so much more. Your child is responsible for its own hygiene (with prompting from our staff as needed of course), care for their own living spaces (remember the last time your child cleaned up their room on their own?), and living in close quarters with fellow campers they learn to be respectful and open minded to differences amongst their fellow human beings.
Camp Friendship is a fun environment for your camper where they will have an experience unlike any other. Even though it will be fun it will provide them with an opportunity to grow those essential skills through proper care and exposure to quality programs and experienced staff.
Are you looking for a large space to hold a conference, retreat or event? Camp Friendship offers a unique destination to connect through leadership training or office team building seminars at their conference center in Virginia. We are located in Palmyra, Virginia and our professional staff will help you so that everyone’s time can be productive in a different sort of conference center at our retreat in Virginia that offers natural surroundings and a breath of fresh air.
Our facility provides the opportunity for a positive experience away from the office where your business team can work together, create new relationships, be challenged, gain a new sense of confidence and leave rejuvenated and inspired.
Camp Friendship‘s scenic atmosphere and accommodations are the perfect environment to facilitate your group’s weekend or weeklong stay and make it a success. Contact us today! For more information call 1-800-873-3223.