Today was our first full day on camp and to put it quite simply… IT WAS A GREAT DAY! We did so many things in what felt like no time at all.
It all began with an early morning in which we went as a group to discuss some of the overarching ideas we will look at during our time at camp. We talked about Camp Merrowvista’s motto, “My own self, at my very best, all the time” as well as what it means to be a Peacemaker. From there we headed up to meet the rest of Camp Merrowvista (Over 300 campers and staff!!!) at the Dining Hall for breakfast. Much to our surprise, it was a special silent breakfast at camp. We had to sit and eat in silence (or more accurately sneak some whispers) until a chime was rung and all of camp screamed loudly and noise was once again allowed. It was a very fun way to start our first full day at Merrowvista.
After breakfast we went to the Gazzilion (half Gazebo/half Pavillion) and learned some camp songs. We sang songs about a moose, an avocado, and much more! During this time we also broke into smaller groups and everyone presented an object which they had brought from home. They explained the object’s importance, why it reminded them of home, and why they chose to bring it. It was the beginning of many discussions aimed at learning about everyone’s lives and traditions.
We continued our day by breaking up into the boys group/girls group and participating in a team challenge. Each group was presented with some different activities/challenges and had to work as a team to accomplish them. Some of the activities included a whale watch (giant balance beam), group juggling, and a magic carpet (a tarp game) and the kids worked so hard to overcome the challenges these activities presented. They showed amazing teamwork and communication skills and really grew as a team. We then went back to the dining hall for lunch. This time it was definitely NOT silent. Towards the end of the meal there was singing and dancing and we got to practice some of the songs we had learned in the morning.
After lunch the kids went on a camp scavenger hunt. The goal of this was of course to have fun, but even more so everyone could get to see all of camp and learn how to get from place to place. We learned that camp is beautiful and that we will probably be doing A LOT of walking during our time here…. it’s huge! After all that walking we went back to our bunks and had some much needed rest time.
It was good that we rested up, because next on the agenda we had SWIMMING!!! Everyone went down to Dan Hole Pond (camp’s lake) and got to swim in the water. It was a beautiful day to be out there and everyone had so much fun. Next, believe it or not, we went back to the dining hall for dinner. It was pizza night which is always pretty exciting! That pizza then fueled us for our evening program where the kids got to choose between two different options, Yoga or Dodgeball. Both groups had a great time!
We closed our day in our boy group and girl groups seperately reflecting on everything that we had done today (a lot of things). We also took some time to recognize some positive light we saw in other members of the group. Earlier in the day we had introduce “Light” as a theme, and challenged everyone to look for light in people around them. Everyone shared some really beautiful examples of light they saw in others. Then everyone climbed into their bunks, put their heads on their pillow, and went to sleep, hopefully dreaming about all the fun things to come tomorrow!