Thursday, July 29, 2010

Week 8 - YEE HAW

Western is what we do best at Camp Maripai and since that's our theme this week we are kicking up our boots, letting down our hair and having a hootin' hollerin' good time.

We kicked things off on Sunday with a campfire (real fire included). Monday as the sun sank behind the mountains the campers prepared for a Gold Rush. With the Riding Instructors transformed into Bandits out stealing gold and Sherriffs trying to set things right in Maripaitown and the campers racing to get rich. Tuesday night we had a hoedown, dancing the night away. And last night after a cookout we watched Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron in our lodge.

The weather has been highly cooperative. We've had some menacing thunder, but so far only a light rain and the only cancelled ativity has been sleeping out under the stars.

Thanks to our end of summer effort to clean out the kitchen we've also had abundant meals with a wide variety of delicious offerings. There was a small mishap with some spicy spaghetti (we still can't figure out why it was so spicy) but it was quickly resolved with non-spicy tamales and sandwiches to replace the main course. Some campers gobbled up the spicy spaghetti and came back for seconds but with the milder options, no camper should have left hungry.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Week 7 - Hola! G'Day! Ni Hao! Bonjour! Guten Tag!

This week we've journeyed "All Around the World" without even leaving the comfort of Camp Maripai. We cheered at the monsoon which has finally arrived and the rain certainly didn't dampen our spirits. Our International Staff have stepped up to share their cultures. On Tuesday we celebrated Columbian Independence Day with our two Columbian staff by feasting on Salpicon, a traditional meal and learning a few facts about the country. That evening we had an international taste testing, we'll let your campers tell you about the variety of foods they sampled.

Iron Chef and Outdoor Eplorer were rained out during their horseback riding time, but despite this they had a grand ol' time.

Our CIT's and WIT's explored their leadership qualities at the Oxford Leadership Program last weekend and then fawned over seeing boys as they visited nearby camps and hosted the Friendly Pines CIT's for a tour of Maripai.

After a highly successful cookout dinner, the whole camp slept out on the field Wednesday night under the stars (no rain!) and we watched the movie Ponyo, a japanese anime version of The Little Mermaid.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Aloha from Week 6!

A Day in the Life of a Camp Counselor:

Each week we get a new bunch of girls and each has their own personality. Everyday waking up is the hardest because you want just five more minutes of sleep but you know that you need to help the girls get up and ready for the activities of the day. Plus you never want to miss breakfast! Flag is always a wonderful site to see. The girls get the chance to put the flag up and to take it down. Everyone gathers together for this ceremony. Next we head over to breakfast and the smell of food always brings people out of hiding around breakfast time. The Administrative Staff, or “Ad Staff”, come out to make sure everything is going as it should. The girls love seeing the Ad Staff and always ask about them. After breakfast it’s off to the Singing Logs where we start the beautiful singing. The girls always have their favorite songs. The Princess Pat, Coconut, and The Wizard are just a few of the songs that they always request. Then, let the activities begin! The girls will be with their units and go off and start different activities: Sports and Games, Arts and Crafts, Archery, Nature, Horseback Riding, and Me Time to name a few. These activities go on throughout the day. Pippa takes charge at arts and crafts and always has a creative idea, Bandana leads the girls into nature to learn all sorts of things, Dimples gets active and teaches the girls some cool games to play, at archery Nala helps girls steady their aim and hit the target, at the barn girls increase their confidence on a horse, and during Me Time girls get some time to themselves to relax, read, journal, and write letters home. Lunch and dinner get squeezed into it all, after a long day of activities the girls are ready for some food. My Choice is a big hit twice a week. At My Choice the girls buddy up and in pairs they decide what activities they want to do. At night, after dinner the girls get to participate with the whole camp in one activity – or an “All Camp”. So far this week we’ve had a Campfire program (minus the fire), Counselor Hunt, and a Luau themed Dance Party. After a long day, it is time to reflect and talk about it all and then head to bed. The girls are as exhausted as the counselors and when the head hits the pillow everyone is out...then the door knocks. A girl needs help with her sleeping bag, or she is homesick, or there is a bug in her cabin, or perhaps they are afraid of the dark. The counselors smile and help the girls. We get them tucked into bed and then the counselors head in that direction. In what seems like a few minutes later, the alarm goes off and the whole day starts once more. The day is new and a new adventure awaits over every hill in the wonderful world of Camp Maripai.

Brought to you by Dragon

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Week 5

Overcast skies and cooler temperatures have been filling us with energy this week. With just a couple refreshing sprinkles the weather hasn't effected program, except to make activities a little more enjoyable without battling the heat and sun.

At my choice we made wands, played games, learned basic foreign words, and played dress up. Down at the riding arenas, some campers have overcome fears they had, being hesitant at first and then not wanting to get off the horse by the end!

With so many young campers (everyone here right now is 2-5th grade) we've been surprised at the lack of homesickness. Sure, the campers miss home and a few have been a little sad at bedtime but they perk right up in the day and are courageously becoming just a little more independent.

Last night we had our cookout, the girls in each unit working together to prepare their dinner. After that the entire camp laid tarps out on our field, under the stars, and we watched Shrek 3, where the princesses take matters into their own hands to help save the day.

It's been a great week and it's not even over. In just a little while we'll all gather together at the all-camp fire circle for a little last night camraderie around our "flashlight fire".

Thanks for sharing your wonderful girls with us!!