Letters from Adahi: American flag retired at camp

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webmaster | 07/23/12
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By Cassie Niino

If you ask Camp Fire kids what the best part of their summer was, chances are they’ll say “Camp Adahi!” This week has been full of memorable, exciting experiences. We have endured the rain, bugs and other challenges; however, none of these proved to be major hindrances and the time seemed to fly by.

On Thursday, our hiking day, what we had all feared came to pass — out of the sky sprinkled rain! Fortunately, we were prepared and quickly covered our beds with tarps, ensuring that our sleeping bags would stay nice and dry. Friday morning arrived with a clear, blue sky. Hot cocoa, muffins, fruit, and sausage greeted us as we hungrily waited for breakfast.

The junior counselors then led “druthers” for the campers. Druthers are various activities campers sign up for on Wednesday. Tie-dye pillowcases, play dough animals, and ice cream making were just a few of the many choices available for them. From the smiles that spread from ear to ear, it was blatantly obvious that all of the campers thoroughly enjoyed making — and in some cases, eating — their craft.

Shortly after, everyone headed to the meadow for the end of camp water games. Again, the junior counselors led games in which everyone participated. Laughter, competitive games, and a thorough soaking of the camp directors ensued. By the end of the games, the campers were drenched but had thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

After the water games, campers meticulously packed up their things and carefully removed any sign of our presence, going as far as to remove the trails they had made earlier in the week. We leave the area just as we found it in order to do our part in preserving nature.

Soon afterwards, we all headed to our last council fire. As the parents watched, each tribe sang a “mail song” that they had written. The program progressed with a showcase of a few of our camp songs and the announcement of the “clean camp” winner — for the first time ever, it was a tie! The boys and the Kiowas both had the cleanest camps. The race was so close that they were unable to choose a winner.

Following this announcement, each of the staff members received a special “camp rock” as a thank you for their service.

Then began one of the most touching and memorable parts of Friday nights at camp — the retiring of the American flag. Each year, five junior counselors are given the honor of retiring the flag. Being able to watch a huge group of people stand and salute the flag as it is ceremoniously and respectfully retired is simply amazing.

This last week at Adahi has been incredible. Words cannot describe the beauty of nature. They cannot capture the fun and excitement present within camp; however, they can explain the fact that Adahi has given both the campers and counselors new friends and new memories.

The best part is that, next year, we will get to experience it all over again. Camp Adahi really is an experience of a lifetime; if you want to know more about it, simply ask a Camp Fire kid.

 

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