By Cassie Niino
If you ask Camp Fire kids what their favorite camp activity is, they will probably have a hard time deciding. Each year, the campers have an opportunity to experience various camp activities. Luckily, I was able to experience each and every one of them — just like the campers.
In the tools activity, campers learned how to properly handle knives, hatchets and shovels. They were taught the rules for using catholes (a latrine used while in the forest) and for sharpening knives.
Tessellation art allowed campers to make beautiful, stained-glass like patterns using only paper, markers (or crayons), and oil. With archery, campers excitedly learned bow and arrow safety, the parts of a bow and arrow, and how to grip, set up, and shoot an arrow.
Campers in leather-making were “making a memory out of raw material.” Bracelets, key chains, bookmarks, tee pees — everything and anything they can imagine, they can make.
The cooking group allowed me to sample its delicious camp fire creations. Using a Dutch oven made out of pie tins, bulldog clips, and brads, the campers concocted a delicious frittata (made out of eggs, cheese and hash browns). They also made a scrumptious blueberry muffin baked over the fire in an orange peel. They even used the inside of the orange to make fresh orange juice! Campers learned how to safely cook over a fire and happily ate their mouth-watering creations.
In the hiking activity, campers learned how to identify wildlife — spotting owls, snakes, ripe strawberries, wildflowers, fish, crawdads, huge gooseberries, and, of course, many varieties of trees. They learn what to do if they get lost in the woods (Stop, Think, Observe, and Plan) and even get taught some genetics — things like how strawberries have become so big.
“Adahi’s Got Talent” is a brand new camp activity. During this time, both the campers and the adult staff leading the activity devise a skit that will be performed Wednesday night. “Adahi Games” (a campermade rendition of the “Hunger Games”) is one of the many creative skits that will be performed.
In the survival activity, campers are placed in a mock “lost in the woods” situation. They are given only a backpack, an empty water bottle and a compass. They are then told to “do what it takes to survive.” These Camp Fire boys and girls were very creative; with only a few tips to help them, they built shelters, made a fire, and found both food and water. They were taught to not overlook things they already had on their person, as well as how to use nature to their best advantage.
After a long day of activities, campers filled the logs around council fire and began to sing fun, upbeat, and silly camp songs. We were soon interrupted by none other than Batman, Robin, and all of their arch-nemeses. This year, the camp dudes centered their annual skit on Batman (because the mascot of the year is a bat). Many laughs ensued as a live “battle” was fought, and Batman and Robin successfully beat the bad guys.
It is these things that make camp so fun and exciting. Whether we are learning a new skill or seeing a fantastic homemade “batmobile,” we are having fun. And that is what camp is all about — making memories and gaining skills that will last for years to come.