By Cassie Niino
If you ask a Camp Fire kid what the best part of a hiking day is, they will probably say, “the Sno Cones!”
On Thursday, each tribe took a different hike. The Zunis (soon to be 4th graders and the youngest tribe) hiked up the creek, splashed in the cold water, dunked, looked for crawdads, and had an extremely fun time. The Navajos traveled to the Shadow of the Giants, saw Native American grinding stones, visited the Miwok village, and had a few history lessons on each of these things. The Cherokee tribe braved an extremely steep, dusty hill; however, their efforts were rewarded with a beautiful waterfall. They played in the water and ate lunch there before heading back. The Comanches hiked to Nelder Grove to see the famous Bullbuck and Chimney trees.
On Wednesday night, Don Warnock of Madera told the Kiowa Tribe his traditional prehike story. Right before bedtime, Don explained the mystery hidden behind John Nelder’s cabin.
On the next day, he and the Kiowas embarked on the longest hike-traveling to the Graveyard of the Giants while searching for Nelder’s cabin site.
After everyone returned from a long day of hiking, we took showers and then happily ate the delicious Sno Cones the Apaches prepared for us. Then, at council fire, we all took turns roasting marshmallows to make delicious, gooey s’mores.
Earlier, I mentioned the “clean camp” award. This year, the boys camp and Kiowa camp are neck-and-neck — each of them fighting for that elusive title. The Kiowas took the contest a step further, transforming their living area into the “Kiowa Outdoor Inn” — complete with a welcome sign, fake candy mints on pillows, a comment board, and a shoe closet. This has motivated the rest of the camp (especially the boys) to step up their game.
This afternoon, it looked as though it might rain. The camp sprang into action, taking out tarps to cover beds “just in case.”
It reminded me of when it rained during my Comanche year and several of the counselors drove all of our sleeping bags down to Oakhurst and dried them at the laundromat.
Adahi’s staff has always gone above and beyond their call of duty, and I am proud to be a part of such a wonderful group of people.
All in all, hiking day was a complete success; everyone had a fantastic time and thoroughly enjoyed their walks through nature. It truly is terrific to see all of the history and beauty that surrounds you out here. We are all very lucky to get to experience these hikes; however, it is with the time and effort of our own members that this is made possible.
On “Trail Weekend”, each of the trails we hike (excluding, of course, the creek and Cherokee tribe’s trail) are cleaned up and maintained by Camp Fire members and their families. The amount of work a dedicated group can accomplish really is amazing and makes this day possible. I would like to thank everyone who has ever worked a trail weekend. Today really would have been impossible without you.