Campers walk on the wild side with mystery optionals

Jacob Couch
Jacob Couch

After long hours of academic learning in class, activities – also known as optionals – created and hosted by the VAMPY counselors offer relief and fun in unique and interesting ways. While these events are called optionals, the only true option for campers is which activity to sign up for, because optional participation is mandatory for all campers. Each day the counselors devote time to planning optionals with everything from ultimate frisbee to original activities like “Camp Rocks” and “CSI: BG.”

Whereas the athleticism of the sports optionals rarely changes, the more uniquely named optionals are often a pleasant change of pace for the campers. While names such as “Ultimate” and “CTF” are more easily translated by campers, unusual names like “Paul Hudson: Mall Cop” and “Intro to Shoplifting” (both parts of an elaborate game of cops and robbers) are mysteries to campers until the event itself unfolds.

“Giving an activity an unusual name is the most fun part for me,” said second year counselor Natalie May. “We never tell the kids what optionals actually are, we only let them go off of the names.”

Wednesday night Natalie and I hosted our popular “Camp Rocks” optional, focusing on the geological beauties and natural rock formations around WKU’s entire campus, concluding with a pet rock adoption process. With only the name to go off of, thirty campers signed up for our optional, all with no clue of what to expect. By the end of the nearly two hours of rock and rolling all over Western’s campus, all thirty participants were eagerly embracing rocks of all shapes and textures.

Optionals are truly what make camp rock for so many teenagers from all over the world.