Monday evening, after a stimulating first day of classes, campers gathered on the South Lawn to participate in their first Optional of this year’s SCATS. Campers can participate in activities ranging from Friendship Bracelet-Making to Humans vs. Zombies that allow them to think creatively through games, physical activities, or arts and crafts. These Optionals, also known as Mandatory Optionals, give campers the opportunity to express themselves in new ways. Counselors and campers alike enjoy Optionals, which are often considered to be one of the most fun parts of camp. Activities are rarely repeated to ensure that campers participate in a diverse range of pursuits.
On Monday my group took part in an elaborate game called Mafia, where campers are assigned a character role and attempt to figure out the identities of the Mafia. Campers took turns throughout the game to create complex, imaginative stories as to how a player got eliminated by the Mafia, resulting in many laughs. One camper commented, “We never get to play games as fun as this in school.”
As a previous camper, I know Optionals provide a sense of freedom after a strenuous day full of learning. When our group concluded Optionals, I overheard campers saying Optionals were their favorite part of the day, and a nice break from classes. Their experiences reminded me of my own camp days and filled me with excitement about the rest of camp!