By the third day at VAMPY, campers are beginning to settle into the routine and enjoy the unique classes and quirky activities that make spending the summer here so special. One such activity that the campers have thoroughly enjoyed so far is “mandatory optionals.” Students are given a list of different evening activities to choose from (optional), and they must pick one to sign up for (mandatory).
As a counselor, coming up with the different activities is one of my favorite parts of the job. We hold traditional, fairly normal activities, like kickball and Capture the Flag, but we also try to offer a number of unusual “mystery” optionals. These activities are given unusual names and offered no explanation – aside from the promise of fun, of course –so that the students must simply go with their gut, and choose what seems fun.
Among unusual optionals, thus far this week we have had “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems, MoMA” in which students pretended to be fancy art critics and went around Northeast Hall examining various door decorations and treating them as works of modern art, while mispronouncing the names of the counselors/artists (counselor Will Walters was changed to “Vilhelm Valtairs”). We also had an optional yesterday entitled “Lost Jurassic World Park,” in which campers pretended to be dinosaurs and ran around camp (respectfully) wreaking dino-havoc on other camp activities.
Campers have thoroughly enjoyed both the mystery and traditional optionals, and counselors have enjoyed working together to brainstorm more fun evening activities for campers. Luckily, we still have two and a half weeks and plenty of time for quirky optionals.