As the first weekend at camp came to a close at bedtime last night, I asked all of my campers what their favorite part of the weekend was. There were a few different answers, but they seemed to have a central theme.
After a quiet morning, Saturday began with the VAMPY Olympics, the highlight for a few of my campers. The teams America, Ivory Coast, Italy, Ireland, Albania, Djibouti, Canada, Belize, and International Waters dressed up in team colors, face paint, and paraphernalia as they competed in tug-of-war, dodgeball, trivia, and an unusual relay race that involved doughnuts and water balloons. After forming bonds all week, counselor groups got to have fun with goofy team spirit, like coming up with team chants. International Waters even carried around a boombox playing their hall’s signature song! They claimed it was one of the main reasons why they won tug-of-war and the entire Olympics overall.
Paper Theater took place Saturday evening, a camp tradition that some of my campers said was their favorite thing this weekend. Campers were randomly sorted into eleven groups, and each was given a classic fairy tale and style for it. They had a bag full of newspaper, masking tape, and thirty minutes to make a skit based on that prompt. Skits included “Cinderella, Jurassic style,” “The Three Little Pigs, High School style,” and ”Beauty and the Beast, VAMPY style.” No one knew what to expect from any of the acts (except that the VAMPY-style skit would be a good-natured roast of the counselors), and performances like the prancing velociraptor step-family and the Big Bad Wolf who stuffed little pigs into lockers made it a hilarious evening for all of the campers.
Sunday was a much quieter day, closing with an outdoor cookout before study hall and classes resumed that night, but the same theme I noticed in the Olympics and Paper Theater continued. Now, campers have been here a week and feel safe leaving their comfort zones. After making friends in their counselor groups, they’ve been meeting new campers every day. Plenty of community time allows them to meet someone new every hour on the weekends if they want!
Experiences like these make for great memories the whole camp shares; a whole community identity is beginning to form. The first years begin to understand the environment of VAMPY, and the veterans are becoming leaders as they continue camp traditions and introduce new campers to this world. It’s been a good weekend, and at the rate campers are growing, the next one will be much better.