by Haley Starkey
Weekends at VAMPY are full of sweet camp traditions and exciting events to look forward to! This past Saturday, our campers participated in VCon (a convention-type event organized around a new, secret theme each year) and the first of two VAMPY dances.
First, at VCon, campers donned creative and quirky costumes ranging from counselor impersonations to popular television show characters to everything in between. The Con always begins with a humorous counselor-arranged skit to unveil the year’s theme; for 2018, the concept was “Lost In Time.” The events planned throughout the day were divided into three eras: Prehistoric, Renaissance, and Apocalyptic. I was part of the events called “Cave Painting” with counselor Joel, “Witch Hunt” with counselor Emily, and a trivia-themed game with counselor Julia. I must say, they were all great successes.
Following VCon was the dance, an event that I always loved as a camper. At most typical middle school/high school dances, you won’t find many kids letting loose and dancing their hearts out, but it is the exact opposite at a VAMPY dance. Something that I adore most about this camp is its adamant culture of inclusivity. No camper here has to be afraid of letting his or her true self shine. I spent the night dancing to songs like “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus and “Take On Me” by a-ha alongside campers and my fellow counselors. Seeing these brilliant kids having such a genuinely good time with each another left me feeling incredibly fulfilled, grateful, and a tiny bit sore!
While the dance was fun, the most special part came at the end. The final few songs included emotional tracks such as “Iris” by the Goo-Goo Dolls and “Closing Time” by Semisonic. The entire camp linked arms, swayed, and sang these songs together in one large circle. The fourth-year campers (those who are in their final year of VAMPY) also gathered in a smaller circle to show one another support. Everyone coming together as one in their shared love for VAMPY and the unbreakable bonds that they have made here is a beautiful sight. I am looking forward to another week of watching friendships flourish and young minds grow.