Carnival, and the end of one incredible weekend at our overnight camp in NHJuly 31, 2017
For a lot of our campers and counselors the 6th weekend of the summer is best weekend of the entire year. It started Friday night with the arrival of last summer’s graduates and our drive-in movie. On Saturday it included our annual music festival Hollowpallooza, and was capped off on Sunday with our Carnival celebration. It’s a couple of days of non-stop fun and excitement with camp friends.
our evening activities and special events are so amazing
When I got to the dining hall the chefs and kitchen staff were already in the Carnival mood. After sleeping late the campers and counselors got up, had breakfast, changed their sheets, and had their weekly unit meetings. Then we all began the set up for Carnival. All morning and afternoon groups of campers were in the Arts & Crafts studio making signs for the booths their bunk would be running this afternoon, or to make costumes to wear to the start of this special event. The theme for this year’s Carnival was Finding Nemo, and it seemed like everyone was excited to get dressed up and be silly.
The Evergreen Big Sisters spent part of the day getting their Little Sisters ready for Carnival Elections. This meant designing costumes for each of them and then helping write a skit or song based on their little sister’s character. After lunch the whole girls’ camp gathered on the Evergreen Path to watch our youngest campers pretend to be Dory, Nemo, Marlin, Squirt, and the rest of the characters from the film. They were absolutely adorable, and all did a great job in their roles.
Ten minutes later the entire camp community gathered on the side of our soccer field called the Hollow. A group of counselors put on a funny skit based on this year’s Carnival theme, and which involved elaborate choreography involving camp’s golf carts and lots of counselors covered head-to-toe in red, green or blue paint. Then our Freshmen boys also had a chance to dress up as their favorite Finding Nemo characters, and put on a very funny skit written. Last but not least, our Juniper girls put on their annual dance routine. I’m pretty sure this was the first time in 30 years that the dance included sending someone launching safely into the air!
Then we all made our way to the Junior ball field for an afternoon of olde school games, rides, food and fun all created by our campers. The entire area was converted into a massive fairground. Counselors were serving cotton candy and snow cones, and later on popsicles and corn on the cob steamed in our kitchen. There was a waterslide, a dunk tank, and the biggest slip-n-slide that you’ve ever seen. Oh, and horse and pony rides, too.
Each bunk created their own special activity booth to entertain the rest of camp. There was a bunk that tied donuts to strings and ran contests to see who could eat them faster.
Another ran a blind taste test to see if contestants could tell the difference between Orange Crush and Sunkist.
These boys ran a booth where kids had a chance to knock down cups with bean bags.
Our 2nd Year Seniors ran a singing telegram operation and spent the afternoon walking around and serenading everyone.
There was even a foam noodle jousting booth (though I’m not quite sure how that fit into with the theme of the movie…).
It was a great day for creativity and silliness. It was also a great day for collaboration, one of the 21st century skills we teach here. Campers had to figure out how to work with their bunks to successfully plan and execute their booth’s activity. And in the midst of doing it they were having a ton of fun, so it just felt like one more exciting, funny day of camp.
As is tradition, our senior campers had a contest to see which bunk could shuck a bushel of corn the fastest. Then our kitchen team steamed them, and in the middle of Carnival we treated everyone to some fresh, hot, locally grown corn on the cob. As is also tradition, our counselors took great pleasure in announcing the call “FRESHMEN COOOOORN”.
We also had a dunk tank, and the line to be dunked was just as long as the one to throw the ball at the target. There was skee ball and face painting, guessing games, and both an obstacle and miniature golf course. There was loud, thumping pop music and friends running around together just having an unbelievably fun summer day, enjoying their unstructured time together. Special events like our carnival seem to be beloved by our campers, in part, because everything isn’t done for them. They run the booths and create the costums, and they get such pride in being responsible for their part in it being a success. I love that our kids have opportunities like this here at our brother-sister summer camp.
Like these good friends and the ones below. Once they had finished their shifts at their booths they spent much of the afternoon covering each other in soap bubbles, riding on the slide and slide, and just having an amazing afternoon of fun and friendship. Camp friends just make life better, and days like today that much more fun!