OMG, camp fam…. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but three weeks from today camp will officially have been in session for 5 days! It seems like just yesterday I was writing September’s “Here’s how to keep camp alive during the off-season” blog, and now I’m wading through mountains of clothes and linens and toiletries in an effort to organize before the trunks are packed.
The beginning of June can be rough. The kids have to “suffer” through the remaining days of school and then those seemingly never-ending days between school ending and camp starting. Those days are definitely painful for parents, but are pure torture for the kids who JUST want to leave for camp already.
For our first-time campers, and even some of the returning crew, the weeks before camp can be a mix of emotions. They are beyond excited for camp to start, but some of that anticipatory excitement can bubble over into nerves and anxiety. To help on that front, take a look below for a first-day of camp schedule. Sometimes knowing what to expect helps to ease kids’ nerves.
11 AM – 12:00 PM: Buses arrive!!! The buses from all of the various stops pull on to Camp Green Lane Road where counselors and bunkmates will be holding up bunk signs so that your kids know where to go as soon as they step off the bus. The counselors will walk the kids back to their cabins, helping them carry whatever they brought with them on the bus. They’ll have just enough time to throw their things on their beds before another bus makes its way into camp and they run back down to welcome the next wave of friends. We begin around this time, sending each division by division in Camp to the infirmary for a Lice Check.
Get ready because it’s about to get LOUD! The counselors will lead their bunks into the dining hall, to the tables where they will eat, family-style, for the entirety of the summer. Once Uncle Adam welcomes everyone to camp and lunch starts, each bunk stands on their chairs and the cheering begins. First-time campers will know bunk, division, and camp-wide cheers by the end of the meal. The campers will have time to eat between cheering, and they will be doing so on paper plates this year, rather than the Styrofoam of years past. Families asked that we make the switch to more environmentally-friendly materials and we were more than happy to oblige.
1:45 – 2:30 PM: Rest Hour/Bunk Set Up
After lunch, we continue with our Lice Checks, and then go back to our bunks, to get used to our Summer digs! Don’t worry – their bags have already been unpacked by the counselors, however, the kids like to look around and make sure they know where everything is and looks the way they want it to.
2:30 – 4:30 PM: Swims/Camp Tour
During this time boys camp and girls camp switch off between these two activities. Everyone, no matter how many years they’ve been at camp, goes on the camp tour. Returning campers love showing their new friends around, pointing out their favorite spots and giving out helpful tips and tricks from around camp.
Meanwhile the other half of camp is cooling off at the pool with Aunt Rachel Betesh and her guards.
4:30 – 6:15 PM: Recall/Shower Hour
The entire camp will head back to the cabins to shower and get ready for dinner. Luckily each cabin has its own tankless water heater so running out of hot water is never a problem.
6:30 PM: Dinner
Another chance for bunks to show off their cheering prowess…. and eat some delicious food.
7:30 – 8:00 PM: Free Play
Free Play occurs every night after dinner and is a chance for campers to pick whatever activity they want to do. This first night, we do Free Play by cabin so the cabin will stick together with the counselors and choose what they want to do together as a cabin! All areas other than the pool are open and manned by staff members so that campers are supervised even while they’re not with their cabin at a scheduled activity.
8:00 – 9:30 PM: Counselor Un-Talent Show
The first night of camp always means one thing… counselors making fools of themselves. Groups of staff members get together and plan a skit, song, poem, or some other kind of “talent” to show off to the entire camp. It’s a great way to show that camp is a place where silliness is encouraged and that everyone is there to laugh along WITH you and not AT you!
And then, at last, it’s time for bed. Counselors and campers head back after a long and exhausting day and get ready to pass out. But not before friends’ beds are sat on, laughs are had and games are played. Supervisors will check on each bunk to ensure that everyone is okay, and will then call parents of each new camper to report in.
Once reveille sounds the next morning, they kids are up and running to scheduled activities and the summer is underway.
We are counting down the minutes until the first bus arrives. Until then we will be busy getting facilities and equipment ready, finalizing schedules and activities, and having fun during a week of staff orientation. We look forward to another amazing summer between the arches with our summer family!
Yours in Camping,
Aunt Robin Raskin