Don’t worry, it’s Harry Potter day! Actually, it was a Harry Potter afternoon as we switched things up a bit today and held wizardry-inspired events for all the girls. It all began at lunch when the “Sorting Hat” divided the campers into one of the four Hogwarts “Houses,” Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. Then back in their cabins after lunch, the girls and counselors worked on costumes. Some emerged with Harry Potter glasses, robes, scarves, boarding school ties decorated according to their house, and there were several lightning bolt shaped scars drawn with eyeliner. The counselors dressed as Hermione, Professor Umbridge, and even Lord Voldemort.
Instead of the bell signaling the end of rest hour, the whole camp was filled with cinematic music playing through speakers on the office porch. That signaled the four groups/houses to begin making their way toward different activity stations. One of these was “potions class” where the girls followed complex written spells combining all sorts of colorful liquids and powders into small glass bottles. Some combinations bubbled and other turned colors, surprising the girls.
No wizard is complete without a wand, so another of the “classes” was wand making. This had the girls use hot glue to build up twisting patterns on sticks and dowels. They added paint, and multiple layers of glitter to personalize each wand, ending up with some really amazing creations. Suddenly, all over camp there were spells being cast and wand duels springing up.
Meanwhile on the landsports field, another group played a version of “Quidditch.” We made it related to soccer, only the girls would use their hands to try and throw a ball into the opposite team’s goal. There was a “golden snitch” running through now and then, and “bludgers” throwing water balloons to disrupt the play… All elements of the game as it’s played in the Harry Potter books.
Another stop was more festive, with the counselors serving “Butter Beer” (cream soda) in decorative cups, and “Broomstick” snacks (pretzels). Each group at this stop wrote a song or chant to that they would later sing for the entire group out on the hill. It was then that two counselors dressed like Harry Potter and Voldemort came flying by on the zipline and after landing, had a wand duel, which Harry won (of course!). Finally, the dining hall was decorated like the Great Hall at Hogwarts with long tables, floating lights (suspended with fishing line), and painted banners signifying each house.
It was an afternoon complete with many of the things that make a special camp event great: costumes, music, action, creativity, snacks, and plenty of smiling friends to join along the way.