We’re seeing great horseback riding down at the barn this session. Cara, our Equestrian Director, has been keeping everyone busy with three and sometimes four simultaneous riding classes going on each activity period of the day. The beginners have been riding our smaller ponies (e.g., Annie and Cool Beans) and learning to walk, start and stop them on command. Intermediate riders are working on their posting and canter technique. It seems everyone wants to learn how to jump too, so when the riding staff thinks they’re ready (being able to canter securely, for example), campers can begin learning jump techniques as well. There are several new skills involved in jumping, and the girls really work at it a long time before they actually jump an obstacle. What a thrill when a girl clears her first jump!
Everyday down at the Alpine Tower, groups of girls are tying into a belay rope and balancing their way to the top. Starting behind the gym, the walk leading to the tower is a magical, winding path through the woods with ferns, mosses and wonderful big trees. The tower is hidden in the woods and is such a surprise when you first see it along the trail— an impressive 50-foot structure of thick telephone poles bolted together in a complex triangular pattern of two inverted pyramids. There are ropes, cables and climbing holds arranged on each pole creating different routes to the top. Altogether, there are almost 100 different ways to climb up! The view from the top platform provides a nice birds-eye view of the treetops and of the “tiny people” on the ground. Coming down is also part of the fun. The belayers slowly lower the climbers on their belay ropes (which are rated to hold 7620 pounds, by the way!), stopping part way to let the girls do a “spiderman” flip if they want.
Over in the fiber arts cabin, “Curosty,” the girls are hard at work weaving. Our arts guru Kimberly has set up the looms to make belts at the moment, yarns and string woven into different colorful patterns. These table-top looms have 4 levers to press that change the warp and allow the shuttle to alternate through the “shed” (the space between the warp layers). It’s a little challenging to maintain an even amount of tension on the weft, but with practice that becomes easier. It’s fun to make a narrow project like a belt because it doesn’t take long to see progress as the woven pattern emerges. Seeing them at work, it’s easy to predict that weaving will become a lifelong hobby for some of the girls. That’s so great.
Dinner tonight was a special themed restaurant night called “A Night at the Oscars.” We sent out word for everyone to arrive at dinner dressed in their best red carpet attire, so we saw all manner of glamor, camp style. Outrageous wigs, audacious make up, sparkly dresses, and very fancy shoes emerged to transform the girls into parodies of Hollywood stars. The counselors, of course, were also dressed up, and as they served their cabin (a Restaurant Night camp tradition), they would impersonate certain famous actresses or movie characters. The food was also special: eggrolls, bacon-wrapped scallops, and Danish Havarti, bread, and Spanikopita. Liz had lemon bars for dessert too. Yum! The whole meal was a sea of energetic creativity, and very big fun.