It’s the night I’d say everyone at camp looks forward to. It’s the kind of once-in-a-lifetime event that can’t be recreated and is remembered by some for the rest of their lives. It’s a community celebration, a culmination of detailed plans, and a recognition of the many friendships formed over the course of the session. It’s banquet night, the unveiling of the surprise party and themed dinner presented by our 9th grade “CA” campers.
This session’s banquet theme gathered Renaissance characters and scenes transforming the dining hall into a fairyland of woodland folk, royalty, and city folk. The girls went all out decorating every inch of the walls in the dining hall with painted scenes. They strung ivy and small lights overhead in the rafters, along with streamers and stars. They arranged the dining hall to make a wide open dance floor in the center where they could perform skits and choreographed dances.
One of the most exciting moments comes when the campers enter the dining hall and first see the CA girls dressed in their costumes. With fun, upbeat music playing, the counselors enter first, followed by the campers from oldest to youngest. The CA girls create two cheering lines and welcome everyone to the banquet in character. Unveiling the surprise, the costumed characters, plus the elaborate decorations filling the dining hall, makes for an amazing entrance. Everyone smiles, and can’t believe their eyes. Especially for the youngest girls, it’s a wonder-ful thrill to be met like this. And with a theme like this, it was truly magical.
In the banquet we found a King and Queen, crowned and robed. Dressed in long gowns, there were seven princesses, complete with tiaras and glitter. Woodland nymphs with pointed ears and flower headbands, plus four colorful fairies roamed about. There was a Satyr with horns too. From the town we met a jester, 3 milkmaids, a witch, bards, and knights. We watched a plot unfold where a princess was eaten by a dragon, the knights on a mission to save her, the witch helping with spells, and a dance battle to defeat the dragon. Later with the help of the fairies, they were able to return home. Each act of the plot included fun dances performed by the characters.
The fare served also aligned with the theme. They presented “Jousting Sticks” (fruit kabobs, mini corndogs, and mozzarella sticks). The main course was “Dragon Legs” (chicken legs) with “Dragon’s Blood” (gravy), “Medieval Mash” (mashed potatoes) and “Victorious Veg” (peas and carrots). For dessert, there were “Kings Chalice” drinks (root beer floats) and “Fairy Wands” (cake pops). With some candies added as table decorations, this was a feast.
Throughout the evening, between each act of the skits, and while the meal courses were being served, everyone enjoyed dancing and singing along to favorite pop songs. This was a chance to sing as loud as possible and dance with complete freedom with your camp friends. Smiling and laughing like never before, mostly because everyone by now feels so at ease at camp, this was pure exuberance. Whenever a new song came on, the whole dining hall jumped up and danced. It was about as much fun as you can imagine. Banquets are like that, and this was a fantastic example.