Unmatched Exuberance

“It’s Banquet day!” “Ya’ll, I can’t believe it’s almost time for Banquet.” “I’m so excited for Banquet!” These and other remarks of excited anticipation are what you hear around camp leading up to the special event we call Banquet. It’s the biggest celebration of the whole session, essentially an all-camp party held in the dining hall filled with almost constant singing and dancing, laughing, and a sort of unmatched exuberance and emotion that’s hard to describe.

It’s the culmination of what began on the first day of camp when our CA 9th graders selected a secret theme for the party. They plan and present the entire party, designing the decorations, selecting the dinner menu, and dressing up in costumes to complete the experience. Part of the excitement is revealing their theme to everyone else. Tonight’s banquet was “Under the RB..Sea,” a colorful transformation of the dining hall into an underwater wonderland.

The girls outdid themselves with the decorations. There were hand-painted murals showcasing vibrant coral reefs, majestic sea creatures like jellyfish and starfish, and all sorts of colorful fish. There was a sunken treasure chest, a scuba diver, a mermaid, a lobster, a ship’s anchor and even a surfboard. They covered all of the tables with blue plastic tablecloths, and more transluscent blue material in the rafters to look like waves of water. In a few places there were fishing nets hung, with inflated fish and dolphins. Sparkly lights added to the festive feel of it all.

For costumes, a few CAs dressed as mermaids with shimmery skirts. Three were grey, silver sharks. We saw the Nickelodeon character SpongeBob Squarepants and his friend Patrick Star, both of whom live under the sea. We were also excited to have Dory and Nemo play roles. One CA dressed up as a jellyfish using an umbrella and streamers to take on the right shape. Even the counselors got in on the act dressing up as snorkelers complete with masks and fins!

The food was classic banquet fare with clever aquatic names: Sea sponges for an appetizer (mozzarella sticks), Seashell pasta and green coral (tortellini and steamed broccoli) for the main, with tropical fruit kababs on the side. And for dessert, there was an amazing blue vanilla pudding cup with red Swedish fish swimming inside. Along with the candy and other treats on the tables, this was a feast.

Toward the end of the banquet, emotions often bubble up. We see the first tears that come from realizing that this session of camp is soon ending. Especially from the CAs and Hi-Ups, the two groups who grow especially close working together during the session, there was a poignant moment of mixed laughter, smiles and tears. These girls have been through a lot together over the last three weeks, and have grown incredibly close.

What makes a great banquet? We saw it tonight. The dining hall was transformed into an magical environment, and was filled with the kind of friends that felt just like you— so buoyant you can’t help but sing, so joyful you had to jump, so grateful your face hurt from smiling. It was amazing and fun, colorful and loud, and a perfect way to celebrate being together at camp.

summer camp banquet welcome

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  1. Avatar for Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Hey people!!!!!
    Good mood and good luck to everyone!!!!!