Today was the first day of camp for Altogether Outdoors Explorers in Denver and the heat did not keep us from having an -awesome- first day. We had not even arrived at our destination in Cherry Creek State Park before seeing White Tailed Deer and Pelicans. New campers learned that we begin each day with energetic camp songs. This morning’s songs were Kaela’s “Tarzan” and Zach’s “Little Red Wagon.” Even though only one camper had ever heard these songs you would have thought we had been singing them all summer. Songs were followed by a morning snack and orientation to AO Rules. Campers learned the importance of keeping “one foot on the ground” and “staying a body’s length away from the water.”  We finished our active morning with a game of Ship Island. Campers skipped from ‘ship’ to ‘island,’ occasionally getting ‘sea sick’ and communicating with ‘mermaids.’ Campers enjoyed the unique experience of decorating personal water bottles. Afterward we all shared what made our water bottles special to us. We had some great responses! The campers practiced great consensus building when they created their group name. You may now call us “Dr. Awesome’s Awesome Team Name.” The Dr. Awesome’s completed their first ever team-building activity where campers had to wordlessly communicate with a partner the color and size of the AO t-shirt they wanted. What a challenge, and the group performed well. Everyone got the shirt they wanted. Lunch was eaten under the shade of a large Cottonwood and campers quizzed one another about personal facts in “truth or lie.” After lunch campers collaborated and chose their activites for tomorrow. We then set out on an exploratory trek along the coast of the lake. We crossed Goose Shore (with baby Geese!) and checked out the dock. We played and explored for much of the afternoon. During a snack of GORP (a type of trail-mix) we created our group code – a set of rules we WANT to follow. As a group we want to respect everything and share kindness. After debriefing our day campers sang “On Top of Spaghetti” for the first time. What an amazing first day for Denver!

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