Today was another big day at AO Sleep Away Camp 2012! We began our day with a wonderful al fresco breakfast of pancakes–it was fun piling lots of yummy strawberries and blueberries on our pancakes before eating them! After breakfast, the campers returned to their cabins to get ready for the day. We assembled on the green to sing “Here Comes the Sun” to prepare for our awesome day of rocking climbing. The older campers headed out to the rock face first, while the younger campers did the low ropes teambuilding circuit–they did many of the same obstacles the older campers did on Monday! Meanwhile, the older campers, led by experienced climbing guides, had fun climbing on a real rock face! The older campers also enjoyed the chance to be belayed by Director Jen!

The younger campers joined the older campers for lunch–we enjoyed a delightful picnic in the shadow of the cliffs. The younger campers then had a chance to try their hands at climbing; everyone enjoyed the chance to be belayed by Counselor Jasmine or Director Tom! Each camper had the chance to climb as high as they wanted, and then got to rappel down; for some campers, coming down was definitely their favorite part! Inbetween climbs, campers enjoyed making friendship bracelets and hemp jewelry; expect your camper to come home sporting some new “camp jewelry!”

After conquering the rock faces, we headed back to camp tired but triumphant. After a quick rest in our cabins, we headed to the gym and game room for some organized free time; campers had a chance to order their very own gorp, work on their lanyards, create some awesome paintings, or just relax in the game room or gym. We then headed to dinner, which was a super-fun Hawaiian luau! Campers enjoyed pineapple rings and some great island-style chicken.

After dinner, campers had the chance to change into warmer clothes (or their pjs if they wanted!), before meeting in the Opera House to play a fun inclusion-based game of Mingle. In this game, campers had a chance to be silly and have fun, but also learn about including others and the importance of seeing past any initial labels that they might attach to other people. In the game, each camper is given a one-sentence identity on a label, such as “I am shy” or “I am a rock star.” Then, all of the other campers have to treat that person how they are literally labeled–either as shy, or as a rock star, etc. The campers all really had a great time making much of the “rock stars” in their midst and coaxing the “shy” campers out of their shells. We then finished the game by discussing the good and the bad sides of being labeled, and shared with each other strategies for not labeling people, and for helping people out who look like they’ve been negatively labeled by others. At the end of the evening, several campers said that this was the best game they had played at camp!

We then headed to our cabins to brush our teeth and settle down for the evening. Lights were out by 9pm, and everyone was asleep by 9:30! Tomorrow is our first day of choice activities–it should be tons of fun!

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