We had a great final full day at AO 2012 sleep away camp! After waking up bright and early, saying hello to the deer having breakfast on the property, and having some delicious breakfast, the campers headed back to their cabins to get ready for the day. The older campers got ready to raft, while the younger campers got ready to fish! We met on the camp green, got our energy up with some fun morning songs, and then headed out! The younger campers went fly fishing and hiking around a huge lake; while no one caught a fish, they got several bites and saw some huge fish jumping! They also enjoyed hiking around the lake; campers saw lots of crawdads, and found a cool clearing to eat lunch in. It was cool to look at the monarch butterflies and deer tracks in the mud near the lake!

The younger campers then headed back to camp to have an early rest hour and go swimming! Many of the younger campers took a quick nap during rest hour; others read, worked on their lanyards, or quietly played cards with a friend. At the end of rest hour, the younger campers threw on their bathing suits and headed to the camp pool for one last swim! They enjoyed playing water volleyball, water basketball, and most especially jumping off the diving board! Some of the dives and cannonballs were really impressive; it was fun to watch!

Meanwhile, the older campers hopped in the camp vans and headed out to go rafting! The older group did a class 3 trip, while the younger group did a class 2 trip. Everyone had a great time! Campers learned how to paddle, how to switch seats without upsetting the raft, and how to exit the raft in the case of an emergency (just hop into the water!) 🙂 The raft guides brought along some fun water toys, and campers really enjoyed relaxing and rafting down the river. Everyone got a chance to sit on the prow of the boat, and had a great time “capturing” the other rafts and lightly splashing their friends. We also all enjoyed the chance to swim a bit in the nice cool river! At the end of the raft trips, we all met up back at camp for some well-earned rest hour.

During rest hour, the older campers had one last chance to write a letter home, read in their bunks, and relax before free time. Most of the older campers also took the opportunity to take a quick nap! Our days have been very full here at camp. 🙂 After the older campers’ rest hour, we all met in the gym for some awesome free time. Campers had the chance to do sidewalk chalk outside of the gym with Counselor Chris; some of the drawings and murals they created were very impressive! Campers also had one last chance to eat some yummy gorp for snack, play in the game room, and just hang out and talk with the good friends they’ve made here at camp. At the end of free time, we washed our hands really well (the sniffles are going around camp), and headed down to Grizzly Jack’s for a final delicious camp dinner of make-your-own tacos. Campers sat with whomever they liked, and practically inhaled the tacos!

At the end of dinner, campers headed back to their cabins to put on warmer clothes, and then met at the green to head down to the campfire. At the campfire, we roasted marshmallows and made some yummy s’mores! Nothing tastes quite like a s’more made on a campfire next to a river. Director Jen discussed how to roast the perfect ‘mallow, and the campers did a great job! After licking our fingers clean, we sang, with Counselor Phil accompanying us on the guitar, Lean On Me and Country Roads. Campers then participated in a keylog ceremony; Director Jen explained that a keylog is the one log that keeps a whole dam together, and invited campers to throw a twig into the fire and say who or what was their keylog, that is, who or what helped keep them together and going strong, during their time at camp. It was a very touching and reflective ceremony. At the end of the keylog ceremony, we closed our final campfire with the songs Let It Be and our end of day song, Day Is Done.

Campers then headed back up to their cabins to do their final candlelight ceremonies as a cabin group, brush their teeth, and get ready for bed. It was a wonderful final day at camp, and tomorrow, we head home! See you soon!

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