How is it already the end of the seventh week here at Elmwood? As we sit and reflect on the fact that there is only one week left of camp, we also are reflecting on the growth we have seen in each of our campers. Each summer, we design our program so that that campers discover new interests, increase competency in various skills and gain confidence in themselves. We base our program around The Elmwood 10 which is a set of specific objectives that we have for our campers to help them achieve our mission. This week it became apparent just how much our campers have practiced and experienced each of the Elmwood 10.
It’s always special to walk through Elmwood and see campers smiling, holding hands, hugging, and all participating together. Our campers love cheering on their friends as they watch them learn a new skill in gymnastics, or climb up the rock wall. Campers and staff always high five children who moved up a level in a swim group. By this point in the summer, all campers have completed the friendship circle at group. This activity allows for each camper to draw or write about a positive attribute of every camper in the group. These are all just a few of the examples of kindness we have seen this week at Elmwood. The kindness here just continues to grow and truly makes Elmwood a great place to be me.
At the end of the day today, it was very evident how much of an impact each of the campers have made on one other. While it was many of our campers’ last day today, the hugs, letters and memories shared made it clear just how strong the friendships here have become. Throughout the summer, our campers have built friendships and relationships which will last forever. Campers who are in the same group, campers who have shared club, and campers who have been in the pool together all seem to have taken their opportunity to bond with one another.
As our second week of K-Club comes to a close, we have seen how much these kindergarten campers have grown. At the beginning of K-Club, all of the campers were given four options of club activities: volcanos, gardening, dance and sports. On their own, these kindergarten campers decided what activity they wanted to participate in, and they signed up independently. Instead of traveling to these activities with their normal groups, they were mixed with other kindergarten campers who also chose the same activity. These campers now feel comfortable enough to go to each activity surrounded by new faces; It is an example of how much independence they have developed over the course of the summer We are proud of our campers and happy that they were able to be independent, experience these new activities and make new friends in the process!
Although the senior campers go on many trips throughout the summer, this week’s trip to Pennsylvania was one where every camper tried something new. Many campers spent their first overnight away from home, while other campers went on their very first roller-coaster at Dorney Park. Other highlights of this trip were the Crayola Factory and monster mini-golf. Trying new things can be intimidating, but it can also open your mind to really great experiences. All of our campers had a blast on their overnight, and we are so impressed to see them all try new things this week.
The Upper Village Bowl kicked off on Tuesday this week! The UV Bowl is an Olympic style two-day event for our third and fourth graders. Each camper was put on one of our four teams – red, blue, green and orange. Throughout the two-day event, campers worked together to participate in soccer, archery, trivia, gaga, capture the flag, nine-in-the-air, a bucket brigade, and a cheer/song contest. Each camper had tons of spirt, plenty of sportsmanship and all participated in all activities. The UV Bowl is a place where teamwork is necessary in order to successfully participate and win in each activity. The final activity, which was the song/cheer contest, was in front of the whole camp at our all camp meeting on Thursday afternoon. Congratulations to the red team who won the Upper Village Bowl!
Our second-grade campers participated in a drama specialty this week where they created a musical performance. They came together to decide on a storyline, a few songs, dance moves, and of course a show title! Today, they performed Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in front of the whole camp. Their show included the song, “It’s Raining Tacos” which was followed by “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow”. Theater is a great way to learn the skills of communication, both in terms of collaborating together and being more comfortable performing in front of others. The audience loved the show which became apparent as they all started clapping and dancing along.
Throughout the week, each group continued to participate in a variety of activities where they learned new skills. Some of these skills and activities included learning how to measure, cut and drill into wood to make block box figures in woodworking, improving their shots in archery to attain a bullseye on the target, practicing their swings as they played baseball/tee-ball, and throwing and dribbling as they played basketball games at Allie’s Arena. Our Stepping Stones particularly enjoyed the soothing and relaxing poses they learned at yoga.
It’s not easy getting in front of a crowd. It can be both frightening and intimidating. However, it can be a bit easier to do it with your fellow campers and counselors by your side. Today, we had 37 acts in our camper-counselor show. Watching 37 different acts and almost every camper get up on stage cemented the idea that campers can be themselves in Elmwood’s supporting community. There were singing acts, magic tricks, mime skits and dances. Today, all of our campers accepted themselves and exhibited all of their wonderful qualities in front of camp. We are so proud of everyone who participated.
As this is a great place to be me, we demonstrate the quality to always accept others. This concept is taught to our Stepping Stones campers all the way through to our Seniors. We loved watching our fourth-grade campers at their pizza and pool party on Monday evening. Many of our fourth-graders have been with us since the Stepping Stones while others have gradually made their way into our Elmwood family. They have different hobbies and interests and have their own feelings, thoughts and emotions. However, on Monday night the entire fourth-grade division was united as they swam, ate, hung out and bonded together. When you accept each person for who they are, just like our fourth-grade campers have done this summer, you make strong and meaningful friendships.
Rides, bouncy houses, games, dunk tanks, candy grams, face painting and fortune telling - what could be more fun than Elmwood’s summer carnival?! Our campers all had such an incredible time participating in the carnival on Thursday! All you could see throughout Elmwood were smiles and laugher as campers stormed the carnival booths and rides such as the gumball bouncy house, inflatable horse race derby, the dizzyX, the adventure rock climbing wall and the epic swing ride.
Lower Village clubs included: Wacky Weather Art, Block Box, Green Thumb Gardening, Showstoppers, Maps, Mazes, and Mysteries, Kickball Derby, Cheer Squad and Aiming Archery.