Opening Day of Chewonki’s 2018 summer was bright and warm, which also describes the faces of the campers and trippers who arrived ready for an adventure. Of course there were some nerves–more evident in parents than participants, who quickly got swept up in the summer spirit.
What did program leaders notice about Opening Day?
Nancy Kennedy (vice president for summer programs): “It was an amazingly, remarkably smooth Opening Day. Chewonki educator Emma Balazs made a presentation called ‘How to Be Present in Nature with one of our barred owls during dinner for Girls Campers and Wilderness Trippers. They loved it. And Megan Phillips [farm manager] had the girls felting beads to use in their bead ceremonies [during which campers receive beads for their accomplishments and/or personal strengths]. I noticed that there is a really nice mix of seasoned trippers and new kids. They pull different things from each other; each has something to offer, and it’s fun to see them together.”
Jen Adams (summer wilderness trip coordinator): “It went really well! The kids seem fantastic. We see a bit of everything: some parents and kids give each other a quick hug and they’re fine; for others, the good-bye is harder–but it’s usually more so for the parents. Shelly Gibson [team development coordinator] and Emily Bell-Hoerth [director of girls 10-day program] played some games on the orchard lawn to get everyone’s jitters out. That was terrific; it really broke the ice
Garth Altenburg (Boys Camp director): “It was one of the greatest, smoothest Opening Days ever. At dinner that night, I did what I always do: I visit each table and look each camper in the eye. Often there are some tears at that first dinner. This time I saw just one camper with a couple of tears–and now he is right in the flow. A wonderful start.”