Second Session has begun and we are in full swing! The weather has been sunny, the weather has been rainy, but regardless, we are still out around Crystal Lake living our best lives and expressing God in every aspect of every activity! We are now in the habit of translating all our instructions and activities in not only English and Spanish, but Portuguese! The campers from Brazil have arrived and livened up our daily activities, and we are so excited to continue cultivating our global community!
Our first night was a bit clouded by thunder, which hindered the riding and swim tests, but we persevered and were able to sing some fun, iconic Crystal Lake songs in Alford Hall while we waited for dinner to be ready – anyone remember the Three Little Muffins and the MILK songs?
The cabins are a little mixed up this year in Boys’ Camp, for future clarification. We have more younger campers than older ones, so the older campers are in Dunwoody and the younger campers are in Norman. It took a bit of getting used to, especially when you look up expecting to see some taller boys only to have to look down instead, but we’ve easily settled into this new format and are ready to take on the session!
The first day we all gathered for church and Sunday School. We had three church services – English, Spanish, and Portuguese – and multiple Sunday School classes that spread out over the camp property to enjoy the sunshine. Once the services and classes were over, we all gathered together to mark out book for the Bible Lesson Sacrament.
The afternoon we were blessed with some gorgeous sunshine, which allowed us to enjoy the Activity Fair! The classes being offered this session are: boating, soccer, archery, arts & crafts, horseback riding (Hands-On-Horsemanship), frisbee, dance, volleyball, water sports, baking, basketball, and flag football.
So many fun options to choose from! There are also multiple swim classes taking place throughout the day, and of course, the infamous fifth periods which change every day!
Last night’s evening activity was, of course, Barn Dance, and the Alford Hall was filled with blasting music of Cotton Eye Joe and, to our surprise, the Hoedown Throwdown! We learned a couple new dances, played a couple traditional games, and Big Wind Blowed our way right down to the hayride that Scott provided for us up and down the camp road.
We had our first Metaphysical Activity Period (MAP) of the session led by our Social Media Director and Photographer Zoë (aka me; hello!) which focused on Mrs. Eddy’s article ‘Taking Offense’ in Miscellaneous Writings. This MAP workshop had three sections which started with the first being the campers and staff sitting as cabins and reading through the article. They were asked to think on and discuss afterwards the following question – What does it mean to be “whole-souled” as Mrs. Eddy mentions at the end of the article.
We then compiled a list of the characteristics and qualities we possess daily that allow us to be God’s perfect reflection throughout our day. The campers all shared their favorite qualities from their discussion section, and then we began to delve deeper into the phrase from ‘Taking Offense’ that says we should have an “appreciation for everything beautiful, great, and good.”
It was then that we spoke of the importance of daily and continuous gratitude.
We worked with why gratitude is so pertinent to our daily lives and how it can help us combat the “mentally barbed arrows” Mrs. Eddy mentions. Once we had discussed some of the positive impacts gratitude can have on our day-to-day life – not just at camp, but during the year as well.
For the rest of MAP, the campers all spent some time decorating and personalizing gratitude journals which they will have with them for the rest of the session/until they’re full, which the cabins can use as a daily reminder to express gratitude and reflect on the metaphysical sessions the cabins have every morning during their Quiet Hour with the Bible Lesson.
I know I’m biased, because I ran it, but the MAP was a great intro into our first day of classes that followed. The sun was shining and though there were a couple clouds in the sky, all the activities ran smoothly. We were even able to open the rock wall for fifth period! Climbing with joy the heights of mind, am I right?
Tonight was Vespers, and we enjoyed a lovely Sing-spiration of hymns from both the original hymnal, and the new grey supplement. There were even a couple renditions in Portuguese and Spanish that we were able to sing!
Tomorrow is a new day and another fun one filled with classes and ending with …… Council Fire! All the new campers have been given their clan, so we’ll have many more turkeys, bears, wolves and turtles to partake in the fun! If you’re interested in keeping up with the photos from this session, Second Session, then a new album in SmugMug has been made for you to keep up to date with the new photos as they’re all coming in! I’m updating the SmugMug page at least four times a day, and you can also find constantly, more consistent updates of activities as they are happening on our Facebook and Instagram stories! All the links can be found on our website!
We’re super stoked for Second Session and excited to share all the goodness that comes along!
Social Media Director/Camp Photographer