The Friends Camp Experience
For me, Friends Camp could never be summed up into one word, but I think just the feeling of going there and experiencing it explains it all. Whenever someone asks me about the Friends camp I go to, I usually say it is indescribable. From the amazing counselors, to the electives and activities, it is an experience of a lifetime. I honestly could not think of a better way to spend two or more weeks of my summer. The community and friendship just makes you want to keep coming back again and again. I enjoy a lot of the free time and the singing. The memories stay with you all year long, and when you get to the next year at the camp and you can’t wait to talk about all the great stuff that happened the year before, then something else totally exciting happens. You definitely leave Friends Camp with something more then you came there with, because the people there are so astonishingly wonderful that they give you almost like another place to call home. Every year Friends Camp keeps amazing me more.
The Log Swing
The log swing is the common meeting place for anyone and everyone at Friends Camp. If you walked around Big Bird at breakfast, you’d hear “Meet me at the log swing” at least three times. The log swing is a log hanging between two trees. There are benches and chairs around the log swing so you can talk to whoever is there. Also, a counselor is always there, usually one who is singing or playing a guitar.
Waterfront has always been one of my favorite parts of Friends Camp. Probably because I have always loved water, but in general, it’s fun and a good hang-out time. Waterfront is about two hours long, but it goes by very quickly. The swimming area is great, and on a hot day – which usually happens in summer – it is a relief to cool off in the water. If you don’t like swimming, there are other options. There is canoeing, volleyball net, tetherball, ping-pong tables, or you could just sit and write letters, read, or talk with your friends.
The Variety Show
This year in the variety show (It is not a talent show) we had impersonations, songs, dances, surprises, and downright fun. No matter what your act is, you are accepted into the show, as long as it doesn’t take too long. Another thing is just be ready to share your special skills or talents with all the wonderful people around you.
Age is not important!
Oh yeah, one other thing, don’t think that because you’re the youngest or shortest or tallest that you won’t have friends. This past year I was the second youngest kid in Fox camp, and I had the most fun out of all my friends. And I know from experience that no matter what age you start you will always have fun. I hope you have just as much fun as I do when I go.
Why I go to Friends Camp?
Friends Camp is a place where you meet other people who want to meet you, and I really mean that. They want to meet you, not some person you are trying to be, and that’s what makes it all feel so much like home. So many people have found happiness at Friends Camp, not because it changed them, but I think it’s because they found themselves and were able to have fun being themselves there. It’s an environment of love, fun, and people just being people.
The Musical Soiree
The musical soiree is a much anticipated Friends Camp tradition. During the second week of each session, sometimes on Thursday night, there is a musical soiree. This event is not a dance. That is for sure. There is no pressure whatsoever to have a date, get all dressed up, or even dance – although dancing is encouraged. Music ranging from the 70s to modern pop is played in order for everyone to have a little of what they like. The point of the soiree is for everyone to have fun, have time to hang with your friends, or dance your feet off.
Love Wars are a fun way to show another cabin that you care. Organizing stunts or pranks with your cabin can be one of the funniest things at Friends Camp. I remember covering a cabin in paper hearts, singing songs to them, and going stargazing. Before you know it, all of Friends Camp will be tied up in love wars. At the end of camp, you can look forward to having great friendships with a cabin you might not have otherwise been friends with.
I enjoyed vespers the most out of all the activities at Friends Camp. This activity took place every evening when the sun was setting. It’s a time to relax and think about the day that had just passed. The place where we watch the sunset is on an open field overlooking a lake and the horizon in the distance. Friends Camp is located in Maine, and it’s just so beautiful there that the sunsets are out of this world. It’s also fun because you just sit there away from everyone for around 20 minutes and hear nothing but birds, insects, warm calm wind, and occasional cars passing in the distance. Once you have relaxed for a while and cleared your thoughts of any negativity, everyone stands up and we all give each other hugs; whether you know everyone or you’re friends with them or not, you still have the chance to give them a hug. That was another thing about Friends Camp that I enjoyed: how we hugged each other after every form of worship and it just seemed it was like a big family.
A Poem about Vespers by Elisabeth Sorrows
Quiet settles over us
Like a blanket
Peace falls over the camp
I look up at the golden glow
Lighting up the sky
The yellow sliver of the sun
Peeks over the mountains
An orange glow around the sun
Then the pink emanates from behind the clouds
Then changing to create a purple hue
I find the quiet inside me
Last Night Campfire
One of the best things about Friends Camp is the last night campfire; not only do we get to stay up late, but also we get to share our thoughts about Friends Camp with everybody else. Then, when the fire is dying down, we all get to roast marshmallows and talk and thank each other and once again have fun.