Junior Session is in full swing!

Greetings from Hilltop, and a beautiful August day on Orcas Island. Junior Session is in full swing, and the campers are having a ball.

As I write this, we’re having Pirate Day. At announcements after lunch, our Associate Director Danielle and Head Counselor Daisy were kidnapped by surly pirates (the Carlyn crew). The campers are all over camp going through pirate training so they can defeat the Carlyn crew and get Daisy and Danielle back to doing their thing in camp.

This stuff is just fantastic for Junior Session. If we’re being honest, sometimes our older campers need a little encouragement to let go and let their imaginations fly. Not at Junior Session. You go to them with an adventure like the one I just laid out, and they’re all over it. As the pirates took Danielle and Daisy away, campers were on their feet, shaking their fists, and ready to dive into pirate training all afternoon.

That’s Junior Session in a nutshell. The kids are here to play. Fortunately, we’ve got lots of playing for them to do. In addition to things like Pirate Day, we have our amazing activity areas, wonderful evening activities, and wonderful counselors who are there to guide the fun.

Particularly after this year spent in far too much solitude, with too much time on screens, this type of old-fashioned, communal fun is just amazing. Around every corner, there’s a new thing to learn and explore, and the campers are eating it up.

For those of us used to the rhythms of a four-week session, Junior Session really flies by. It’s hard to believe we’re already at the halfway point. But, the point of this is not to satisfy the rhythms the adults are used to, it’s to give these campers a first experience away from home that’s fun, successful, and begins to introduce them to Four Winds traditions and ways of doing things. Junior Session is a completely different animal than our four-week session. One is not just 25% of the other. But, for the Junior Session campers that do come to our four-week session in the future, they’ll have worn our uniforms, slept in our cabins, eaten on our Lodge Deck, learned some camp songs, and myriad other small things that will help them to feel ready and more comfortable. Most of all, they’ll have had a successful experience away from home. That success will naturally cause them to wonder what else they can accomplish. Whether or not they come to a four-week session, that’s incredibly valuable for them.

But, for now, the focus is on fun. We’ll rescue Danielle and Daisy, and then get back to the last few days of Junior Session. For the adults, it will fly by. For the kids, they’ll be immersed in adventure, and we’ll send them home ready for the school year, singing songs, perhaps seeming to stand a few inches taller. Thank you for sharing them with us this week. We’ll keep posting daily updates on Twitter, and look forward to you seeing their smiles on Saturday.