Senior Campfire

You know what’s great? Let me tell you something that’s great. It’s great when you have to adjust your plans, and everything works out perfectly anyway. Here’s what happened.

Last night was supposed to be a Senior Campfire: the younger kids went bowling, and everybody else had the camp to ourselves. I was in charge of planning things, and I had hoped to have a pool party, but it was actually like -95 degrees out (by which I mean, like, 60), and the campers’ grumbling let me know that a pool party might not go over too well. So we all bundled up in sweatshirts and blankets and headed down to the lake.

First we did nature portraits. I was introduced to this phenomenon at camp this summer, and it’s now one of my favorite things to do at a campfire. With your cabin, you use rocks and sticks and other nature-type items to construct a likeness of your counselor. I gave everybody fifteen minutes, put on some music and let them work.

Cabins H, 7 and 8 got right to work, being 13 and more likely to get into things like nature portraits, and Boys Tents and Girls Tents stood around and chatted for the first ten minutes. Nevertheless, everybody came out with a really awesome, super creative portrait. Cabin H had chosen Shelby, and using sticks and grass they’d shown her Rollins sweatshirt, and her blond hair. Cabins 7 & 8, working as a team, had created their counselor Stephen as a Minecraft character: he was boxy, and he held a bow, because Stephen teaches archery here at camp.

Boys Tents had deviated from the norm of making a two-dimensional stick-figure on the ground by creating a smaller counselor-doll of Jackson. Nature-Jackson had red hair, and that was pretty much his only distinguishing characteristic. Boys Tents didn’t win the competition. Girls Tents should have won (but only because they made me and I’m biased): I was smiling, because I’m always happy, and, using grass clippings, they got my lopsided pixie cut just right.

After S’mores, we got really into a trivia game.  The questions were a bizarre mix of factoids we counselors happened to know. What is the newest country? What is the chemical name for table salt? What was Emma’s first year working at camp? In what year was the first battle of the Revolutionary War? What kind of dog is Dyson? What is Theresa’s major in college? 78 won by a landslide, probably more because they were louder than because they knew more answers, and we all gathered around the fire to dance and sway to quiet campfire music.

It really was a beautiful night. As darkness fell and the mood became more contemplative, we turned to stargazing. The moon was just beginning to wane, and every few minutes a meteor would streak across the sky. The fire turned to coals. Wrapped in blankets, hooking arms around one another, we hiked back up to camp as the stars continued to spin above our heads.