Spirit Sticks and Sunburns

Today was just awesome!  Today my campers went to the Annual Association Field Day at one of our branches.

This was our second field trip, and overall things turned out pretty great.  The Association Field Day is where all of the Camps that are apart of our association gather together in one location to be together, be loud and proud and to play games together.  Today there were five of our branches in attendance.  We had a total of about 40 kids today.  We were small, but we were mighty.

I was kind of concerned about the weather, and another canceled trip, but they decided to go ahead.  When we got to our destination, we were a little lost, none of us had been to one of these before.  They started this several years, after I stopped working as a counselor at my other YMCA.  I met up with another camp director, and she was trying to get some answers as to where we should go.  After getting some answers, I took my kids to the port a potties for a bathroom break and to the gym to await the other camps to show up to start.  The weather wasn’t very cooperative at first, it wasn’t raining, it was misting, but it was enough to drive us inside.

We finally got things started and completed our opening ceremony and were off for lunch before games.  We were asked to plan a water game and a dry game to teach to the other camps as they rotated between stations, but that didn’t work out.  They decided that we weren’t going to do the water games, and that we would just fall in line with another camp and follow them.  There didn’t end up being a rotation, but we made do.

We played many a game with our campers and some of the other camps decided to join in our fun.  We played Bob the Weasel and it was so catchy that as I was doing my rounds between my groups I saw that other groups were playing as well.  We sang several camp songs and yelled numerous chants.  By 1:00 the sun was starting to peak through and the humidity began to rise and my campers got really tired and restless so I decided that we were going to play the games that I had planned to teach, which were some of our favorite games.  We started out with the leaky cup challenge.

You split your group up into two teams.  You need two cups with holes in them and four buckets, two filled with water. Your teams use the cups and fill them with water race to the other end of the boundary and put the remainder of the water in the empty bucket.  The team that fills the bucket up first wins, or in our case gets to dump the bucket of water on a counselor.  Our kids had so much fun that other camps wanted to join in.

We finished up around 2 and started heading to the bathrooms for our final bathroom break before hitting the bus and to hydrate after running around like crazy.  We took a giant all association picture.  And then we were told that we had to stay for closing ceremony.  So we gathered our campers up in the field behind the YMCA that we were at and waited.  They were getting restless again so we sang some more songs and yelled some more chants until the event coordinator came out to close out the day.  He took his spirit stick and played a chanting game with each branch, the higher the stick was in the air the louder we were to get, the lower to the ground the quieter we needed to be.  He thanked everyone for their participation and tallied up all of the points.  Then he said that there was one branch that showed great sportsmanship, were really excited and pumped up, good listeners, well-behaved and embodied the Four Core Values of the YMCA.  Can you guess who?  Before I tell you who, I want to explain what this all means.

Each year the Spirit Stick is awarded to Y Camp that meets the criteria listed above.  Since starting this, one branch almost always wins.  When you are awarded the Spirit Stick, you get to take it with you for the rest of summer, and bring it back next season for the next Association Field Day.  You also get to make your mark on it, and receive bragging rights among the association.

So if you guess my camp, your right!  Not only was it our first time attending the Field Day but it is also our first outing after becoming apart of the association!  I am so proud of my campers.  They were so excited.  None of them thought that they would get it.  So this weekend, I will be purchasing a Kelly green spoon of ribbon and a white or silver paint marker and making our mark on the Spirit Stick.  By the end of the day myself and some of the other counselors had a little bit of a sunburn on our faces, but when most of the day if over cast you don’t really think about using sun screen….o well…

field day 2

I am so proud of my campers.  They behaved very well today, the listened every time.  They were amazing.  Today was an amazing day!

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