The Sierra Friends Camps are in Full Swing!
Twenty-five excited, enthusiastic youngsters are living, learning and playing at the Woolman School for two weeks at a time, led by an equally enthusiastic group of counselors. I sat down with Brian Loo and Gavin Edgarton, two of the nine counselors, to get a sense of what the program was like. Once they got started, they couldn’t say enough about it. The kids live in the cabins on campus and get an early start on the day after being awakened by the counselors serenading them with songs like “Good Morning Sunshine”, which they admitted was quite a bit off key. Every day is full of activities, from hiking to swimming, to working to playing.
They went hiking and camping at the Sierra Buttes near Downieville for three days and two nights. They had a “Theme Day” where the theme was “Time Travel”, and everyone had to stay in character all day, either as a cave man or a samurai. They went swimming in the pond and then covered themselves with mud like elephants for the walk back to campus. They went to the “Independence Trail” on the Yuba River (the first wheel-chair accessible trail in the United States) and hacked away at the brush that was encroaching on the trail.
I sat with Woolman campers Gabe, Nina and Didi at lunch and asked them what they liked about camp. Their replies: “The food is Awesome.” “I love the counselors.” “We learned how to swing dance.” “We got to see tadpoles in the pond in every stage of development.” “I’ve made six new, wonderful friends.” Mark Runyan, another counselor, who came to Woolman with his parents to a work camp at the ripe old age of two, was a camper for two summers, and a semester student in 2009, told me being a camp counselor wasn’t really a job, it was more like playing.
All in all camp has been a rousing success and a lot of fun for both campers and counselors. All of them have acquired memories that will be with them for a lifetime.