Last night was one of those magical nights of camp.
Our evening program was putting on the hits. Learn more about it here: https://birchtrail.com/dancing-and-conflict/
This session’s dances were amazing. Sure, our campers have some dance skills, but what really happened is that they needed to work together to create, practice and perfect these dances. While this was happening they grew as a team and a cabin family.
Check out the photos, and you will see the fun they had. What made the night magical for me was that the older kids showed the younger kids how to work as a team by including all 30 or 40 kids in their cabins in their highly choreographed dance routines. Each camper had an equal role, and the dances were amazing. The campers each picked numbers for the parts in the dance, every camper had a solo and they really showcased our no meals girls philosophy by including every member of the cabin equally and in a fair, fun and friendly way.
Later on that night we had our wake up for TIAD, our second session color wars. For many of our campers TIAD is their favorite two days of the session. The two days are filled with friendly competition, tons of cheering and lots and lots of sprit. The outfits are crazy- the girls really get into dressing in their colors and take it to a whole new level. There are so many traditions and special events that you can practically feel the history and cheers of campers who have come before you. TIAD is started with a secret, middle of the night wake up. Not to give anything away, but imagine the whole staff working together in unison to coordinate a surprise for the entire camp population. The surprise culminates in the entire camp ending up in one location under the tall trees and night stars. Each camper walks walks in unison, part of a larger process, singing a legendary song about Birch Trail.
It’s a truly magical night, followed by two days of cheering, teamwork, leadership and the bonding of new friends. While the campers may not spend their days with their cabin mates, they make new friends with the girls on their teams. This increases the fellowship of our campers who yesterday were acquaintances but today are trusted teammates.
There is still plenty of bonding in the cabin group as well. Each camper changes teams from year to year. We do this to foster cooperation and sharing among our campers. Since campers don’t bring full outfits in every color, it’s fun to go from friend to friend, cabin to cabin and borrow clothing. This also increases their ability to communicate, work together, reach out to other and share their own possessions with their community. Of course, the campers have no idea they are learning about teamwork, sharing and friendship- they just think it’s all part of color wars!