Experiencing Camp Collins
Camp Collins. Thirty hours of being together, facing new challenges and getting to know ourselves and each other in very new ways.
On Friday morning, the students were asked what mental images from the previous day’s experiences were standing out in their minds, they wrote the following:
The Giant’s Swing
It felt like freefall…
I decided to just wing it…
I thought it was the Danger Zone…
But I spread my arms and glided…
And went on…
And I pulled it…
In my ears
As I soared!
Giant Swing, Camp Collins
Right now I am sitting in Jessie’s Lodge writing in this notebook. Camp Collins was amazing! I really do feel like I can trust my friends more than I used to. I also trusted my friends a lot more when we went on the criss cross tight rope. When I was in the air on the giant swing I felt sizzle-y and sweaty with fear, but I pulled it (the cord to start the swing). I could hear my friends in the background saying, “Come on, PG! Just a little higher!” and I did go a little higher, but I didn’t go to the top and when I pulled the rope I swung back and forth. Camp Collins rocks!
We walked down the hill and approached the GIANT SWING. We started with mouse traps and tried different challenges until it was time. He showed us how the harness works and what you do. BK went first then SD then EJ then RC then me. I was all in my harness strapped in with my helmet and moo (he’s a rubber cow.) I climbed up the ladder and hooked in then I sat down and told the class how I wanted to be pulled. They listened. I was pulled up about halfway and then I let go. I was airborne! On the first swing, but the others died down. When I got down I couldn’t feel my legs. Everybody cheered. It made me happy. Thank you, class and Camp Collins.
I’m at the top.
“Okay, now just count to three and pull the green rope to swing!” Brad (our counselor) yells to me from below.
“You count!” I yell back.
“One, two, three!”
WHOOSH! I’m off.
I hear the wind whistle in my ears, and both groups cheering for me.
“Yes! I did it!”
My group lowers me back down, and I get a double high five from Levia.
“I am so coming back to Camp Collins,” I think to myself. “So coming back.”
My fingers touch the cord.
Am I really about to do this? Am I really going to yank this cord sending me into free fall from 75 feet in the air? Yes. Yes I am.
I pull the cord.
The criss cross is two tight ropes in a cross. We had to get everyone across. In the beginning: WK and KB holding hands across the space in between the two tight ropes, then they came back to bring SBM across in a triangle. They left SBM there and did the same thing with JP. Then SBM, KB and WK made a triangle to carefully bring HH back. Then they started on my side, the longer side.
In the Deer Cabin there is a loft. All the girls went into the loft and told secrets. It was awesome that we are all so open to each other. It was really cool.
How will these experiences translate into how we are with each other in the classroom?
What bridges will we intentionally build that will keep these feelings alive?
Is taking a risk in the classroom the same as taking a risk on a 70 foot high ropes element?
Is the success of the group in the classroom dependent on every member of the group paying attention and giving support?
How will we discover what gifts our classmates have and how they will support the rest of us in our work together?
And what about the magic of camp, the experience of eating and sleeping and living together in a community of our own creation, can we take with us back to school?
What is that magic?
ER: Opal 4. All together. All here, all paying attention, all contributing, all working.
NF: Here we let go of our issues and set our minds on being in it.
WK: We learned so much about each other! We spent the night with each other. Here you want to learn so much more about people. Here you know you’ll get the chance.
JP: Working together, it’s more. You have to push yourself more than at school.
RC: Being together for more than a day and night – all the time – you become stronger, especially when someone’s life is in your hands like in the high ropes.
SD: Like on the catwalk, you count on your community to get you across safely.
RC: The energy – when we hid by the deck and the glow stick party. It’s accomplishing together energy.
AA: It’s faith energy. Believing in the surroundings, believing in each other, believing that you’ll have a good time and believing that you’re safe.