As a first year camper, the first day at Camp Voyageur is always a nerve-racking experience. Campers are often shy, self-conscious and reserved, and they experience these feelings for good reason, as they’re in a new environment separated from the comforts of their family, friends and home-routine. Surrounded by unfamiliar territory and people, every camper is forced into the discomforts of new experiences, and by the time they leave camp, whether it’s been 12 days, 4 weeks or an entire 8 week summer, each and every camper, in some form, will find they’re place in the wildly unpredictable comforts of the “camp crazy” phenomenon. We exagerate the attitude of insane characters, perform ridiculous evening programs and skits and just generally fall into the goofiest of personalities, because laughing at yourself or making others laugh is one of the best ways to introduce comfort.
Just last year, I played a character for the highly anticipated and extraordinarily amusing “Clue,” which is one our evening programs, where I stood out on our soccer-field shirtless, covered in sharpie runes and screamed into the sky like a raving madman. Shortly after, I appeared on the mess-hall stage reciting Shakespeare while wearing a heavily powdered wig and with every word I spoke, powder clouded the air in a beautiful puff of hilarity. The best part is that this type of behavior is consistent through all counselors, and spreads like a wild-fire among campers. Acting goofy is a Camp Voyageur expectation which is enjoyed by any and all who set foot on the CV peninsula.
I think it’s also important to know that Dylan Jackson’s process for writing this blog included a refusal to write on anything other than “weathered” paper. So, Dylan, calmly and rationally crumpled up a piece of paper, dipped it in his coffee and hung the properly “weathered” paper over a tree branch to dry. Once the paper was torn, dirtied and horribly wrinkled, then, and only then, would he write his blog-post.
Although camp is mostly fun and games, we also expect everyone at CV to continue as respectful and responsible individuals. We clean our teeth in the morning before breakfast and at night before bed, we maintain good hygiene, we respect ourselves as well as others and we always carry our fair share on the trail. I think the great balance of fun coinciding with responsibility is a large part why I, and many others have dedicated so many of our summers to the Camp Voyageur experience. There are so many benefits of a wilderness adventure camp. I’ve been at CV since 2011 and at this moment, I can’t imagine a summer away.