To say the summer of 2016 was "interesting" or even "exciting" is putting it mildly at best. This season we had some of the best camps ever! Our staff & volunteer crew was marvelous, our campers were outstanding and the classes were better than ever! We had our share of challenges too. Here's a brief recap for those of you who'd like a glimpse at summer 2016...
For Fathers Day, we kicked off the summer camping season with a handful of dads, sons, brothers and other stong and mighty men. The camp was led by our very own Bo Hewett and it was a fine beginning to a truly epic summer at Turtle Island. We had glorious weather and classes including blacksmithing and barnyard lessons with Eustace. Young Boys Camp followed with a week full of learning and laughter among old friends and new.
The kitchen helpers and volunteers made it a smooth and delicious experience to boot. Special thanks goes out to Chef Matt as well as Volunteer Leslie and older girls campers Madi and Lyra who rocked the kitchen tirelessly. Our volunteers are truly the lifeblood of TI and make our camps possible! Thank you to all of you out there that plugged in with us this summer!
Older Boys Camp was a thrilling 14 days of boys just being boys in the woods - not an electronic device in sight. We loved getting all dressed up to host a fancy candle-lit feast mid-session and our 2nd annual "Turtle Highland Games" was a raging success in categories that ranged from team fire-craft to blindfolded swordsmanship. We held space for moments of meaningful brotherhood and ceremony too. Teamwork and creativity were hallmarks of this session.
A first in camp history, was an unannounced windy visitor. What local meteorologists called "straight-winds" - arrived in our camp in the form of a funnel that pummelled our forests and a few buildings, but thankfully left all campers and creatures unscathed. These two weeks came and went like a whirlwind... quite literally!
Girls Camp was also a time for amazing adventure, excitement and fun. Returning campers, staff and volunteers welcomed new faces and friendships were formed for life. Our girls two weeks were peppered with visiting unicycling & juggling flow artists, and classes in blacksmithing, henna, natural dyes & body-care product making, cob-oven building, wood-burning, jewelry crafting, & leatherworking just to name a few. We hiked to the waterfall and swam in the cool waters. We made beatiful art and sang our little hearts out. We had so many interesting visitors and teachers and the campers themselves were creative, friendly and full of spirit!
The older girls got to stay-on for a second week where we camped out under the stars and hiked all the way to the blue hole. Just like the older boys camp - us gals had ourselves a formal feast night as well, replete with dress-up, fancy decorations, songs and music too. We cooked amazing treats in our new-fangled cobb oven and we had an amazing sweat-lodge with our very own Janice Durand. We certainly shed our fair share of tears with the unexpected passing of our fallen comrade Sampson - the beloved german shepherd companion of our camp leader Desere.
One of proudest moments this summer as a whole, is that not one, ...but TWO girls-campers acheived honor-shirt challenges this session! Go Eden and Madi!!! All in all we sure did have ourselves a mighty fine summer. Now that we're already closing in on season's end - there are countless stories to reflect back upon and lots of tales are already being shared around campfires as the many friends and family that visited this summer, recount the exciting adventures that happened while here this past camping season. We hope you all keep in touch throughout the cooler months to come.
As we recover from the wild and wooley events of summer, We'll be offering fall workshops in hide tanning and blacksmithing and looking forward to creating new memories in 2017. Don't forget to light your candle on the eve of December 24th, as we cast a circle of light around the globe in remembrance of one another and the magic we create here together. Be well friends!