Wow! My whole group just had a blast at camp Oty’Okwa. I will admit, when Tim, our councelor, first said who was in our group, nobody was all that happy. Nobody was with their true best friends. I think all the groups were somewhat disappointed, and we all wished that we got to pick our own groups, including me. How would we get through camp? Well, as we progressed through camp, we all came together and became friends. This may have taken some time, but I think it paid off in the end. The following explains how our time at camp went.
By the end of our first class, I think our group started to have second thoughts. I don’t think the whole group was completely happy, but I think the first class definitely started to change things. In that class, everybody started to come together a little more. I think more friends were made, but also some people still were not very comfortable with the rest of the group. By the way, our first class was a challenge where the group had to work together to find things by using a compass and different hints that were given to us. Having this as our first activity, instead of Stream Study, was an advantage for our group because this activity was a good way for us to get to know each other better. It also helped us all to become closer friends sooner. Don’t get me wrong, the Stream Study activity was very fun, but in that activity each person kind of just worked alone, rather than working together as a group. So, that is why I think we were lucky to get the Compass activity first and the Stream Study towards the end of camp.
By the end of lunch on the first day, most people were pretty comfortable with one another, and everybody was starting to get more social. On the other hand, I still believe that, although our group was starting to become more open with one another, most people, including me, were at least slightly uncomfortable.
In our evening activity, we had Pioneering and Native village. In this activity, we had to go through the forest and we found boxes along the way. At each box, we had to answer questions. We kept finding boxes and answering questions until we got to Native Village. Answering the questions and walking to Native Village did not really help our group come together as much as lunch and the morning activity did, but we all decided it was better than nothing. Once we got to Native Village, everybody was excited because we got to see a whole bunch of artifacts from a long time ago. Also, it showed what the village looked like and how the buildings were made. Another thing we did in the Native Village was make a sac-like thing that the natives used to carry medicine. This item was called a “Medicine Pouch.”
Directly after leaving Native Village, we went to our Pioneering class. This helped us all become even better friends, and it helped us all to be as comfortable as possible with each other. I think this because we did a group activity where we went into a house/store, and we had two-hundred dollars, that we had saved up for many years, that we used to buy supplies we needed to travel west. We had to spend every penny of the money, and we could not leave anything behind. This helped because we had to make decisions as a group, and we all shared our opinions. Talking out to the group and saying what we felt helped a lot because we were not just sitting back and being shy. Instead, we were talking out and expressing ourselves. As a group, we agreed that this activity was a huge step in coming together as friends.
By dinner, we were all very comfortable. I think this is because everybody was smiling and talking to everybody. Also, nobody was afraid to say what they thought because it felt like we were all friends from the beginning. Nobody was afraid to make jokes, and nobody was afraid to be themselves. Actually, I bet from a teachers standpoint, if they did not know anything about what we were doing and they only knew we were at sixth grade camp and had groups, that they would think we picked our own groups because we were all getting along so well.
After our first dinner at camp Oty’Okwa, we had skit practice. Basically, we just stayed in our trail groups, and we started by deciding, as a group, what skit we wanted to do. I think that this activity was the nail in the coffin. As a group, we agreed that this activity was another fun activity where you could just be yourself. That is why I say it was the nail in the coffin. If you do not know what that means, it means it was like the final piece of us coming together as a group.
After skit practice, day one was basically over. All we did after that was have about fifteen minutes of free time, and then we went back to the dinning hall to have a snack with our trail groups. At snack the first day, everybody was all excited about the skits. That was the main subject that people talked about up until we went to bed. Anyways, we were all talking about how funny acting out the skits would be, trying to guess what other groups skits were, and talking about how to improve our own skit.
After snack, we did one of the most fun activities of our whole stay at camp. As a group, we agreed that the sing along after snack was a BLAST!!! Yes, there was a ton of fun things going on at camp, but we thought the sing along was so fun because everybody was just willing to sing, jump around, and be themselves. That is why we thought the sing along was so fun.
After sing along, day one of our great stay at camp was over. We had to go back to our bunk houses, where we could get showers if we wanted, but then it was lights out for the night.
We decided, as a group, that day two was hands down the most fun. All of us thought this because by then we were all like best freinds. It seemed like we were best friends from the begining, and that just made it so much easier to have fun. On day two, we got up, and then we ate breakfast. Then, our morning activity, which was stream study, was kind of miserable because of how cold and wet it was. Aside from the cold and wet, we still found ways to have a lot of fun. After the stream study activity, we had about fifteen minutes of free time, and then we ate lunch. It was the same as day one after lunch. We did our evining activity, went to dinner, practiced doing our skits, and then went to the snack. We all had so much fun joking around and learning new things at camp. After snack, we did something a little different. We had a nice little assembly about snakes. Everybody thought it was so cool because their were some really big snakes and we learned a lot of new information. Well, that was pretty much it for day two because it was time for everyone to go back to the bunk house for lights out.
Day three was our last half day of camp. We did our morning activity, which was really fun. There was a rock wall, and we had initiatives to reach as a team. For the first hour and a half, we did the rock wall. One person would start to climb, and he or she would have a balley team to hold them up and make sure the person climbing did not fall. This was a very encourageing and team building exersise. We were all cheering one another on and giving a lot of support. Well, initiatives was really fun too. At first, we had to sign a contract, with a bunch of rules, that stated we would work as a team and not complain. The best part of this was when we got to play tank commander. In this activity, the person who was the tank had to put a blindfold on, and the other person had to try to tell them where to throw little balls so that he or she could hit the other tanks.
Okay, this is our last lunch at camp. We really made the most of it, and as a group we thought they saved the best meal for last. PIZZA! It was really good, and we were all just eating, having fun, and making jokes. Now, this is the very last part of camp. We had to go up to the activity center where we got a lot of free time. Then, the teachers handed out some last prizes, and they made sure that we all won sometinng. Well, then it was time to go back home. Most of us were tired, so we said our last thank yous, and then we left. That is how sixth grade camp went, and how we all came together as friends while we were there.