Jul 23, 2019

Posted by: Emily Reilly

Embracing the Unexpected

The only predictable thing about the weather in Colorado is that it will be unpredictable. Luckily, we’re used to sudden weather changes here at camp, and even when an outdoor activity may not be possible, the excitement and fun of the day continue at the same level inside. For some campers, the back-pocket, rainy day activities are some of the most anticipated of the session, the fact that they come only every so often adding to the surprise and making them even more special.

Sunday was one of those stormy-weather days. The morning was just as warm as usual, the sun shining down to light the morning’s activities. On horses or mountain bikes, in the yurt for music or the Mo for drama, campers spread out around camp with water bottles in hand and sunscreen on their skin, ready to face the heat. The clouds that made their way over the horizon in the afternoon brought with them a reprieve from the temperature and the promise of one of those surprise rainy day programs. As the refreshing rain began to fall after dinner, the community made its way to the Mo for one of the most classic camp evening programs: Ranch Camp Idol! Each cabin worked together to create a lip-sync and dance to a song of their choosing, adding the finishing touches to their performance before going onstage and showing their friends their act! But Ranch Camp Idol has none of the judgement or competition of its namesake – passion and excitement are more important than talent, and the laughs of the other campers indicate everyone’s success.

A similar storm followed on Monday evening, the clouds that would soon give way to rainbows beginning to appear around dinnertime. Luckily, the scheduled program for the night was already meant to take place indoors – it was time for the Shuk! The perfect way to close out Israel Day, the Shuk is one of the most highly anticipated evening programs. Campers had been preparing all day to set up their station in the traditional Israeli market, and as they hung up their posters and set up their wares, the colors and energy in the Chad (or dining hall) perfectly mimicked the real thing. The room was soon full of excitement and cheer as campers took turns selling the goods they had worked so hard to produce, browsing the other tables in the meantime. With hot chocolate and brownies, nail painting and temporary tattoos, personalized bracelets and balloon animals, there was plenty to do and see, the Shuk over much too soon.

The schedule for the next week and a half is already full, so many experiences to be had and opportunities to share – but some of the most fulfilling times, the things that will stand out in memories, are not on the schedule. The unexpected and unplanned is always embraced here. Whether it’s a rainy-day program or a surprise raid from a sibling cabin, an impromptu song session or spontaneous game of gaga, the moments in between the planned ones often spark the most spirit and creativity. When thinking back to the summer many months from now, it is these memories that hold the strongest feeling of community, that will bring back the warmth of camp’s camaraderie.