Andrew (New Jersey) and Harold (Peru)
(Picture credits to Lior from Israel)
Meet the editors: Hi! We are Andrew and Harold, the second week blog editors. Andrew is from New Jersey and Harold is from Peru. Although we live thousands of miles away, we are passionate about sharing our experiences at camp.
The journey is only beginning -
As the second week comes to an end, it is clear that a community is forming. Although the weather was often gloomy, everyone's mood was not. On Sunday, the evening program explored the process of making art by putting campers in an uncomfortable situation: each camper was blindfolded and sent into the gym, which was covered in materials varying from paint to grains. Elijah (Utah) commented, “Although it was a different setting, the program was eye-opening and provided a unique experience.”
On Monday, we said goodbye to the thirty campers making the trip to the Red Hook campus. Even though it was sad to watch them leave, it also meant the beginning of a new community that would shape the three days to come. As Roshan (New Jersey) said, “Having less people at camp allows us to get to know each other better, and have a more intimate environment.” The evening program consisted of three games of Capture the Flag. Eventually, the game ended with a tie but it definitely brought the community closer and was a fun night to remember. The next day ended with a beautiful night of stargazing in the tennis court. Those who participated stayed up past midnight reflecting on life, shared horror stories, and learned new things. This week is proof that the CRS 2018 community is quickly transforming into a family.
Andrew (New Jersey)
It doesn’t matter where are you from, you are human -
At the beginning, it’s normal for campers to feel homesick, but time helps them adjust to the new environment and gain perspective. Looking past the challenges, campers have built strong friendships, respect among each other, and leadership skills turning this camp into a community.
This community provides the campers an opportunity to express their own ideas and feelings; having totally different cultural backgrounds makes this opportunity more significant.. No one is excluded, as there are no “popularity” contests, creating a safe space for all types of discussions. Every person has the opportunity to lead activities and it doesn’t matter where they come from or what is their way of thinking. We are humans, and that’s why we all have the opportunity of learning about this great experience known as Camp Rising Sun.
Interview with some campers:
Rodrigo “Lole” (Colombia): In the beginning it was a bit difficult to adapt to this camp even though I have a Colombian friend here. On the first week I was homesick – I missed my home, my family and my country. But when time passed I found new good friends who also helped me to start liking this place a lot.
Ramiro (Argentina): First I thought adjusting here would be harder since I am not used to sleeping in tents or being in a camp environment. But everything turned out to be better than I expected.
Adjusting to camp life can be hard in the beginning since it is also a mental process with many changes. For some campers using English instead of their first language can be a big challenge. But time always passes and time never stops – as Lior (Israel) said: “Only 16 days left guys”, or as David (Colombia) said: “Days are flying and we have to enjoy every single moment”.
On Wednesday, August 8th, our campers displayed their talents in the first variety show in the boys season, from dancing to acting and also musical performances, everything in a funny and respectful space, our campers performed the following acts:
Andrew and Minseop singing 눈 코 입 (New Jersey, Republic of Korea)
Harold singing and playing the guitar “No puedo amarte” and “Hoy” (Peru)
Rodrigo “Lole” dancing (Colombia)
Rodrigo, Marc and Eli comedy improv (Colombia, Puerto Rico, Utah)
Konrad, Fidel, Ramiro and Benedek tongue-twisters (Poland, Spain, Argentina, Hungary)
Yusen magic tricks (China)
Oskar, Evan and Fidel comedy improv (Norway, France, Spain)
Konrad solving the Rubik’s cube under 1 minute (Poland)
Sarah telling jokes (California, Counselor)
Zebadiah singing his own song (California)
Theodore “Teddy” singing and playing the guitar “Stay with me” and “Next to you” (New York)
Fidel, Zebadiah, Sjoerd M, Wyatt, Ramiro and Benedek “How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood song” (Spain, California, Netherlands, Vermont, Argentina, Hungary)
Sjoerd de Wit and Wyatt playing Sweet Child o’ Mine acoustic (Netherlands, Vermont)
David singing (Colombia)
Eli singing “Isabella” (Utah)
Using camp as a platform for important discussions -
To understand the importance of camp for us, one must have been a part of discussions that have taken place during the past weeks. The philosophical yet occasionally comedic tent talks bring together small groups of tent mates who share their life’s successes and pitfalls. These discussions, along with speeches at Council and wisdom circles, are the most important foundations of this community. On Tuesday, I had a meaningful conversation with a counselor, Olivia, on the possible upsides and downsides of a coeducational camp. It quickly turned into a discussion on toxic masculinity and its potential negative impact on the all-boys session. These kinds of discussions are tributes to camp’s purpose and help further tolerance and understanding between campers/counselors from different backgrounds.
Andrew (New Jersey)
Red Hook Hike - First Group:
On Monday, we said goodbye to thirty campers who journeyed to the old Red Hook camp. Rishab (New Jersey) shared his experiences:
Despite the amazing experience we had at Red Hook, the car ride was tons of fun. We listened to music and learned more about one another. Once at Red Hook, we played a game of catch with a fun twist of clapping before being able to catch the ball. Then, we stood in the old assembly ring where campers from almost a century ago used to stand, and had our own mini assembly. After that, we struggled to bring our luggage up and down the hills that led to the campsite. We set up tents and rushed to pick tent mates. Finally came lunch where we devoured the tuna wrap that we made back at Clinton. During free time, we played games that everyone was familiar with, and went on a tour of the main campus. We saw the old woodchopping areas and many people signed their names there. After dinner, we did teamworks as always and built a canopy to provide shade. At night, we played the mafia card game and chilled in our tents for an hour. Next day, we woke up and played a game of “I have.” Before the main activity, we had a mindful walk where we set our week’s goals and wrote down our feelings as we walked through nature. Next, we had three stations to be more knowledgeable of nature - Dan taught us about how to build benches and chairs, Raina taught about essential first aid, and Cameron taught us how to use compasses. Last, we played a huge game of Capture the Flag and everyone had fun because of how big Red Hook is. Afterwards, we had a reflection of the game and were pleasantly surprised by peach cobbler. The next day, we packed everything up, walked back, and pulled ticks out from some campers. Then, we started driving back and unexpectedly, we turned into this ice cream shop and everyone was treated to huge ice cream scoops.
Many campers shared the same fondness of the camping trip. It was an enlightening experience that allowed campers to appreciate both themselves and nature better.
Andrew (New Jersey)
Zebadiah is a second year camper who has demonstrated immense talent in the arts. Over the past two years, he has released his music on Spotify and has published a book that showcases over 400+ drawings of his classmates. Below is a link to his music and his book:
Interview with Leader of the Day, Rajvir:
How has your day been going so far?
Everything has been going smoothly so far. We’re really excited for everyone coming back from the camping trip - that’s really the theme of the day, bringing together the entire CRS community.
What do you think are the most important qualities of being a leader?
You need to be assertive yet caring and loving. You need to know what you’re bringing to the table and have a whole list of things to do. Each leader has a different weight and they have control over how the day proceeds. In my opinion, it’s impossible to answer this question because every leader is so different. For me, it’s all about the balance of kindness and authority.
Do you think you’ve been a good leader?
I’ve been doing okay, but it’s more of a group effort than an individual one. Both Samu and Ahmad have been a big help, and with the example set from past leaders of the day, I think this day is going to be something special.
List of instructions:
Baseball (Rajvir, New York; Ryan, California)
Intolerance (Fidel, Spain)
Dance and Vulnerability (LoleRodrigo, Colombia)
GMOs (Olivia, Colorado)
Arguments (David, Colombia)
American Government (Andrew, New Jersey)
Tango (Ramiro, Argentina)
Aviation world (Minseop, Republic of Korea)
Camp songs (Michael, Germany; Andor, Hungary)
Opportunities after camp (Weronika, Poland)
Life drawing (Zebadiah, California)
Basketball 101 (Bobby, San Francisco; Ethan, New York)
Language of leadership (Totti, Finland)