Blog Editors: Emmi (Finland) and Alexa (Colorado)
Hello! My name is Alexa. I was born in Denver, Colorado, and I am 15 years old. I am a Latina-American girl who loves to dance and party. I think that this camp was, and will continue to be, one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I cried when I got accepted and now I am crying because I don't want to leave! I want to give a shout-out to my parents (Alejandro and Anabel) for being the best people in my life. I wouldn't have decided to come to Camp without your love and support. I love you guys a bunch <3!!!
Hi! My name’s Emmi, I’m 16 years old, and this is my first time using a computer in a month. I’m from Mikkeli, Finland, and I love to draw and paint. Camp has been an amazing experience that I’ll be forever grateful for. I’ve grown and learned so much here. I’m not afraid of bugs anymore, I can identify people by their flip flops, and I now finally understand the importance of hydration. I’m so excited to be working on the blog this week!
On Friday, the 2019 campers of CRS had their first cultural night, where they got to show off their country's national clothing and attire to the whole camp. Following that was a fashion show where every camper got to choose a song to walk down the run-way to. In the middle of the program, campers enjoyed various cultural snacks.
This Monday was Vigils, a time for campers to reflect on their experience at CRS by writing letters to themselves and keeping a fire in the woods. Many campers are very excited for this experience, because they get a chance to have a little alone time compared to their busy and crazy lives in Camp. This is a great reflective activity. The day of Vigils, campers worked very hard to chop wood and take water and resources into the forest so they were fully prepared for the scary but exciting night.
Interview with Jessica (New York)
What did you do in preparation for Vigils?
I did so many things! I chopped wood and carried the wood into the woods. I did not like it, but I knew it was necessary.
Were you scared? Why, why not?
No, not at first. But when I couldn’t make a fire after two hours, I got a little scared.
Did the situation help you reflect your life? Are you happy with your letter?
I did not finish my letter, because I kept falling asleep. The last thing I wrote to myself was “I’m sorry. I fell asleep.”
Did this night teach you anything?
That you need a lot of bug spray when you go into the woods.
Cameron’s Radio Show
On Tuesday morning, four campers took part in a local radio show hosted by our groundskeeper, Cameron. Read about their experience below:
The environment inside the room during the radio show was so different, I felt important sitting in front of the mic. They asked general questions about our experience, the worst and the best parts of the Camp, about our cultures, and where we come from. I was so excited to answer the questions in a spontaneous way. We also had a caller during the show and she was so thrilled to know that most of us spoke more than two languages! I talked about how we all are so different from each other in terms of our traditions, cultures, etc. but yet we share so much in common. We can laugh at the same silly jokes, we all love to dance and we can even share the same taste in music.
During the radio show we talked about our differences at home compared to Camp and our favourite part of CRS. I really enjoyed our karaoke party and Vigils. I talked about how I’m going to be sad when I leave all of the new friends I’ve made.
On Saturday, campers were divided into four groups and given one hour to make a short film about anything they wanted. The twist was that they had to incorporate a list of props given to them by the counselors and work within pre-assigned roles. Campers could either be a director, producer, actor, screenwriter, costume artist, or lighting artist. The next day, campers hosted the first ever Camp Rising Sun-Dance Film Festival where the whole community got to watch the funny short videos.
Counselors organized a bonfire for the campers filled with s’mores and singing. This was a time for campers to spend quality time with their friends and counselors. Many campers had bittersweet reactions to this Evening Program because it reminded them that their time at Camp is coming to a close.
Tuesday’s evening program was one to go down in history. It was the first Camp Rising Sun Olympics. Campers were placed into groups to compete in a variety of games that encouraged campers to test their wits and have a good laugh. This Evening Program was led by the leaders of the week, who hope that this new event may become a tradition in CRS history.
Wednesday night we had the last and final council for the 2019 campers. In this so called Ghost Stone council campers had a chance to start saying goodbye to their fellow campers, and it gave campers the chance to say quick words to their campers before they leave home.
Vigil night preparation
Staff: Going Home
Mawada: How to Use Resources Wisely in Art
Asta, Ida and Solveig: Scandinavia
Ankita,Melika and Meeri:
Microaggressions and Racism
Lucia: How to Become Ambidextrous
Mads and Justin: Art and Ethics
Solveig: Political Dilemmas
Maya: Intro to Business
Pema and Kaitlin: Socratic Seminar
Raina: Intersectional Feminism
By Mawada (NYC/Egypt)
When Cameron first proposed the idea of completely rebuilding the bridge, I was mind blown. CRS is probably the first time I got to use a hammer, so the idea of a bridge was just crazy to me. When we began brainstorming and reusing the wood from an old tent platform, I was so excited and surprised by my own, as well as my fellow campers’, capabilities. We were always motivated by our fellow campers and counselors. We had lots of fun building the bridge, going into the creek, and best of all, learning from one another. At Camp, we learned to appreciate the process rather than focus too much on the product, and that idea was reinforced while building the bridge. It was such a cool experience, and I’m so glad to see that all our hard work and long project hours finally paid off. Not many people get to say they built a bridge over the summer, but I certainly can.
Campers have mixed feelings about going home: many are sad about the fact that four weeks went so fast, but others are excited to see their family and friends. CRS is really all about what you make of it. Campers have made life-time friends, exchanging numbers, making travel plans, and many other things. CRS is really a once in a lifetime opportunity to form great relationships that will bloom and continue to grow. But the most important thing to realize is that every camper leaves CRS with memories, good and bad. We will always take home the fun we had at Camp.
“I want to go back to the real world, but I also don’t”
-Katie (New York)
“I really enjoyed being at Camp. For me it was a perfect place to meet like-minded peers from all over the world, to enjoy nature, to have fun and to explore myself and my interests and to become prepared to make a difference. I'm very happy and I'm thankful for having this great opportunity.”
Letters from Camp:
Hi Baba, Mama, John and George ~
Camp is almost over, and I now realize that I don’t want to leave my new friends. I’m excited to see you all soon and to tell you all about my adventures!
Hola Mami y Papi,
Ya pronto los veremos y estoy muy emocionada para verlos otra vez, los extraño mucho, pero tambien voy a extrañar a todas mis amigas que hice en este campamento, y tienen que comprar los ticket para el visitor day, los veo pronto!
Con mucho amor (su hija), Alexa Sofia Mendoza. :)
Hi! I have done streaking and wood chopping and I am less scared of bugs.
Hej:) Jeg nyder virkelig de sidste dage på campen. Det her sted bliver ved med at overraske og det er krøbet ind under huden på os alle sammen. Alle menneskene er mit andet hjem og jeg ved jeg altid ville have dem med mig. Camp begynder først når vi er kommet hjem igen.
Hi mom I miss you! I will be home so soon.
Hei mamma og pappa!
Jeg overlevde en natt i skogen alene.
Je vous aime! On se voit bientôt inchallah!
亲爱的爸爸妈妈, 这个夏天将是我人生中再也不会体验到的, 我获得了无数的快乐,经历了无数的第一次, 十分不舍得离开这个世外桃源,但同时也非常想你们, 马上就要见到你们了!