Rewilding on the all-day exploration

Rewilding on the all-day exploration

Rewilding on the all-day exploration- Camp Ondessonk

By Sara Bell Clifford

Have you ever watched the smile spread across a tween boy’s face when he learns he can make noise with only a blade of grass?

Within minutes, half the unit of Daniel was honking, squeaking and trumpeting, as the fine art of grass horn-making was passed from staff member, to boy, to boy, to boy. It sounded like a herd of dying elephant-geese was storming Trigg Tower.

“I love teaching other people’s units to make noise,” said hike leader Will, who lives in Chiwatenhwa, not Daniel.

“This is the best skill I’ve ever learned in my life!” one boy declared. “It’s so useful!”

With their new instruments and new energy from lunch, 31 campers walked, trotted, and part-ran the four miles back to Camp, stopping once for a water refill and several times to fish shoes out of the mud.

Daniel Week 3 was the first unit this summer to make the eight-mile trek to Trigg Tower and back. Most all-day explorations are half that distance or less, but some of these senior campers wanted a challenge, and unit staff had faith that the whole group could handle it.

“Guys, I’m in the Army and some soldiers I work with can’t hike as fast as you just did,” said Unit Leader Hunter. The smaller campers in the bunch visibly puffed up with pride.

They waded into the swimming hole at Bush’s Gardens fully clothed, shrieking at the chilly water and scaring fish from their path. Farther down the creek, boys picked up stick “spears” and pretended to hunt. They even caught a couple crawdads – to admire, not to eat – and dug up nightcrawlers to feed to Camp’s Lake Echon fish later.

“Can we come here again, maybe for our overnight?” asked two campers, muddy, sweaty and smiling. “This is awesome.”

Click here to learn more about Camp Ondessonk’s Summer Camp Programs.


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