UPDATE: I went to Camp DeBruce for three yeas. This post is about my experiences in 2012 and I added my 2015 update below it.
Introduction to Camp DeBruce
The first week of July, I went to Camp DeBruce, a DEC environmental camp where I learned about animals, habitats, ecology and the environment. We slept in cabins every night for a week, only one night did we not sleep in our cabins. At this camp we are not permitted to have electronics other than a camera. This is common at many environmental camps because you get most out of the camp if you disconnect from the world and connect with nature and people while you are there. I know this may sound a bit crazy to some people like it did to me at first, but it is so worth it. The camp would definitely not be the same if there was the distraction of electronics. It is very nice to just leave everything behind and disconnect from the world for a bit :)
That was when we had the overnight. On the overnight we hiked through the woods to a place where we set up our tents and slept there for the night. The next morning we hiked back to camp. There are many different trails that you can go on, but this year they assigned you to one. There were five minute ones, ten minute ones, twenty minute ones and one two hour one. I got assigned the the two hour one. When we started the hike with our ten pound backpacks stuffed full of supplies, everyone was happy and not tiered, but as the hike went on campers started complaining all the time!
When we go the the campsite we all got to rest for about five minutes and then we set up our tents. There were two girl tents and two boy tents. The whole camp was divided into small groups. By the time we were all finished it was getting dark so the counselors lit a fire and we had our tinfoil dinners, which meant that our dinner was in a tinfoil wrap and the counselors roasted them on the fire. They had a little tinfoil taste in it but otherwise they were good. After that we got to roast marshmallows, however to get our marshmallows we had to answer questions! But the counselors were fair because everyone got two no matter what. After that we went to bed. The next morning we had PB&J for breakfast and then hiked back to camp.
We played a lot of games at Camp DeBruce. Three of my favorite games were, flinch, counselor bowling, and counselor hunt.
You play flinch by making a group stand in a circle with their arms crossed, then you have three flinchers in the middle, each holding a ball. They go around the circle tossing the ball at the people lightly and the people have to catch them. The flinchers can also pretend to throw the balls, and if you flinch, you are out!
You play counselor bowling by having about sixty people stand in a circle , four other people stand in the middle of the circle; then you hand out four balls to the four people that are on forming the circle. Someone yells ready, get set, GO! Then the people with the balls role them into the middle of the circle, trying to get the feet of the people in the middle of the circle, if you get someone’s feet you get to switch places the good thing with this game is that there is never an end to it! It can give hours of entertainment! :)
You play counselor hunt by asking counselors to hide ( grown-ups if your not at a camp ) and you give them about five minuter to hide. Then you shout ready, get set, GO! On go all the kids that are playing run and go to find the people hiding. When the kids find the counselors, they have to do something very disgusting, like jumping into a trout pond.
While I was at Camp DeBruce, every day we had a period called optional. During that time we could choose from several activities. I had a lot of fun during that period. One of my favorite activities during that time was tye-dying. You can tye-dye anything you want! You can even tye-dye socks! Some of the other choices were archery, fishing, hiking, field games.
I had a lot of fun at camp DeBruce and I want to come back next year! :)
————————— 2015 Update ——————————
My 3rd Year at Camp DeBruce! (June 2015)
For my last year that I could go to Camp DeBruce, because of my age, I decided to try something new and go for the first week of camp. I have to say that even though I miss the counselors and directors that did not come back for another year, I think this was my favorite year. This week it rained a lot, so we ended up not going campout on the overnight or doing many things that we would have otherwise. But that does not mean that we did not have fun! I was in Beaverkill cabin every year so far and I got it again!
On the first night of camp, we had our opening campfire which was held inside because of rain. The indoor fireplace was lit and there were songs, skits, jokes, and (my favorite) do-as-I-do songs. In the days that it was not raining as hard we were still outside in the fields playing rec games. Instead of running, we skipped! My favorite rec game was revenge. Revenge is kind of like doge-ball but every man for themselves style. There are no set teams but you are allowed to make alliances and the only way to get back in when you are hit is to wait until the person who got you out gets out and then you are back in.
Some of my favorite time in camp is when we have cabin time. That is when you get to hang out in your cabin with everyone else who is in you cabin and talk, clean, or do whatever you want to do.
The day that we were supposed to hike out to the campgrounds for the overnight, we did some rotating optionals. First I did poetry slam with Jordan and Mitch which is when everyone in your group writes one piece of poetry and then we all share them with our group. Next I made my tinfoil dinner and along with that my group played human knot and other games like that with Jimmy until it was time to rotate. Then we played ping-pong with Max which was really fun. After that we went to bracelet making with Sophia and Alyssa. Finally the last station was rock painting with Sam and Eric. The rock painting was my favorite station out of that day.
Then at night we ate our tinfoil dinners and then we had another indoor campfire but this tome with s’mores! :) We also did some rotating optionals the next day. First I learned about LNT (leave no trace) principals. After that we made water cycle bracelets by going to a station of your choice and adding a bead to a pipe cleaner and then you roll a dice which then tells you which station you go to next and then repeat the same instructions.
After that, we went on to learn how to make origami cranes which was cool because I have never learned that before.
Last we learned how to make envelopes out of newspapers. Out of this day the origami was my favorite.
On Wednesday the weather finally cleared up enough so that we could go on a long hike of our choice.
I chose to go to the waterfall, like I did my first year. The hike was about 1.5 hours and it was fun the whole way. :) Once we got there we ate lunch and then we got to spend some hours either reading, going in the waterfall, doing the whip in the waterfall, or just hanging out.
On Thursday night we had a talent show where campers and staff members could preform a talent, tell jokes, preform skits, etc. This year the arctic fox/polar bear joke got up to 34 minutes and beat the last record. To explain, it is a joke that there is a competition of who takes the longest to tell it and it has a cheesy joke at the end. On the last night that we had at camp there was yet another campfire (outside this time) and this time along with the normal campfire activities, there were 4 groups of campers who did their own skits, which was very fun and hilarious.
The hardest part about camp was saying goodbye to all of my friends and the camp itself because I am now too old to go back as a camper.
Over all this was definitely my favorite year at camp and I did get picked as a PV (potential volunteer) so I hope I can go back next year as a volunteer.