Day 6 - YMCA Camp Loma Mar and YMCA Camp Campbell, CA
After a good nights sleep on the Jones Gulch ball field, we stumbled into the dining hall for some spicy breakfast burritos. We joined the camp for their morning inspiration and even got to tell one of our favorite camp stories to get the campers excited for the day ahead. Finally, Sarah gave us some awesome old L.I.T. and C.I.T. shirts. Then we hopped on the bus and went on a short drive to Camp Loma Mar.
At Camp Loma Mar we toured the grounds with the facility director Carlos. It was so interesting to see all of the history that they’ve kept alive. Camp Loma Mar is very special to many of us because it is where the rag program for the YMCA began. We got to learn about Thomas Caldwell and how he started a program that took off across the nation. After our short visit to Loma Mar we jumped back in the bus and had a fairly short trip down to Camp Campbell.
As soon as we arrived, it was clear to us that this camp was something different. We met with the camp director, Trevor Baier, and he gave us a quick tour of the grounds before we joined the campers for a delicious lunch of ravioli, garlic bread, and peas. After lunch, we had some downtime and got in a quick nap. Then we headed down to the Forty-Niner cabin village for their activity breakout. We all got to pick a specific activity to sit in on, and I chose Outdoor Cooking. Here we were making pizza bagels over a fire pit. Mine turned out pretty burnt, but the kids did make some good ones.
Next one of Camp Seymour’s old staff members, Sierra, led us up to Ragger’s Point at Camp Campbell. It was pretty awesome. One of their traditions is to have campers and staff members who are getting their rags tied to paint a rock and leave it up at the point for all Raggers to see. Next, we headed down to dinner for a family-style meal with chicken, sweet potatoes, mixed veggies, and some dinner rolls. We sat with campers at their tables and got to hear all about Camp Campbell from their point of view. After dinner was finished, there was a small awards ceremony in the dining hall, and we closed their final dinner of the week with a toast of sparkling apple cider.
Shortly after dinner, we hiked down to their main campfire area for their closing campfire. During this time, we got to see the cabins perform reflective songs and skits about their stay at camp, a closing campfire tradition for this camp. We even got to join in and share one of our traditional camp songs, “Seymour Will Shine.” After closing campfire, we got to jam out with Sierra and sing one of our favorite camp songs, “It’s All Good.” Before going to bed, we made some s’mores and heard all about Sierra’s favorite parts of Camp Campbell.
—Olyvia, from Renton, Washington