To set the stage for a fun and safe week, Sunday evening begins with our camper Orientation. All campers gather around and hear from counselors and staff who explain camp’s Maximum Fun Guidelines (a.k.a rules) and the important things everyone needs to know for the week. Shortly afterwards, the camp is split up into 4 teams by cabins (3 cabins each), and take part in some team bonding activities including coming up with a team name and chant. The rest of the week, through games and competitions, campers earn points for their team. On Friday night the winning team earns an ice cream party! To finish the evening (and get some energy out!) we play FC’s classic welcome-to-camp game, American Eagle. It’s campers vs. counselors with campers trying to make it from one end of the Athletic Field to the other while avoiding the counselors. If a counselor catches a camper, picks them up and yells “AMERICAN EAGLE 123!” the camper is out for that round. Last camper standing wins! Throughout the week, you will hear stories of which counselor got which kid out, and the escape stories of the proud campers who wiggled free.
Monday evenings are one of the more relaxed evenings where campers get to enjoy bonding with their cabin in the midst of the great outdoors! Instead of eating in the dining hall, each cabin group picks up a food bin and hikes off as a cabin to a specific spot in the woods. As a team, they build a camp fire, play some fun outdoor games or even have a few lessons identifying different plants and nature while the coals heat up, and then cook their meals together over the fire. Of course, don’t worry parents, the hot dogs are already cooked and safe to eat in case your camper doesn’t heat it to perfection, but the campers will heat their hot dog and enjoy eating their “self-cooked” meal. And of course, you can’t cook over a fire without having everyone’s favorite campfire food for dessert…S’mores! There’s something about cooking your dinner over a fire that just says camp! After cookouts, the campers enjoy a special “split campfire” night, where the guys and girls meet in separate locations for singing and a campfire message.
After Bonus Activity Time on Tuesday, everyone meets down at the lake for a delicious outdoor meal followed by the Frontier Camp Water Games! Campers rotate with their cabins competing against other cabins in a series of water games. An FC tradition that year after year is a hands-down favorite among campers and staffers alike is the Frontier Camp Shaving Crème Slide! A huge plastic tarp on the hillside covered in slick shaving cream is the recipe for having a blast. Campers try to climb up the slippery slope, but watch out, if you get too close, your counselor might “help” you out…and slide you back to the bottom! To avoid too many campers on the slide at once, we rotate cabins through the shaving crème slide and other games which vary from year to year. These other water games have included swimming races, water balloon launching contests, pool noodle boat races, and water relays. Whatever we end up doing, you can count on getting wet and having fun!
Field games are the activity in store for Wednesday night, after dinner in the dining hall. This may include obstacle courses, steal the bacon, pit ball tournaments, scavenger hunts, or a mixture of several of these events. Teams compete against each other for points as they cheer each other on and take turns running, jumping, and crawling off a lot of energy! To cool off, we go indoors for our campfire message in the chapel, a little earlier than normal, to allow time for an evening Hayride. After campfire, we hop on our hay trailers, get trading post candy passed out to enjoy on the ride, and head out for a hay-less (allergies are no fun!) hayride around camp. The ride takes us out under the night sky and beautiful stars to a bonfire, where we’re all treated to a comedic skit, performed by some of the camp staff, before heading back to our cabins.
We can’t call ourselves Frontier Camp without having some sort of Rodeo! We might not have any bull riding, but we do have wranglers, clowns, horses, and a good time. On Thursday nights we all head to the Rodeo Arena in our western duds and cheer on our friends and cabinmates as we enjoy a real frontier experience. Intermediate and Advanced Horsemanship class riders who qualified compete in rodeo events including straight-away barrel, pole bending, and cloverleaf barrels. With some clown skits and performances by the fun-arts classes interspersed, you are sure to enjoy your time. After the junior camp rodeo is complete, we grab some dinner, served at the rodeo arena by our amazing kitchen staff, and hop back in the stands to fill our tummies with delicious BBQ and sweet local watermelon while watching the teen campers compete in their events. This is the one evening of the week where campers with siblings at Teen Camp can spend some time with their older sibling, talk to them about their week, and enjoy cheering them on if they are competing in the rodeo.
To conclude the end of a great week of camp, we all put on costumes which go along with the weekly theme (announced online each spring) for our themed banquet meal and awards ceremony. The theme goes along with the Bible drama theme throughout the week, and Bible drama characters often make an appearance at the Friday night banquet and awards ceremony to join in on the fun! We all enjoy some delicious food, fun costumes, funny skits, and an awards ceremony. Each of the camp activity leaders recognize a few campers from their classes who either achieved a certain level of performance, had a great attitude, or exhibited Christ-like character throughout the week. We also enjoy cheering for our teams as we select our favorite costumes out of the crowd for some extra team points. If you can, bring a costume and jump into the spirit of the night! At the end of the evening, final team points will be announced from the week, and the winning team will get to enjoy an ice crème party at the end of the night to celebrate their victory!