A Day in the Life at Camp Arrowhead 2015

By Rachelle Metzger

“Rise and shine, campers!”

It is 7 a.m. and time to begin our day at Camp Arrowhead! Counselors—loving substitutes for moms and dads—rouse sleepy-headed campers and march us all, or send us by twos, to the bathhouse to dress and get ready for an activity-packed day.

The fresh, cool air of the northeast Ohio farmland helps us wake up, and dew makes the grassy fields of the 40-acre camp sparkle in the morning sunlight. We gather in front of the dining hall porch by 8 a.m., and our camp director, Mr. Dave Myers, does a quick roll call:

“Where are the girls of G1?” (G1 screams and cheers.)

“Do we have the girls of G2?” (G2 screams and cheers.)

“Where are the girls of G3?” (G3 screams and cheers.)

“Where is B1?” (B1 screams and cheers.)

“Do we have the boys of B2?” (B2 screams and cheers.)

“Where are the MEN of B3?” (B3 hoots and yells as deep as 10- to 12-year-old boys can muster.)

Sixty-two campers and 46 staff members can make a lot of noise! After a few announcements and reminders, and a blessing asked on our meal, we’re treated to a delicious breakfast of eggs, turkey sausage, yogurt, granola, fruit and oatmeal. We’re energized and ready to start our day!

First things first: Each brother and sister dorm goes to one of three thoughtfully and carefully prepared Christian Living classes. We learn what the pearl of great price is, where to find it, how to keep it, that we ought to share it, and why it is so important as our own personal treasure. We also learn the importance of being humble, and all the positive attributes a humble person has. Each camper is given a pearl pouch and a pearl to keep as a reminder of these lessons.

Now that our minds are in the right place, we are off to enjoy what we preteens love best: running, playing, and—what our counselors love—burning energy! The soccer staff teaches us some fundamental skills, which we practice in a few drills. Then we are let loose in a scrimmage—boys versus girls!

Next we play gaga ball—a camp favorite—which is similar to dodgeball, but played in a specially-designed arena! We practice agility and good aim (knees and below!), as well as good sportsmanship.

Each of these activities lasts an hour, and now we’re hungry again. We march back to the dining hall by noon. Again we must do roll call to make sure all the dorms are here and excited for lunch! We ask a blessing, and then devour another tasty meal, everyone’s favorite: taco bar, with churros for dessert!

We then have 30 minutes of free time to get some rest, play a little luz ball (known to others as “carpet pool”) or practice our dorm’s skit, which will be performed at the farewell presentation for all the other campers, staff and parents.

By 1:30 we’re back in action. Bright sunshine all day has heated it up to a pleasant temperature in the low 80s, so we are ready for swimming. We play a couple of games such as sharks and minnows, bravely jump off the four-foot diving board and are given free time to play and go down the 18-foot waterslide!

Once we’ve cooled off in the pool, we are ready to run in the sun, playing field games like flag football and water balloon toss. We put all our effort and heart into each game.

By now we are ready for a snack. Orange slices and animal crackers give us a quick boost, and off we go again! Our counselors remind us to drink plenty of water.

After instruction in safety and basic skills, we take aim at the pearl (a.k.a. the bull’s-eye) in archery, and write our name on the archery poster if we succeed! The poster will be displayed in the dining hall for all to see.

Now we slow things down a bit, and we express our creativity in arts and crafts. We decorate a frame for our dorm photo, and we get to tie-dye our own white T-shirt—it will be so exciting to see how they all turn out!

Is it time for dinner already? At 6 p.m. we gather again in front of the dining hall porch for our third roll call of the day, and through our hoots and cheers, demonstrate just as much enthusiasm as ever. This time a camper has requested to ask the blessing on the meal, and another gets to ring the dinner bell. It seems like we eat all the time, yet we still scarf down our yummy dinner of beef tips, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, salad, and chocolate cake!

Just in case we are not tired yet, we have another opportunity to run, this time in novelty Olympics! Our team tries our best to carry cotton balls with drinking straws, pass a water balloon over our heads or under our legs to the next in line, carry popcorn in cups attached to our feet, and other silly games. At the final tally, G3 wins!

Immediately afterward, the G3 and B3 dorms rush to the woods where we are equipped with a harness and helmet so we can safely ride the zip line. We gaze up at the three-story wooden tower, which seems to get taller by the minute as our turn to climb it gets closer. Finally we scale up the ladders to the top, and now it seems so tall—well, we don’t look down. With the cheers of fellow campers and staff, we work up all our courage. We hear, “Zip line clear!” and we’re given the nod by staff, and, if necessary, some encouragement. Then we leap into the air and zip 500 feet through a clearing in the woods, and it is such a thrill that we can’t wait until it’s our turn again!

We also try our skill at traversing around a bouldering wall. After zip-lining, nothing scares us.

Finally, it is time for a shower, dorm meeting, another snack, and then lights out at 10 p.m. It’s been a terrific day, and there are more activities tomorrow that we didn’t get to yet: dodgeball; Bible games, which are new this year, customized for each dorm, and will be found on our new parent resource website; and cooking class. The rumor is we are making monkey toes and caterpillars—what could those be? After dinner tomorrow we will have our sing-along in the tabernacle. We’ll sing our favorite goofy songs, make it rain, and do the hamster dance! It’s going to be … zzzzzzzzz.