At the conclusion of our last week of day camp in our Grand Slam Summer, we really hit last week out of the park!
By the last week of day camp, our campers have become so close, making everything a little more special. Activities are so much more fun because of the friendships that have been built in and out of units throughout the summer. Campers are also more comfortable taking risks like leading flag songs alone and going right into the circle to get their brags during our time of celebration at Flag. This week was filled with big smiles as campers came out of their shell at their home away from home!
Monday through Thursday we had all our fun with our buddies, our units, and our specialty stations. Some of the highlights included remaking Vines of our campers, lacrosse and a lesson in hospitality. Campers and buddies utilized different areas around the building, props, and costumes to create short videos called vines allowing every camper a chance to be in the spotlight. Lacrosse allowed our campers to enjoy some time in the sunshine and to show off their athleticism. Travis and Jaden really did well at lacrosse throwing it back and forth with their buddies and even doing some ground ball drills.
One of the big themes at ESP this summer for our staff, volunteers, and campers has been hospitality. Campers practiced their good hospitality skills by giving people compliments, leaving flowers on someone’s car, or designing positive messages on the pavement outside the building- anything to help make people feel welcome at ESP.
As always ESP loved the pool! The campers at the pool even had a belly flop competition Thursday. Meanwhile, everyone was competing to be the first camper to bowl a strike. At bowling one lane became a true bowling family and Rod, Heather, Albert and Kaityln cheered each other on the whole game!
Then it was Friday, where our routine gets spiced up a little bit, and we all come together as a family to have the best day! This week, we had our last Friend Friday where we had quite the crew! Between our Thrive partners, parents, and other community members, it was a Friday morning filled with joy. One of the biggest ways our summer staff has been bonding outside of camp this summer is getting together every Monday night to watch the Bachelorette together. In honor of our staff loving the Bachelorette, we had our first annual ESP Bachelor/Bachelorette competition where six of our community members competed for five roses. The challenges for our competitors included one-legged relay racing, arm wrestling, and other silly activities to help them gain the favor of each unit as they gave out the roses. Fun was had by all, and it was a great way to share something our ESP staff loves with our ESP family.
After Friend Friday, everyone ate lunch served and prepared by our wonderful ESP Board to get us geared up for our Big League Games. We all headed to the park to participate in so many activities planned by our AmeriCorps team. AmeriCorps went all out for our Big League games on our last Friday at day camp. We had giant Jenga and Connect 4, a hot dog eating contest, Hula Hooping, a bouncy house, face painting, football, a pie-throwing contest, and the Kona Ice truck even showed up to help us stay cool! We ended the day with a home run derby (because what’s a Grand Slam Summer without baseball)!
Week four might have been the last, but it certainly wasn’t the least. Packed with memories, fun, and laughs, our Grand Slam Summer day camps will be talked about even as school rolls back around.