For three of the boys, it was their first time ever camping outside. What did they think? It was a ton of fun!
Each session, cabins go out on an overnight together to camp in shelters around property, cook dinner outdoors, and enjoy s’mores & stories around the campfire. This week, boys have been enjoying their overnights, starting on Monday night when the first groups headed out. For some boys, camping out is the highlight of their time at camp. Berkeley is one of these campers, who said, “basically, the goal is to never sleep in my cabin!” He was excited about going straight from his cabin overnight to a multi-day climbing trip the following nights.
However, for other boys, camping can be intimidating if you’ve never slept outside before. The cabin overnight can often be a boy’s first experience camping out. In Cabin 3, three of the boys went for first time ever camping outside! “I would definitely go again,” said James, “It was fun.” They hiked out to the shelter called Hilltop. I asked them what the best part was, and George told me, “S’macos! My dad taught me how to make them.” He explained that they were a magical mix between a s’more and a taco, where you put a tortilla in a pan over the fire and fill it with chocolate and marshmallow until it melts together.
If you’re a first-time camper who’s a little unsure about the cabin overnight, what can you expect?
First, don’t worry if you don’t know anything about camping! Your counselors are there to help – the first step is packing backpacks and getting all the supplies together for a fun night out. On Monday after activities ended, the boys who had their overnights met back at the cabin together and gathered their gear. Everyone packed a sleeping bag, pad, flashlight, water bottle, PJs, fleece, and raincoat.
Once everything is in your backpacks, you’ll head to the Dining Hall as a group to get the food. This time, chicken fajitas were on the menu, a crowd favorite on camping trips! Our kitchen crew had all the ingredients packed and ready, the same way they prepare meals for the trips that go out of camp each day. Cabins then divided up the ingredients, stove, pan, and utensils among each other’s backpacks and were ready to hit the trails!
Once the supplies and gear are together, the next step you can expect is hiking out to your shelter! Since Falling Creek has wooden shelters scattered in scenic areas all around property, there’s no need to worry about tents or tarps. Depending on how old you are, you might hike 10-30 minutes to your shelter, learning how to read a map and navigate camp trails along the way.
Some shelters are up on the ridge with great mountain views, some are near creeks that you can fall asleep listening to, and others are tucked into lush, wooded areas where the cicadas sing you to sleep. Jack told me that he was excited after finding where his cabin would be sleeping. “We get to sleep at the bottom of the Falls!” he said, exciting about seeing the waterfall that Falling Creek is named for.
Once you arrive at your shelter, it’s time to start setting up camp! Your counselor might ask you to help gather firewood, or to help with dinner prep. It’s a fun way to work together as a cabin group, and anything cooked outside with friends always tastes way better!
After dinner comes dessert, which some boys would argue is the best part of the cabin overnight: s’mores! Just like you would during a regular evening at camp, you’ll finish the night with Evening Embers as a cabin and fall asleep in your sleeping bag, ready for another big day in the morning.
If you’ve never been camping before, don’t worry! Your first cabin overnight will be a fun experience with your new friends (and you might even learn about delicious new food combos like s’macos)! Even if you’re a seasoned pro at camping, the cabin overnight is consistently mentioned as one of the most memorable times during the session, where cabin mates have the chance to go on an adventure together, enjoy the natural beauty of camp, and appreciate each other’s company in the great outdoors.
No matter your experience level, one thing you can always expect on a cabin overnight is having a good time!