Grilled Cheese Day!
The Camp Swift staff was up early to prepare the morning’s pancakes and fruit! Youngest unit was off to the lake for a morning of hiking and canoeing with our support staff. While others were running around, a few of our girls cabins were pampered at their spa day. They did honey oatmeal face masks, got their nails painted, and meditated to some relaxing music.
On the theme of mind and body, our Special Programs Director, Hillary Lorsch, and our Director of Fun, Scott Lorsch, taught a Yoga class as an extra ‘Campers Choice’ activity! Campers learned both strengthening poses and slow breathing exercises.
Campers had a chance to get dressed up and painted for Grilled Cheese Day! As campers lined up outside the lodge for lunch, counselors led them in grilled cheese cheers to make sure they were really ready for some grilled cheese! We can’t forget grilled cheese’s partner in crime, tomato soup! Each cabin enjoyed a bowl of homemade tomato soup to go with their warm and gooey grilled cheese sandwiches.
Oldest boys had a water balloon fight on the volleyball court during their game of battleship and youngest boys got messy painting their counselors!
Youngest and Middle Unit went on their overnight and enjoyed grilled hot dogs, sliced oranges, celery, and chips of their choice. After their evening hike, youngest unit went back to their cabins for bed and middle unit had the chance to sleep under the stars on the sports field.
Oldest unit learned about the 7 Natural World Wonders for their evening program and played games from ship to shore to tic-tac-toe.
Meet our Camp Swift Session 1 2017 Unit Heads!
Matt Wall, the Youngest Unit Head, was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. After volunteering as a Camp Swift counselor for 4 years, working at URJ Kutz Camp in New York for 4 years, and taking the roll as an RA at the University of Arizona for 3 years, Matt decided he was ready to take on the role as a Camp Swift Unit Head. Matt’s favorite camp activities are teaching campers how to swim at the pool and Grilled Cheese Day! Matt is a certified lifeguard and hopes to one day bring people together through his love of sports.
Jenny Swift, the Middle Unit Head, is a fourth year student at Cornell University. Jenny started volunteering at Camp Swift in High School and once her passion grew for the camp, she decided she needed to do more! Jenny can be found helping campers achieve their goal at the rock wall or planning team building activities for her unit. After she finishes university, Jenny hopes to continue a career in non-profit work.
Mindi Zudekoff is making her way to 6 years of volunteering with Swift Youth Foundation. Mindi is spending the session as the Oldest Unit Head and is currently in her last year at the University of Arizona and plans to make her way to Law School. Canoeing is one of her favorite Camp Swift activities as well as teaching campers about the world of science.
Be Kind Day!
Saturday morning at Camp Swift started with a delicious egg and turkey bacon breakfast with home fries for all the campers prepared by Chef Zane! Zane was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico and grew his passion for food while being taught in the kitchen by his grandmother. Zane’s grandmother told him to do everything with love and that’s exactly what he does today for our Camp Swift family.
Camp Swift surprised the campers with a special appearance from the Be Kind Crew. Throughout the whole day, the Be Kind Crew put together activities and programs for the campers in between their regularly scheduled activities. The Be Kind Crews mission is to connect students through hip hop, spoken words, and positive interaction. Their message is what ‘to,’ instead of what ‘not’ to do. The campers had the chance to learn how to be kind through dance and communication with their peers. At the end of the evening, all of camp got together for a group Be Kind dance off! The campers were able to ‘Be Enthusiastic’ and ‘Be Supportive’ during this fun and energetic day!
For lunch campers enjoyed homemade pizza, fruit, and salad! The lodge (cafeteria) broke out into a Wavin’ Flag dance party before rest hour! Wavin’ Flag by K’NAAN is a camp favorite for the inspirational lyrics about growing up to be strong and free.
In the afternoon, youngest unit had an exciting two hour program playing minute to win it games. From the challenging event of placing an Oreo on their foreheads and sliding it down their face to be eaten without dropping to trying to get penny’s out pantyhose using only one hand.
Oldest unit and a middle unit cabin headed out to the lake for canoeing and hiking today! Canoeing allowed the cabins to practice teamwork and trust as well as gave them a chance to learn a new sport in the outdoors.
After a long day of hiking, dancing, climbing, drawing, and more, campers filled their stomachs with tacos then after the evening Be Kind program, they went back to their cabin for a good night’s rest!
On Thursday, Camp Swift’s admin and support staff drove an enormous truck full of snacks, sleeping bags, and art supplies up a mountain in Prescott, AZ. We stocked the kitchen, set up the art shack, and prepped the infirmary. On Friday, we welcomed and oriented our counselors. Finally, this morning, we woke up excited for the moment we’ve been waiting for…the arrival of our campers!!!
We’ve brought up 164 campers to Swift this year, an unprecedented number in Camp Swift history! By 1:30 pm, all three of our buses had arrived at camp. Campers left their buses and were greeted by a sea of clapping, cheering counselors in green t-shirts. Campers took a trip to the sports field for a brief round of Rock, Paper, Scissors (All Star Edition), then gathered in the lodge for a lunch of pasta, salad, and fruit (plus or minus a few PB&Js). After the meal, campers split into their cabins and were introduced to their counselors!
The rest of the afternoon was a whirlwind of fun. Campers visited Krazy Keppies’ free “department store,” where they shopped for clothes, bedding, and anything else they needed.
Between 3:30 and 6:30 pm, campers participated in the best activities Camp Swift has to offer. They hiked, they swam, and they learned to play Gaga. They climbed a rock wall, dropped eggs off the treehouse (and learned about gravity!), and painted their counselors. In line with our “Around the World” theme, campers learned to make dessert “sushi” and discussed what it takes to master a skill. In our “Shaboogie” values program, they learned about the importance of their emotions. They shared their feelings about being away from their homes and families for the first time (Sadness, Worry) and also their feelings about being here at camp (Joy!! Excitement!!)
While waiting for their fruit, salad, and hamburgers, campers learned some special Camp Swift cheers from their counselors and support staff. By the end of dinner, you could hear campers cheering for their cabins from all the way across camp! Finally, campers prepared for their evening programs. Older campers went on a special “overnight” camping trip (complete with s’mores and a campfire!), while the rest of the campers got to explore our Seven World Wonders program. As campers had a blast participating in activities (relay races, glow-in-the-dark tic tac toe, and a volcano simulation—just to name a few!), they also learned about the importance of preserving our earth’s natural wonders. At this time, our campers have settled into bed, exhausted from their first day. Get ready for Day 2!!!
Special thank you to Support Staff volunteer and Keppies CEO Nicole for blogging about Day 1 for us!
The Grilled Cheese Gazette features blog posts from Swift staff, volunteers, and community members! Contact Us if you're interested in contributing to our blog!