Indian Brook has been buzzing with activity this past week! Big and First lodges have completed their three-and four-day trips, Senior Lodge has departed on their five-day trips, all lodges dug deeper into their activity areas and apprenticeships, and we held our treasured Indian Brook event of “Someday”.

Trips are an integral part of the Indian Brook and larger Farm & Wilderness experience. We believe all campers, no matter their age, can challenge themselves, practice living in close connection to the earth and to each other, and gain important leadership and hard skills from their backpacking, canoeing, and rock climbing trips. First Lodgers go on three-day trips with their cabin groups that all involve backpacking on F&W property. They returned from their trips on Saturday smiling, with tales of animals seen, peaks summited, games played and delicious mac-and-cheese meals devoured. Big Lodge returned on Tuesday, having ventured a bit farther to different areas of Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York for their trips. Some paddled miles each day, some climbed difficult outdoor rock faces, and some conquered mountains!

Campers come here with many different outdoor-trip experience levels and comfort in the backcountry, and we welcome this range of experiences at Indian Brook. Across the board, they all returned having challenged themselves to step outside of their personal comfort zones, whether this is canoeing for the first time, taking leadership as the group sets up camp, or pushing themselves to hike that last 1/2 mile when they felt like they just couldn’t. We all gather together on our outdoor amphitheater (“Cocoa House Stage”) for “trip skits” after everyone had returned. We watched and laughed as each group put together an often-humorous rendition of what happened on their trip. As staff, we can definitely see the shift after trips; campers are more confident, cohesive and resilient as a group. We can’t wait to hear about the adventures of Senior Lodgers when they return from their trips on Monday.

Another event that the entire camp community comes together for is “Someday”, which took place this past Tuesday. “Someday” is an Indian Brook event where whatever happens during the day should be able to complete the phrase “Someday at camp, I will…” This whimsical day is filled with wild fun, light “rule”-breaking, and participating in even more zany and creatively fun activities than we normally do!

This year’s “Someday” theme was “Wonka’s Chocolate Factory”, and all campers woke to golden tickets being delivered to their cabins. The day unfolded with a sugary cereal breakfast, recorded music during singing time, and goats interrupting silent meeting. The morning held activities such as bubble baths in the bed of our pickup truck, hosting a lemonade stand on the road, a chocolate pudding rainstorm and mud pit wrestling. During rest hour, “Mike TV”, one of the characters in Willy Wonka, insisted we watch TV. In the afternoon, we all had a blast at the Oompa Loompa Pool Party, where mermaids pulled campers around on kayaks, tea was served on rafts and campers could zoom down a giant slip-and-slide. Finally, we had a concert from new local celebrity “Kitty Kat Death Wish” (one of our staff), with an autograph session afterwards, and burgers and fries for dinner.

Between adventures on the trails and those in Wonkaland, IB campers have shown themselves to be a courageous, silly, persistent and joyful group. We can’t wait for one more week with them!

— Theresa


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