A Day in the Life of an Indian Brook Camper

A typical morning starts early with campers at the barn feeding pigs, milking goats and gathering eggs. Other campers set the tables in the dining hall for breakfast, and when all gather for the meal, the lodge hums with movement and laughter. Campers and counselors alike bustle during cleanup, collecting scraps for compost and pig food, scrubbing dishes and helping in the kitchen. Morning singing fills the lodge with the joyful, powerful voices of girls and women together.

When Meeting for Worship (or “Silent Meeting”) ends with a spirited “Good Morning!” and lots of hugs, it’s time for cabin chores and morning activities. At Barns & Gardens, a girl might learn how a sheep’s wool is sheared, carded, and spun into yarn. Hammer in hand, work boots tied, that same girl might join a Work Projects crew and nail siding to a cabin, repair a bridge, or construct a seesaw. Creative Arts allows artistic freedom and discipline as campers learn to throw pots on a pottery wheel, weave a wall hanging, choreograph dances, or create sets for an all-camp theater production.

In Outdoor Living Skills, girls learn how to swing an axe, predict the weather, and read a map and compass. Girls use these skills on any of our one to ten day outdoor adventures in canoeing, rock climbing and backpacking. Trips are a special and important part of Indian Brook. Each camper has an opportunity (or two or three) to challenge herself and apply the skills she has learned at camp on these wilderness trips. For many campers and staff, trips are the highlight of the summer, a time to explore new challenges and environments.

After lunch and a rest hour, a camper chooses what she wants to do from the many activities offered by the staff. Should she try the rock climbing, bead a necklace, play raft Frisbee with her friends, build some shelves for her cabin, or harvest strawberries?

The Waterfront, with daily swim times (for everyone) and clinics (for younger girls), provides the bookends for all the day’s activities. Sounds of splashing and laughing mean it is late afternoon and the waterfront is the place to be. Campers explore the lake in canoes, kayaks or inner-tubes, investigate its depths with mask, snorkel and fins, challenge themselves with a distance swim, or just cool off on hot days in its clear, refreshing water.

On some evenings, the forest fills with the whoops of all-camp games like Wild Women of the Woods. Other evenings, smoke wafts from fire circles as each cabin cooks dinner over an open fire, or one hears fiddles and guitars accompanying a camp dance. Throughout the summer, girls also share personal experiences and learn about current concerns and past events ranging from civil rights to world hunger, from women’s history to environmental stewardship, from how we celebrate difference to what it means to grow up as a girl today. Campers get to explore these issues experientially through songs, games, skits, discussions, and service projects.

As bedtime approaches, the cabins grow quiet. Staff members read stories or sing lullabies, and campers share the highs and lows of their days. Up and down the hill, flashlights flicker off and lightning bugs flicker on, marking the end of the day.