Camp Echo Lake Senior Village Girls

Senior Village Girls Head Counselor – Kersti Kienitz


The transition from Main Village to Senior Village is one that is typically welcomed with open arms, but it can take a little while to get used to for incoming Senior Villagers. So far, the Lower Village Girls seem to enjoy the option of sleeping in.  I’ve seen many of the girls reading books on the porch in the morning or going for a walk or jog with a counselor as they enjoy their newfound freedom.  Not surprisingly, they all are having fun choosing their own activities each day.

The entire Upper Village went off camp this week for one of their two “sign-outs” where they get to go to the movies. The movies that they chose from this week were Transformers and How to Train Your Dragon 2. While Transformers had mixed reviews from the girls, How to Train Your Dragon 2 seemed to go over very well. Either way, all the campers enjoyed their time away from camp, as well as the opportunity to treat themselves to the concession stand!

Coming into this summer, we wanted to change-up the Senior Village schedule to allow for more activities in the afternoon.  Shortening rest hour allowed us to add an activity we call “Team Awesome,” which takes place three times a week. Campers can sign up for a three-week session, and can choose from a number of activities, including: lacrosse, baseball, futsal, drama, yoga, music and fitness. This gives the Senior Village campers the opportunity to learn to work as a team, develop as a unified group and receive more specific and progressive coaching in their selected activity.
Next week, we officially start our activity period called “Bringing the Juice,” which is a form of structured “free” play offered exclusively to Senior Village campers. This period will offer campers another chance to be active in the afternoon, while having the flexibility to do whatever they are in the mood for on that particular day.  A few hours before the activity period, campers can sign up for that day’s offerings, which may include: pick-up volleyball, 3-on-3 basketball, T25 workout in the lodge, gaga, running club, dog walking and many more.

Thursday trip days are one of the main privileges that our Senior Village campers get to experience. With trips ranging from the beach to The Great Escape, the Upper and Lower Villagers go on five trip days over the course of the summer. For our first trip day of the summer, this week, the entire Senior Village (including 4n4 campers) went to one of two places. The girls spent the day at Veteran’s Beach in Bolton Landing, and the boys split their day between tubing and going to Lake George Village. The weather was beautiful, and the girls had a great time at the beach playing pick-up volleyball games, swimming, hanging out and eating Stewart’s ice cream. One of the key themes of the Senior Village is the added responsibility that we give to the campers, and all of them did an excellent job representing Echo Lake!

The Senior Village has three Special Days this summer.  Our first Special Day took place this past Saturday with a Harry Potter theme, featuring a Tri-Wizard tournament, which we changed the wording of to be more Echo Lake-related. The Senior Villagers all took part in The Quad Fuzzy Tournament, with each group split into four different magical schools: Lower Village boys (Dumstrang), Lower Village Girls (Beauxbaton), Upper Village boys (Mahoutokoro) and the Upper Village Girls (Kawdleigh). The 4n4 campers where divided between the houses as school ‘Prefects,’ leading their respective schools in team spirit. The day was a great success, with Muggle Quidditch, a scavenger hunt to find a dragon’s golden egg, a gauntlet to get past a group of death eaters, regatta in the lake, and potions relay. The 4n4 campers did a fantastic job, and showed spectacular leadership throughout the day! The day was tightly-contested with the Lower Village Girls from Beauxbaton winning the ‘Quad Fuzzy Cup’ by only 50 points over the Upper Village Boys representing Mahoutokoro. The Lower Village girls really showed their spirit during the day and impressed all of Senior Village with their ability to work as a team.

It’s been a busy week for Senior Villagers with regard to inter-camp games and tournaments.  We competed in softball, basketball, soccer and tennis.  The girls won a basketball tournament earlier this week, and many girls also participated in an inter-camp this week in which they played softball and soccer. At the tennis tournament at Point O’Pines, two of our girls took first place in their divisions, and a 9U soccer game at home against Walden ended 0-0.

The Upper and Lower Village Girls attended a campfire this past week.  At the campfire, they played a thrilling game of “hot nail polish,” made s’mores and sent wish lanterns into the night sky.
Hot nail polish is a take on hot potato and musical chairs.  Each girl brings a bottle of nail polish which is passed around the circle while the music plays.  When the music stopped, the girls were asked to paint one nail and then continue on with the next round until they had all 10 nails painted. They were then asked to find someone from a different group who had one of the same colors on their fingers, and were given 60 seconds to find something they had in common with that girl. They shared their similarities with the entire group, and the girls quickly realized the endless opportunities that they have to connect with everyone, not just those closest to them. We discussed how easy it is to find talking points, even when it is your first time meeting someone, and the girls seemed to be excited about getting to know more girls from other groups.  After making s’mores, the girls made goals to be nice to each other, help each other out and make this summer the best one yet!  They ended the night by sending wish lanterns into the sky to mark their goals.

Throughout the summer, Senior Village groups can earn “Village Galleons” in a variety of ways:  bunk clean-up, group spirit and random acts of kindness. Previously known as “Village Bucks,” our currency has recently changed names to carry on with our Harry Potter theme, so we are now using the magical currency of Galleons. The first Senior Village auction took place this past Sunday with groups allowed to bid on various prizes including: bedtime stories with Brenda, afternoon tea with JOB & Stef, TV show with Kersti, basketball under the lights, movie in the lodge, cookout with Glenn & JP,soft toilet paper, doggy day care with Deacon & Reggie and the mystery prize.

We have many more inter-camps and tournaments coming up this week, and we are quickly approaching on our second Special Day, which will be themed Lazy and Crazy. Campers are looking forward to the first activities of Tribal this week, as well as their second trip day, where the boys and girls from the Senior Village will both be heading to beaches.  The boys will be going to Veteran’s Beach in Bolton Landing, and the girls will be heading to Million Dollar Beach in Lake George. Lastly, our largest 4n4 trip to date is departing this coming Friday, and while we will be sad to see them go we know they are going to have an incredible trip and wish them all the best as they head out West!