Each evening program so far has involved the campers creating a huge, energetic circle on Olney’s front lawn. It is a beautiful, grassy space, bounded by trees and red brick buildings. We’ve used this space for each evening program so far, but in very different ways each time.
On Sunday night, when all the campers arrived, the counselors led some “get to know you games,” which started with “A big wind blows.” Campers gathered (with shoes to mark their place) in a circle on the lawn. Some of the things the big wind was blowing were pretty general, like “everyone who’s wearing red,” and some were more obscure, like “anyone who’s in a circus”! This high-energy game helped people learn some names and begin to feel comfortable with the group.
On Monday night, many campers played Wink on the freshly-rained-on grass. In many groups of young Quakers, Wink is a very popular and fun game – I’ve only heard of it being played in a few other contexts outside of Young Friends. It involves two concentric circles with someone in the middle, so while Wink is played on the ground (it involves crawling to the person in the middle), it echoed the feeling of the big wind from the night before. As an alternative, some campers also played a rousing game of Apples to Apples in the girls’ dorm – interestingly, also in a circle.
Our third circle of the week was when Universal Dances of Peace gave our evening program last night. The program leaders taught the whole group of campers songs and dances that brought the circle closer together. The first few dances were pretty rowdy, but as the evening went on, they became more slow and solemn. The program ended with the campers drawing together in a tight-knit circle, swaying and gently singing the last song, giving a peaceful feeling to dusk at FMC.