Published Jun 16, 2009

What a week!

By Suzi Howk

Whoofty! What a week at camp! Two great youth leaders, 21 awesome kids, and a lot of energy, made for another PFI camp success.

It started off with two youth leaders coming on Monday through Wednesday morning. We spent Monday evening camping at Ledges State Park. We spent about two hours close to nightfall walking through the beautiful and clean creek and then walked back to our campsite in the dark. I had the feeling that the whole reason we were doing camp was in those moments, self discovery in nature and a chance to get away from everyday life. Unfortunately when we got back to the campsite there was a little bit more self discovery, as the raccoons had gotten into our supplies for smores! My mistake, and a disappointing one at that!

We spent Tuesday going over programming and doing some team building, and ended up much closer. The Youth Leadership segment ended up with Jake and Luke doing the zip-line. It looked like a ton of fun, and I am a little sad that I chickened out!

Wednesday afternoon the rest of the kids arrived, and the fun began! What a group! Every one of them brought their personalities with them, and they meshed to make a really wonderful time. New friends were made and old friendships re-kindled.

We started out the day with some games, and then went on a nature discovery hike. Mike, the head naturalist at the Y-camp taught us about decomposition, how animals hide themselves, how the different cycles work together, and ended with a story about learning to respect the woods. It never ceases to amaze me how that man can come up with stories to both entertain and teach!

The rest of the time was filled with learning about insects, worms, and even 5 ways of fire starting. Lots of time to play field games, their favorite this year being Capture the Flag. The ISU Entomology Insect Zoo came out on Thursday, and showed us some neat creatures that we normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to get up close to! Everybody was excited about touching them, but not so excited when it came to picking up the huge Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches.

Friday ended up being a rainy and cold day, but everything worked out. We were still able to do archery and the climbing wall, and after lunch went swimming in a cold pool. Its amazing how much warmer the pool is when the air outside the pool is cold! After supper it was still raining, so we ended up doing Trench Warfare and getting a lesson on World War I from Aaron Schonhoff, a counselor that came out to help for the week. You never know what you will get at PFI camp!

A big thank you to Wheatsfield Co-op in Ames for a very generous donation allowing us to have good quality food for all the meals. And the food sure was good! Also, thank you to Chef Donna Prizgintas for coming out and cooking for us!All together it was a wonderful week, and hopefully the kids who came learned alot! Where else can you learn about worms and biodiversity while also swimming and doing archery? Only at PFI Camp! Some of the responses that we got were “

This camp was really fun. Im for sure coming next year” and “Best camp ever!!”.