Last summer Calleva had the opportunity to start something new. With a small team of experienced staff and some amazing campers we embarked on our first year of Calleva Virginia! Going into the summer we were already incredibly excited about the program. With 300+ acres of riverfront property with a challenge course, natural rock faces for climbing, easy access to whitewater, and a beautiful pond with cliff jumping, what else could we ask for?! What we didn’t know is how much our new campers and staff would help our program evolve over our first 10 weeks.
Here are a few highlights from CalleVA’s first summer!
Highlight #1: CalleVA gets its own song!
I love camp songs, from Princess Pat to the Milk Song, I’m all about being as loud and out of tune as possible. As a new camp in a new location, we needed a song of our own! In our eyes, the traditional Calleva song was in need of some sprucing up! We added references to the great Commonwealth of Virginia wherever possible, talked a little trash about Maryland, and even won over a crowd of loyal Calleva MD staff, taking First Place in an all-staff orientation song contest. Want to know how it goes?! Drop by CalleVA and we’ll teach it to you in the first 10 minutes!
Highlight #2 Council Fashion Shows
Council, our all camp meeting time in the morning and afternoon, is a time where campers and staff can engage in ridiculous games, compete with a roaring crowd behind them, and generally enjoy an awesome shared experience. There were song competitions, massive games of rock paper scissors tag, talking contests, the Calleva World Cup(!), and so much more! However, the most popular activity was our weekly fashion show. It all started early in the summer during our pirate themed week. The tag line for our first fashion show you ask? “High fashion meets the high seas!” Campers decorated their staff members using markers, hair gel/spray, duct tape, and of course clothes from the legendary CalleVA wardrobe. At first we just planned for our fashionistas to walk the runway, but all of a sudden, groups had planned skits! Groups were declaring their allegiance to, or rivalries with each other, people were walking the plank, and the world was introduced to the high fashion mogul of the high seas, “Captain Fashion”. Needless to say, after the first week, we were hooked!
Highlight #3 Rain!
It was a record breaking year for the D.C. area, getting more rain this summer than any other that Calleva has run. While many people stayed inside and grumbled about the precipitation, we went out and had our best summer ever! We ran safe, engaging, and fun programs all summer long by adjusting locations and activities! Lots of rain meant bigger waves for our rafters and SUPers, and beautiful creeks for our Land Adventurers to explore and play in. It kept our pond cool and full so our water adventurers could cliff jump, and for our climbers it meant taking time to rappel, or trying the additional challenge of climbing in the rain. One thing we always teach at Calleva is to make the most of the situation you’re presented with, and this summer we did just that!
Thank you to everyone who was a part of our first summer in VA! Thanks for your energy, enthusiasm, and for helping us start so many amazing new traditions. We look forward to seeing everyone back this summer, and are incredibly excited to now be offering Adventure Camps! A full week of rock climbing, full week of kayaking, and full week of Camper Vs. Wild are now available at CalleVA. Check our website for more details on these amazing new camps!
~ Duncan Olsen – Director of Calleva Virginia