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It’s All Fun & Games

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Activities Coordinator Mariah Fraker

Hello, grownups! I bet you’re wondering what your campers have been up to during this past week with Smirkus. Well, they’ve definitely been doing lots of circus: juggling, acrobatics, aerials, unicycling, clowning, and all sorts of other things! I’m sure they’ve been learning a ton of cool tricks in all of their circus classes, but as the Activities Coordinator, I’m in charge of the games we play here at camp, and so today I’m going to tell you about some of the fun that we’ve been having so far this session.

On Tuesday, we played Family Feud. I spent the morning putting together a list of “survey questions,” and each camper filled out a sheet with their own answers during quiet time. In the afternoon, I tallied up the responses and created all the lists, with the answers in order of popularity. Interestingly, if any response was written enough times, then despite its accuracy, it would make it onto the final list for that category.

For example, one of the prompts was “Name a brass instrument,” and many people wrote “saxophone.” Saxophones are technically woodwind instruments, but enough people incorrectly entered them as a response that they landed pretty high on the final Brass Instrument list anyway.

Some campers, who had a very good understanding of this process, decided to band together and purposefully write-in enough of the same wrong answers that they could almost guarantee they’d make it onto the final lists. And so for this reason, one of the highest scoring answers on the list of “Disney Princesses” was actually Kronk, from The Emperor’s New Groove. Things turned out to be very wacky! Each of the three pods had their own game going (some more competitive than others), and everyone had a great time.

Later in the week, I hosted an auction where different staff members advertised various surprise prizes, which the campers had an opportunity to bid on with their counselor groups using Smirkus currency. Most of the prizes were treats, like an extra s’more at the campfire, or no chore after dinner one evening, or the chance to go stargazing on a clear night. However, there were a few extra silly prizes thrown into the mix as well, such as a tub of pasta, or a barely-opened banana, or a visit with Frankie (Coach Ari’s pet rat).

Fortunately, they were all quite careful with their spending, and so each group was able to bid on, and purchase, a second and sometimes even a third prize. Two groups got dessert after dinner last night, and two other groups won a double feature on Movie Night. So tonight, after everyone finishes watching The Majestic Yak (a Smirkus Camp favorite), all the other campers will go get ready for bed while the two remaining groups stay behind and watch a second film. I’m leaning towards showing Wallace and Gromit’s The Wrong Trousers. So far, everyone has been enjoying their various prizes, and I know they’re excited for the ones yet to come.

Other than that, we’ve been playing improv games, Four Square, kickball, Gold Rush, singing karaoke, and more! And as always, dressing up for dinner every evening. We’ve dressed as zombies, aliens, jocks and nerds, flora and fauna, as things from Star Wars and as things from Under the Sea. And the session is only half done!

We’re all getting COVID tested today, and fingers crossed that soon we can take off our masks and enjoy the second week of camp with no pods and all fun! I’m looking forward to playing Tagnificence and Staff Hunt and Capture the Flag, blowing bubbles on Bubble Day, and getting pied on Pie Day! I think it’s going to be a good week.