Chilling at le Creek

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2024

TROLL PATROL circa 4:00pm—The trickling waters of Streeter Creek have drawn a sizable crowd of loungers, splashers and mud artists. Creekside trees whose bases are concealed by blackberry brambles reach up and over, suggesting a sort of tunnel. Through the canopy a squiggly slice of sky is visible. A natural island serves as a supervision vantage point for several folding chair equipped counselors. A modest bridge made of 2×6 beams connects the opposing banks for single-minded land lubbers who trudge by periodically. The water itself is a marbled confusion of ripples reflecting the bright blues and greens of our surroundings. Various campers mill about, discussing all the inanities of summertime childhood.

“It’s really cool down here, literally and figuratively,” says Teen Staff Suleimon. “Campers are always playing in the dirt and splashing each other. There’s games of tag, mud dress-up, and people going mermaid style. The staff here like to read and bump music; that’s my jam.”

“The creek is mid because I’m not allowed to throw rocks,” says Cosmos, 9, of the Lime Tipi. “But besides that it’s pretty cool. There’s a lot of water.”

“I’m an experienced splasher,” says Rowan, 10, of the Sky Blue Tipi. “I go for big boomer splashers. I like to kick and chop like this,” he demonstrates. “Both techniques work best on the deeper part.”

“We made a gold-finding machine out of rocks and rocky sand,” continues Rowan. “So far it has found absolutely no gold, and I don’t think it will ever work, but you gotta try.”

“The stupidest thing is the thorns on the trees or bushes or whatever they are,” says Arthur, 15, of the Red Tipi. “Earlier today I was wandering around backwards and I poked myself on the shoulder. I’ve been playing here all free time. I did some intensive classes like aerials and art so I had to come here to cool down.”

“There’s so many things here to play with, like rocks, pieces of branches, and little bits of clay,” continues Arthur. “Mainly I’ve been pretending to be an alligator by cruising around on my stomach with only the top half of my head poking out of the water. I surprised a few people but I haven’t bitten anyone or eaten any wildlife. I had chicken tenders for lunch and they were delicious.”

“I love the creek because it’s a calming place,” says Solae, 8, of the Green Tipi, sitting on the muddy bank with a sketchbook on her lap and her feet in the water. “I’m drawing a picture of the creek. I’m starting with the bridge and then I’ll fill in all the watery and rocky parts. Two years ago I went on my first Camp creek walk and I’ve been hooked ever since.”

“We had seven kids, myself and another counselor,” reports Creek Walk Facilitator Èské Addams. “We found a rock that looked like Phaedra’s hair: it was red, orange, yellow and brown! We also found a frog, a tadpole, and a huge fish, maybe a salmon. There were a bunch of minor slips on algae-covered rocks and a couple of stubbed toes but no casualties. Everyone had fun.”

Earlier today I met with several breakfast-goers to hear their reviews of last night’s Teacher Talent Night, an event where each skill taught at Camp is performed by its respective teachers.

“I thought the teachers were somewhere between medium and highly talented,” said Z, 10, of the Yellow Tipi. “Let’s just say there were no ‘worst’ acts; I liked them all.”

“I think unicycles are funny,” continued Z. “It’s like you have tricycles with three wheel, bicycles with two wheels, and unicycles with one wheel, but where does it stop? Is there a ‘hover-cycle’ with zero wheels?”

“It went amazing!” gushed Stage Technician Zoë Takaki. “Songwriting did four songs, Jeff Brown from the ‘Blue Man Company’ as Wavy called it—the campers were correcting him, ‘Group! Group!—did an incredible drum solo. And the stilt fashion show was out of this world: Alan Knox became a beautiful butterfly—his truest form”

“The dance routine was really spectacular,” said Teen Staff Beatrix. “Everyone was really locked in this session. I got to be in the unicycle act (even though I’m kind of a beginner). This session is less tiring so far. I’m excited for People’s Night and Game Night and all the stuff.”

“I was in four acts last night,” boasted Clowning Instructor Riley Soloner. “It’s exciting to look at the set list and figure out how to make all the quick costume and character changes.”

“There’s two main vibes to Teacher Talent Night,” explained Riley. “Firstly, it comes at the end of the longest day at Camp where we have to do all this orientation and fire drills, and the staff is stretched thin. But once the show starts, that’s when the second vibe comes into play. All the teachers start buzzing around getting their acts together, laser-focused on putting on a good show, and suddenly you get a boost of energy from a hidden reserve.”

“Aerials was the most impressive, just like always,” continued Riley. “Ever since I tried for the first time last summer, I have infinite respect for those who make it look easy. Kira has a silks routine that was perfectly in sync with this song I think it was called ‘Dancing In the Dark’—not the Bruce Springsteen song, although I do like that song. Maybe I’ll do an aerials act to that one next year.”

Riley then launched into a boisterous a cappella rendition.


I made my speedy escape.

Stay hydrated,
—J. Payseno, Editor