AO Sleep Away Camp 2012 got off to a great start! Campers began rolling into Silver Cliff Ranch during the late afternoon, and by 5:00 we were a full camp, ready to get going! Campers had a chance to unpack and orient themselves to camp; cabin groups checked out the pool, game room, gym, green, and nurse’s office–for quick health checks!–before heading into dinner.

We had the traditional first meal of spaghetti and meatballs, and after some time to change into warmer clothes, we all met for the official opening of camp in The Opera House. Counselors introduced themselves, and we quickly discussed the 6 (only 6!) rules of camp. Then, we split into groups to make our own AO camp water bottles–each camper got the chance to personalize a water bottle however they wanted. After creating our fabulous water bottles, campers headed back to their cabins, got some warmer clothes on, and headed down to our opening campfire!

We enjoyed singing some great classic camp songs around the fire, including “Country Roads” and “Ragtime Cowboy Joe.” Campers enjoyed sitting by the fire and listening to the river as Directors Tom and Jen welcomed everyone to camp, and explained how camp is a chance to make new friends, enjoy new experiences, and leave behind anything troubling campers at home. We closed out our campfire with a lovely rendition of “I Love the Mountains,” and campers headed to their cabins to brush teeth, wash faces, and head to bed!

All told, it was an awesome beginning to a great time at AO Sleep Away Camp 2012–tomorrow, we’ll be teambuilding and swimming!