Yes, I still go to camp.

7:13 PM Edit This 0 Comments »
Although this will probably be my last year, unfortunately. What camp? It's called Not-Back-to-School Camp. (NBTSC) As the name suggests, it's aimed at homeschoolers and unschoolers. (Unschooling is a kind of homeschooling which is very loose, and really lets the kid do what they want. It's how I was raised.) It's run by Grace Llewellyn, who's rather famous in the home- and unschooling world.

I first went to NBTSC last year. Words can't say how much I loved it. It's very, very different from any other camp I've attended. There are only three required activities: morning and evening meetings (which are fun anyway), advisee group meetings (sort of a more intimate version of the whole camp meetings), and morning and evening check-in (to make sure no one got eaten by a moose). Aside from that, you do whatever you want! There are workshops run by campers and counselors, discussion groups, spontaneous dance parties, games, henna tattoos, and anything else anybody wants to do.

That's during the day. Every evening there's some kind of special event. There are a few talent shows, where you can show off anything you're good at. No, really, anything. One counselor showed how fast he could solve a rubix cube. There's bonding night, which includes various activities to get to know people at camp. Bonding night had one of the best camp hours, in my opinion. Half the room closed their eyes and got anonymous hugs from the other half of camp! Then we switched. There's something amazing about anonymous hugs. There's the prom, a big dance with lots of fabulous outfits. There's trust circle, a very intense experience, where anyone can step forward and say something about themself, usually some kind of secret or something they've never told anyone. And the last night, where we make absolutely sure that everyone who wants to gets a hug from everyone else at camp.

As you can tell, the camp deeply values hugs and other forms of bonding.

But the most special thing about camp is the people. I arrived and checked in, and before I had even looked around for my friends, a girl came up to me, introduced herself, and asked if I needed help with my bags. I thought it was so sweet. Everyone there interacts with everyone else, regardless of age, race, background, and opinions. Because you're not allowed to go unless you want to, everyone is happy to be there. There are no real cliques, and I everybody is just so friendly and welcoming.

I'm leaving for camp on Saturday. I'll be there for a week, back for a few days (I'm not scheduling anything for then, I plan to sleep, do laundry, and spend time with non-camp friends and my boyfriend), then there for another week! I'm starting to pack now, since the only other time I have is on Friday morning. Here's advance warning, there's a good chance I won't get around to a post on Friday. And after that, I'll put my etsy store on vacation, and probably won't be heard from again until October 7th.

Back to packing!