July 28th – The Guardsmen were hosted once again by the incredible staff at CYO Camp Armstrong. Tucked in Armstrong Woods outside of downtown Occidental in Sonoma County, the property is an amazing countryside setting just a 90 minute drive from busy San Francisco. Guardsmen and families got to spend a day visiting with campers who had just begun their weeklong session at the overnight camp. The day began with an orientation and introductions where the staff and Guardsmen caught up about this year’s sessions and how everything was going overall. Next, the Guardsmen and staff were joined by a small group of campers who each shared their individual stories from this year’s adventures at summer camp. The campers extended their thanks to the group, since Guardsmen fundraising had played a part in funding their participation. After the campers, a few of the counselors and counselors-in-training gave their own testimonials as former campers with Guardsmen sponsorship who have now moved on to be the leaders of the current, and next, generations. Each of the speakers just took a few minutes, but the significance of their stories will last much longer. It is those few minutes, to hear the testimonials, that is the only motivation any Guardsmen needs to pursue the next year of fundraising with passion and determination.
Following the opening assembly all the campers joined us for lunch in the main hall and the Guardsmen and their families worked along side the campers to coordinate food pick up, setting the tables and, ultimately, clean up. It was a great demonstration of teamwork and process that the counselors and staff work hard to establish. After lunch everyone walked up the camp road to the chapel in the redwoods where Associate Director, Paul Riya introduced the campers who then performed skits for the audience, with each cabin acting out their own story.
After the skits everyone was free to use the camp facilities including the swimming pool and archery range. Lots of fun was had, particularly on the archery range where friendly competition between CYO staff and Guardsmen started almost immediately upon arrival. Everyone left with a smile on their face and the campers are set for another great session at Camp Armstrong. We’re already looking forward to next year and will be hard at work fundraising to support as many campers as possible.