CYO Camp Armstrong in Occidental, CA hosted the Guardsmen at their annual Camp Day this July for a tour of the facilities and lunch with the campers. The weekend is an annual highlight on the Guardsmen calendar where the members have the opportunity to participate in the camper’s experience and witness the benefits of fundraising at work.
The day’s activities started late morning with a welcome in the main lodge where Guardsmen met up with campers to join them for lunch. Just before lunch a few campers shared their individual experiences highlighting the fact that without support from the Guardsmen, they would not be able to afford to be there. Each story was poignant for its own reasons and each example highlighted the personal growth and self – awareness that comes from attending summer camp. As the campers shared their stories, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, and it really highlighted impact at the individual camper level. Needless to say there is no bigger motivator to continue to push the Guardsmen mission than the real heartwarming stories heard on Camp Visitation Day.
After the camper’s speeches everyone grabbed a seat for a meal of barbeque chicken breast and green beans. Guardsmen and campers sat together and participated in the lunch proceedings as the counselors walked through the meal protocol. Tables lined up one at a time for food service and individuals fell out for specific duties such as fetching silverware, napkins and water pitchers. When lunch was complete each table separated their garbage, food waste and recyclables into the appropriate bin. While the counselors provided direction, it was clear that the campers had the process down to a science.
After lunch cleanup the campers took the Guardsmen up to the amphitheater set in a Redwood grove for an assembly to wrap up their session at Camp Armstrong and celebrate each other as fellow campers and fellow bunkmates. The celebration included sing-alongs, a reading from the Gospel and finally a salute to the Guardsmen.
At the conclusion of the assembly campers headed down to the basketball courts where their buses were being loaded for the trip home along side the busses unloading campers ready to begin their adventure. Paul Raia took the Guardsmen on a tour of the facilities including the archery range and a peek inside a few of the renovated bunks. Wandering the paths it was easy to see how much fun any child could have from the basketball courts to the swimming pool.
Please be sure to join us this July to experience the campers’ joy first hand and a fun family day.