It was an early start on a foggy morning, but I am happy to say that I made it safely to Camp Otterdale this year for the DFM Resident Retreat. As all the residents arrived, they were buzzing with nervous anticipation, and we knew this day was going to be special. Luckily, there was coffee a-plenty as we listened to our program chief who made us do an exercise that sounded like a rainstorm (so much that one chief in an adjacent building was alarmed it might be raining). The bravest of souls confronted the group outhouses, but the beautiful sunny weather somehow made up for that.
We then heard from two passionate and funny lecturers before lunch. Residents were engaged and those of us who had heard the lecture before still learned lots. After a hearty family-style lunch, the camp-staff led us on wild adventures of basketball, archery and meditative art. There was also yoga, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and swimming! I’ll admit, my canoe was accidentally tipped, but they say scratches and bruises only build character. We also had some time to relax and enjoy the space before dinner, where ‘Captain’ convinced everyone to sing an actual camp song.
I’ve been sworn to secrecy regarding the late night’s events, but let’s just say that it included a wild team Twister competition, a friendly trivia rivalry, Olympic-level ping-pong, a rather enthusiastic rendition of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and one retro fanny-pack. And also S’mores—so many s’mores.
In the end, once the tables were cleaned, the fire was put out and the campers went safely to bed, they had some time for reflection. There was a strong sense of contentment, knowing that it had been a successful day of making new friends and renewing old friendships. I guess it’s time to go back to the real world now. We will go back feeling refreshed, renewed and with lasting memories. See you next year, Otterdale!
Anonymous resident camper, 2018