June 15-16: Overnight Steward and SIT Training

Hello, campers, stewards, SIT’s, and families! I’m Coltrane the turtle. You may recognize me if you’ve ever visited my tank in the Activity Center. If you’re not familiar, here’s a photo of me:

Yours Truly

Just when I was getting used to it being quiet around here, over 50 stewards and SIT’s came here to Tollgate on June 15 for 24 hours of training, activities, and animal chores (none of which involved me).

It all started with this “farm fruit challenge” that the edu-leaders cooked up. From what I saw, the stewards and SIT’s formed eight groups, and each group went to a different area of the site. From there, an edu-leader read a limerick and the kids had to guess what the last word was. Then, they participated in some sort of challenge to “earn” a fruit for a parfait. Here in the Activity Center, Garden Kitchen Leader Leah challenged everyone to build a tower of toothpicks and grapes.

Working on grape and toothpick towers

Other stations included:

Rope square

Making a rope square with eyes closed

Rope square

Harder than it looks


Balancing on a teeter-totter


Progress on the teeter-totter


Success on the teeter-totter!

Plank walk

Plank walk. Synchronicity is key.

Plank walk

Plank walk

Holding a chicken

Hold a chicken for five seconds.

Water relay

Water-over-the-head relay.

Birth order lineup

Line up in birth order…but no talking!

After the activities and a scrumptious dinner of hotdogs and chili, we had my favorite part of the night: the square dance! I didn’t dance (because I’m a turtle), but I could hear the music all the way from my tank, and there were some great tunes.

Square dance

Everyone in a circle

Big circle part 2

Big circle part 3

Some stewards enjoying the dance.

Square dance

Bow to your partner, bow to your corner, all. Take the lady by the hands and promenade the hall.

Square dance

The Texas Hustle to Billy Ray Cyrus’s “Achy Breaky Heart”

Texas Hustle

Square dance

Smaller groups form squares for square dancing.

After the dance, everyone gathered around a nice big campfire and sang some songs. My favorites were “Boom-Chicka-Boom” and “Tarzan the Jungle Man.” By then, everyone was pretty tired, so we made last minute adjustments to our tents, and then crawled in for the night.

Tent setup

Setting up tents for the night.

Tent setup

A nice pink tent!

The next morning, after a yummy breakfast, it was time for animal chores!

Sheep eat

Sheep need breakfast, too!

Hanging with goats

Hanging out with the goats.

Girl with goat

Leading a goat back to the barn.

Milking a goat

Milking time!

Girl petting goat

Camp: a place for making new friends (of all species!)

After the animals were accounted for and taken care of, everyone split into three groups for stations. The activities in the rotation were canoeing, fishing, and fire-building.

Getting on a canoe

Ms. Nicole holds the canoe steady for embarkation


They’re off!

Fishing and canoeing

Fishin’ and Canoein’


Nothing like fishing on a sunny Saturday!

Caught a fish



Hook, line, and sinker


Using a fire-starter to create some sparks and catch the wood on fire.

Both days were a blast, and I have to admit that it got me in the mood for camp. Good news for me: it starts next Monday! Now, I’m off to swim a lap or two. See you soon!

This entry was posted in Summer Camp, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.