The student news site of Casa Grande High School

The Casa Revista

The student news site of Casa Grande High School

The Casa Revista

The student news site of Casa Grande High School

The Casa Revista

A Week Away in the Woods: 6th Grade Camp

All Photos By: Angelica Summary

On Saturday, April 20th Old Adobe Union School District 6th grade campers race off of their school buses and are greeted by the roaring cheers of counselors chanting “Camp Royaneh! R-O-Y-A-N-E-H!”. The students run up the long hill and sit down in the outdoor amphitheater dubbed the “Firebowl” ready to begin their week-long venture at 6th grade camp.

Counselors arrived the day before to get accustomed to the camp and to prepare for the students arriving the next day. They learned classic camp songs and games like “Bazooka Bubblegum”, “Boom Chicka Boom”, “Down by the Banks”, “Captain is Coming”, and “Cheerleader”, just to name a few. The counselors also received their cabin or tent site assignments and the list of students who would be in their tent sites or cabins with them. New counselors asked questions to returners and staff, making new friends along the way. But soon enough it was 4:30 on Saturday and the counselors started their chant for the incoming stampede of children.

Once students and counselors were all seated the campers were given a rough outline of what camp would look like: first, campers needed to go down the hill to find their luggage and bring it to their campsites to set up before dinner, then, throughout the week they would be going to different day activities in two day-groups. The day activities included In-Camp, River Hike, Coast Hike, and Survival.

In-Camp is a more relaxed and fun day for the students. Campers play games like “Captain is Coming”, “Capture the Flag”, “Down by the Banks”, and more. They also get to do trust falls. Trust falls at 6th grade camp are a very important part of the experience; students are required to take it seriously and those who are unable to do so do not get to participate in the activity. To warm up, students and counselors tie ‘heartstrings’ within a group in order to build the trust needed for the final fall of the picnic table. The campers go around in a circle and place their hand on their chest and then onto another person’s chest while saying “from my heart to your heart” while making eye contact, without laughing—if you do, you start over. But once the trust is established, they work up to falling off the table and being caught by their group of campers and counselors. In-camp also includes the ropes course. The ropes course had cargo nets, spider nets, a zipline, and more things for the students to climb and get their energy out on.

Next up is survival! Survival was a crowd favorite amongst many of the campers and counselors. Campers started at the Firebowl where they were placed in groups and used their creativity to come up with a group name and chant or signature move of some sort. Intergalactic Space Monkeys and The Very Bald Eagles are just two examples of winning groups. After this, students hiked up a big hill for about 20 minutes and were split back into their groups to get to know each other more and play games. But after this was when the fun really started. Campers had about an hour to build their own huts and figure out how they would survive in the wild. After the counselor leads for the day activity judged each shelter and survival story to determine a winner, the campers learned how to make a fire. Each student got a chance to start their own fire with a 9-volt battery and steel wool. Lastly, the students played some more games to conclude their day.

Two more activities remain, both being hikes. During day groups, two groups joined together, and for the river hike, they split up and switched between two different activities. Campers participated in a blind walk, where they were blindfolded and had to navigate a rope maze, and in the archery activity, where they got three chances to shoot either a bullseye or an orange. After that, it was time to hike. The river hike was approximately a 5 mile hike that took campers through the forest of Camp Royaneh, stopped by a scenic view of a waterfall, and ended at ended at the East Austin Creek. 


Throughout the week campers and counselors alike debated which hike was the hardest and tiring, but in the end, many agreed that the coast hike was the most exhausting. The coast hike follows the Pomo Canyon Trail in Jenner, about a 6 mile hike. The trail starts off with a steep incline, which after completing, students were rewarded with a snack to keep them going for the remaining hike. The rest of the trail maintained a steady incline with views of the bay and the Russin River. Lunch was held in a big patch of trees along the trail that many campers described as “walking into another world”, and others who said it was “like unlocking a new area of the game map”. After lunch, students made it to the top of the mountain where teachers took the opportunity to get a nice photo-op for the camper’s parents when they returned home. The last of the hike was all downhill, making it easier to finish for the tired campers and counselors. But, that also led to a few tumbles down the hill for some campers. 

After each day activity, campers got to hang out with friends, play games, or enjoy some alone time in the big meadow in the main area of the campgrounds. The hill where their sleeping quarters resided was also opened to allow both campers and counselors to shower and/or change for the night activity—a dance or a camp show.

The camp shows and dances alternate each night, giving the campers something new to look forward to each night. “The shows at Camp Royaneh they say are mighty fine,” said counselors while performing a song on stage for the campers. The camp shows are filled with repeat-after-me-songs and skits performed by both campers and counselors. They’re a fun creative outlet for kids who are more outgoing to go on stage in front of their peers and make some funny jokes, sing a song, and more. Additionally, campers who had shown good behavior, exemplary attitudes, kindness, and other model behaviors got called up to the stage to receive recognition at the shows (and prizes, usually in the form of candy). 

Another big event at camp was the dances! Students danced and sang their hearts out, fully accepting their fate of losing their voices. Groups of students formed dance circles, letting both campers and counselors show off their best dance moves. A portion of the mess hall, where the dance was held, kept the lights on and tables full of DIY activities and games for students who preferred to stay away from the noise. For those who needed a breather and something to quench their thirst a water station was manned by a rotating group of counselors and the doors to an outside area called the “U” was left open. Students left each dance with new, lifelong memories.

Camp allows kids to be themselves away from their regular everyday lives, and away from technology. This leads to a unique and fun ‘vibe’ at camp where kids can be kids and counselors get to experience what it was like to be a 6th grader all over again. Lasting memories are always made at camp and random, albeit sometimes strange, inside jokes are created at camp that lives on well outside the camp grounds. 

By the end of the week, campers experience the bittersweet feeling of leaving. They are tired and want to go home to sleep in their own bed again, but they’ve had so much fun at camp that they don’t want to leave. Campers packed their bags on the last full day of camp as they enjoyed the last night in their cabin or tent. Tears were shed and hugs were given out between campers and counselors. As the buses drove down the road, counselors and campers cheered as loud as they could waving their last goodbyes to Camp Royaneh 2024.

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