no video games and yet no one has ever complained. No big surprise since who has time to miss those things when you’re surrounded by the great outdoors, tons of friends and the kind of activities that make you sleep like a baby at night. Open to girls from 6 to 17 years of age, Camp Strawderman groups campers according to age and grade level in charming, rustic cabins. Each has its own personality and can accommodate from four to eight campers.
The day starts promptly at 7 a.m. with the rising bell, followed by colors, then a hearty breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Afterwards, dishes are done and cabin duties completed in time for daily inspection. Everyone pitches in, campers and counselors together, to complete the daily duties and move on to the fun stuff.
Morning activities kick in at 9 a.m. and run till noon. During that time, campers take classes in riding, swimming, tennis, archery, arts and crafts, Indian crafts and dance. Lunch is served at 12:30 followed by visits to the camp store and a quiet rest hour.
In the afternoon, campers take part in the activities they chose at breakfast. A perennial favorite is DIP, a supervised free swim – just the ticket for a hot summer day in the mountains of Virginia. Others opt for jumping, trail rides, archery, tennis, arts and crafts, Indian lore and Yoga.
At 5:30 sharp, the dinner bell rings and all campers gather at the Dining Hall. Mealtime at Strawderman is a time for cabin groups to be together and it’s not unusual for song battles to erupt. One cabin singing off against another until somebody is deemed the winner. But all competition is put on hold Thursday and Sunday nights when dinner is the much-anticipated “supper hike”. On those evenings, campers get the chance to eat on the trail, wade through Stoney Creek or enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the valley.
After dinner is a time to kick back and catch up with friends, take a shower, read or write letters and twice a week the popular game of Indians is played on the hill. At 8 p.m., the whistle blows for Campfire – a time when everyone gathers in the Rec Hall to sing the old songs and enjoy a show put on by one of the cabins. (Parents and guests have been known to show up at the more popular programs such as Showboat, Shakespeare, the Dance Show, and the Choir Program… and they are welcome!)
The day ends with a Camp Strawderman tradition – campers and counselors join hands in a circle and sing songs that mark the end of the day. Taps is blown on a bugle at 9:30 p.m., lights are turned out and everyone says good night.