So Long, Farewell

Posted August 10, 2013 • Share: Matoaka Magic has a mysterious power to make 7 weeks pass by at an astonishingly fast rate. It feels like the buses just arrived to drop off our First Session campers, and now the buses are pulling away, marking the end of another Camp Matoaka summer. We sent Summer 2013 off in typical Matoaka fashion, with a spectacular evening of spirit and sentiment. The Queens had been working all summer long on preparing a fantastic banquet for us, to mark the last night of camp. The theme was a closely-guarded secret, and as the campers entered the Dining Hall they were greeted by a sugary scene- CANDY LAND! It was as if the board game came to life! Campers were greeted by gingerbread people, lollipop princesses and candy cane people. There were candy decorations everywhere and a giant mural of “Candy Castle” on the stage. There were games to play and cookies to decorate, and everyone loved it! Dinner included pizza bagels, mini burgers, chicken patty sandwiches and salad! There were cupcakes and cake pops for dessert, plus many sugary candies! The night continued with a fantastic Candy Land performance by the Queens, and our prestigious award ceremony! Each department gave out small plaques to one camper from each division who was outstanding in their activity this summer. Girls were thrilled to hear their name called as the rest of the camp cheered! We also recognized campers and staff with awards for their overall camp achievements. The most prestigious honor a Matoaka camper can receive is to be recognized on our Honor Roll plaque. This group of girls represents the ideal Matoaka camper. On a similar note, we announced our Distinguished Counselors of 2013, and they each received a commemorative plaque. We also took this time to recognize the outstanding efforts of some long-term staff members who have made an immeasurable impact on camp. We honored Dave Wilbur for 40 years of service, Todd Leydecker for 15 years, and as well as some others. It was a touching moment since everyone on camp has been positively influenced by these individuals. After the presentations, we gathered in the Counsel Ring for a different type of celebration. There we were treated to a brilliant fireworks show. Campers and counselors held hands, linked arms, and oohed and aaahed together over the magical display. The perfect example of Matoaka Magic, beautiful moments like this are what these girls will remember for the rest of their lives.  Then we passed down a few traditions from the outgoing Queens to the incoming Queens such as Rope Head presidency, Campfire Chief and more. Then came the moment everyone was waiting for. Our Bunk 15 Queens passed on the legacy of the Queen title to the Bunk 14 campers with our traditional “crowning” ceremony. The Queens of 2013 personally designed a crown for each Bunk 14 camper and ceremoniously placed it on her head. This officially marked the end of the Queens of 2013’s reign and welcomed the Queens of 2014. It’s a beautiful and emotional moment steeped in history and tradition. After that, everyone retreated to their cozy pink cabins for one last night at One Great Place. Office Staff and counselors travelled down the bunkline serenading each cabin with a favorite camp song. They huddled together by candlelight, singing songs and wishing each camper a good night. This morning it was time to board the buses and head back home. We truly live “Ten Months for Two” and the countdown for Summer 2014 has officially begun!

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