YPC Girl’s Weekend Retreat

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Camp Jewell was so much fun!  The camp has a big, long, fast, green slide!  There’s a mini farm with sheep, llamas, and goats. There are ducks, chickens, roosters too and a giant pig that’s very grumpy!  Also, you might not notice them but there are cute bunnies hopping all around. In my cabin, Cabin Three, there was a couch and a fire place and it was so close to the lake. Canoeing was also very fun. Make sure you don’t tip over! Look for YPC updates all the time. Blog ya later!

 – Alliyah, 10, Intermezzo

This was actually my second Camp Jewell trip!  As soon as we found out our room assignments, the race was on to claim a bed! After that was resolved, we were to head over to Centennial Hall for rehearsal. I mean, what’s a YPC retreat without rehearsal? Once we went over a few songs, we also learned some music theory (which actually got everyone really engaged and excited.)

            Rock climbing, archery, field games, kayaking, and a gigantic slide were all a part of our activity choices. But the game that got everyone pumped and very competitive was the “Scavenger Hunt.” Our team (The Green Team) had a lot of team spirit and won 3rd place! The best part of that weekend for me was the bonfire which followed the talent show. Singing together with everyone surrounding the fire was the greatest bonding experience of the entire trip and it reminded me of why I love YPC.

– Nia, 17, Concert Chorus

Camp Jewell was honestly the best trip I have ever taken. This year had so many different adventurous tasks and obstacles. At Camp Jewell we were placed in teams. The teams were yellow, purple, orange, green, blue, and red. I was on the Yellow Team. Each team got a flag and this year, instead of getting stars, we got buttons for team challenges. My team had 23 buttons at the end of this fantastic weekend!

First we did a few activities in Centennial Hall then we went off to do the weekend’s challenges. We went to archery, the slide, rock climbing, to the mini farm, etc. It was very cold there so every 10 minutes everybody went to the hot cocoa machine.

Soon it was time to audition for the talent show. I auditioned and then I got in. My sister got me ready by doing my make-up, making sure I was dressed well and then we were off. I was wearing a pretty black and gold dress with black shoes, a silver black and gold bracelet and a golden headband with a poufy black and gold hair clip. Everyone in the talent show was amazing!  Finally, it was my turn. I sang “Pulled” from the Addams Family Musical. After the talent show we had a camp fire and made s’mores. It was really cold and I was very tired so I went back to the cabin. I set up my sleeping bag on the top bunk. After we got back to the cabin, all the girls started talking about how much fun we had while the other girls in the next room were playing tag. After that, I finally went to bed.

The next day I woke up, got dressed and went jogging. I went to get some more hot cocoa too. My friend Elizabeth went to the slide and then back to our cabin and get our stuff to the mini garage. After some more activities, we had a rehearsal where we sang a few songs and then it was time for the Scavenger Hunt. For me, that was the craziest part. Our team had to go to this island where we needed to get a clue. When we arrived at the island, someone stepped on a bee nest and a lot of people got stung so more than four members of my team had to quit the Scavenger Hunt. The Yellow Team started with twelve girls and by the end of the Scavenger Hunt only four girls were still standing. After that, we went on the bus. It was a fantastic weekend!

 – Irena, 10, Intermezzo

Camp Jewell this year was a wonderful experience. It was great to get to know incoming Concert Choristers and also to talk to the younger girls in other divisions. The positivity shared by everyone who came made the weekend lighthearted and fun.

Choristers in different divisions do not get to see each other often except for when we sing together in annual concerts. During this weekend, each older girl sat next to a younger one and we introduced ourselves. I enjoyed this because I remembered how I idolized the older kids when I was little. Now, as an upperclassman, I see how the Prelude and Intermezzo children look up to me. We learned new songs together, spoke Spanish with Johnny Rabe, and had music theory lessons with Francisco. Both younger and older girls were very eager to participate.

We were later broken up into teams for activities and competitions where we got to make up cheers and try to earn buttons to pin onto our flag. Everyone had a lot of fun during archery, kickball, and rock climbing; we even got to see Sheldon and Sophia make it to the top of the rock wall!

All who participated in the talent show provided a night of hilarious skits and beautiful music. After a closing campfire and burnt marshmallows (at least on my part), we returned to our cabins for the night. I loved talking to all the Concert Chorus and Cantare girls. We bonded through shared stories about funny performances and things that happened on tour.

In all, the girls’ retreat to Camp Jewell was a great success. Everyone got along well with each other and made new friendships that will continue in rehearsals and concerts.

– Caroline, 16, Concert Chorus

This was my third trip to YPC “camp” since my granddaughter joined YPC.  I couldn’t wait to be with the girls in the beautiful fresh air and see Stanley the pig at the farm, and even take a turn on the big slide.  But then as the girls of mixed divisions gathered in their assigned teams and started the activities, I remembered the best part of being at Camp Jewell—the unconditional support of every girl for each other.

This is what makes YPC so unique. That incredible support makes every girl fearless.  They can try anything and know they will always be encouraged and never belittled, whether it’s trying to master that tricky rhythm or getting to the top—or even the middle—of the rock climbing wall.

On this particular trip, there was one moment that, for me, summed up the magic of a YPC camp weekend.  It was close to 11 p.m. on Saturday night.  One side of the cabin was quiet.  The lights were out and although I could still hear girls whispering and murmuring, it was clear they were nodding off.  The other side of the cabin, however, was the total opposite, so Sergeant Chaperone knocked on the door intending to suggest that it was getting late, and maybe they should think about settling in.

But when I opened the door, I was met with a remarkable sight.  There was our chaperone chorister Vera sitting on the floor with her back to the bunk.  Sitting cross-legged around her, staring up in adoration and soaking up her every word, were all these Prelude and Intermezzo choristers.  It’s something I’ll not soon forget….and neither will any of those little girls.

– Angela Duryea, YPC Staff and Grandparent Chaperone