When I was in junior high and high school, I looked forward to summertime each year, and not because it meant the escape of school, but because it mean that it was time to attend Camp Cimarron. Many of my friends were forced into music camp and sports camp and personal camp by their parents, but I chose to attend Camp Cimarron because it was one of the most entertaining ways to spend my free time.
Owned by Camp Fire Boys and Girls, Camp Cimarron is an excellent combination of human values, Christian practices, and more fun than a kid can stand. Rather than focusing on one particular activity, Cimarron touches on scores of different interests that of all ages are encouraged to explore. Campers are allowed to select three main activities and one additional event in which to participate, and through the course of a seven-day session, are taught the basics in those activities.
In addition to chosen special activities, campers also participate in daily swimming hours and nightly events, such as talent shows and dances. Twelve campers each session, in the 8th-12th grades, can sign up for “Wrangler Unit,” meaning that they work exclusively with the horses in Ben’s Barn. They assist Horseback Staff in teaching the younger students and learn the responsibilities and duties surrounding horse care. Meals are eaten in the Canodge, which is the Camp Dining Hall, and trail rides and hikes are taken throughout the miles of trails winding through Camp Cimarron.
Each afternoon, campers also have an opportunity to have a snack at the Canteen, which sells chips, cokes, candy bars, and cookies. Parents can add a Canteen Account for their before camp starts so that children can buy goodies. They also sell t-shirts, caps, jewelry, and other Camp Cimarron apparel for campers to take home with them.
Some of the main options to select from are rapelling, horseback riding, archery, arts & crafts, ultimate frisbee, carpentry, dancing, drama, tennis, soccor, baseball, basketball, rock climbing, jousting, fire building, and astronomy. All of the counselors are trained and/or certified in the fields they teach, and they are required to demonstrate skills before employment. The counselors are also required to be certified in First Aid, and there is a registered nurse on staff during each session.
Camp Cimarron is located at the edge of the Cimarron River, and after 66 years of business, there are hundreds of stories surrounding the camp. One is the Cimarron Lady story, which counselors tell kids when they sleep at night. There is also Tajar, the animal who lives in the Cimarron Trees and who keeps watch over campers while they play and learn.
Counselors are never called by their actual names; they make up there own before the begin of camp. Examples are Miss Sorrel, Mr. Scooby, Miss Oops, and Miss LMNO. They paint their dining chairs during counselor training, and are much loved by the campers with whom they live.
To learn more about the exciting world of Camp Cimarron, visit www.campcimarron.com. You can learn about how to get your kids involved, or how to become a counselor yourself. Sessions span the length of summer, and fill up fast. And if your kids want to sell candy for Camp Fire, they can earn deductions on camp sessions. thereby lessening the strain on parents’ wallets.
Cimarron is located off State Highway 33 in the middle of Coyle, Oklahoma, which is in Payne County, approximately an hour from Oklahoma City. Campers should always bring a trunk with clothes, sleeping bags, a pillow, a water jug, sunscreen, paper and envelopes with which to write home, boots, toiletries, and anything else they might need during their stay. Medications must be registered with the camp nurse prior to your child’s stay, and an emergency contact must also be provided. Remember to pack a jacket or sweatshirt because Cimarron nights can be chilly!
All in all, Camp Cimarron is a happy, healthy, safe place to leave your while you enjoy a week of relaxation!
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