For week three of Hill to Harbor Discovery Camp, we visited Georges Island. On Monday as always, we started off the week by prepping all the materials needed for our visit to Georges Island. This week was full of mixed emotions, Tuesday for example, the campers were not focused, distracted, and complained a lot about being on the island. Wednesday, however, the campers were more engaged, willing to learn and excited to be one of few YMCA campers who get to visit Georges Island.  

During our visit on the island, we tried to create fun activities that kept the campers engaged and excited. One of those activities was called “Storm the Fort,” this activity was mainly for the younger campers as it got them to be engineers for a day and allowed them to experience what it would have been like to live and work on the island through the magic of storytelling. A selected number of campers were chosen to assist our rangers in firing a cannon, or rather pretending to fire a cannon by going through the process of what it would have been like back in the day. The most engaging and exciting part of the visit for the campers were the lawn games we played. These games include: Jacob’s Ladder, Ball in Cup, Hoops & Graces and Hoop & Stick. These were games played back in the 1800s and despite how old the games are, the campers really seemed to enjoy playing them. One of the most common favorites was Hoops and Graces. We even turned it into a bit of a competition, to see which pair would get the highest number in a row! This seemed to really make the campers happy. We told the story of the Lady in Black, a popular scary ghost story on Georges Island, to the campers, which got the campers both scared and excited. Lastly, we walked through the dark arch, a corridor that is entirely pitch black. Regardless of how scary it is, most of the campers walked through and even wanted to do it again! 

Although there were some challenges to the week with the heat being one of them, as it affected campers energy levels, behaviors, and attitudes, it was an incredible experience. Campers and counselors got to tour the island, learn about the history of Fort Warren and play some very fun and interesting games. 

“My favorite part was breaking into the castle!” – a YMCA Camper

A ranger gives instructions as campers line up to enter the Dark Arch after hearing the story of the Lady in Black.
A camper plays hoops and graces with a partner off screen. In the distance another camper plays ball in cup with a counselor.

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