TRADITIONS OF CAMP MATAPONI: SATURDAY NIGHT CAMPFIRE
The tradition of the campfire at Camp Mataponi dates back over 100 years ago when Camp Mataponi was an all girl’s camp called Highland Nature Camp. The stories, songs and legends have been passed down over decades and along the way carefully selected additions were made to enhance this very special event. In the 1970’s and 1980’, Campfire became a weekly Saturday night tradition and was all about the “Legend of Mataponi”. Every bunk had to come to Campfire with a stick for the fire. Chief Mataponi and his Indian princesses ruled each Saturday night. Indian princesses earned the four feathers of Mataponi: red signified friendship, blue – cooperation, yellow- sportsmanship and green represented cleanliness. As the mid and late 80’s rolled around, the number of feathers increased to seven and the 7 Gold Feathers were introduced. The Gold feathers symbolize 7 core values that signify what is important to the embodiment of a Camp Mataponi camper and staff: Spirit, Compassion, Citizenship, Friendship, Sportswomanship, Cooperation, and Loyalty. With the new decade of the 90’s came the Camp sister “wish sticks , Gold feather nominations and the story of the Green Flame. This story has become an intricate part of Campfire and is told every year at the opening and closing campfires of the summer. It signifies the true friendships that are found at Camp; some that blossom in one short summer while others develop over years of sisterhood.
Below is the story of the Green Flame:
Fire is the only light you can stare at forever without hurting your eyes. (The fire gets poked with a stick so the sparks start flying). The orange sparks in fire represent the many people you see on a daily basis. There are hundreds who pass by you every day. You don’t know them all by name, but you might offer a passing hello.
The numerous yellow flames are the people who are somewhat close to you, whether they be classmates, people you smile at in the hallway at school, or perhaps people you share a mutual friend with. But outside of school, you rarely see each other.
Looking deeper into the fire, you see blue flames. These represent your inner circle of friends. This small group spends their time together going places and talking on a daily basis. These are the friends you share your inside jokes with, your good times and your bad.
Lastly, barely visible, are the green flames. Green flames are so rare that they cannot even be seen in every camp fire. The green flame represents your best friend(s). It is the friend you tell your innermost feelings to and the one person or few people you know will stick by you no matter what. Sometimes you can be lucky enough to find your green flame your first summer, but more often your green flames grow brighter over your years at camp. Your green flames = your soul mates.
CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK…
CAMPERS: Claudia R, Sophia K, Lauren F, Zoe O, Lindsay R, Allison L, Avery N, Ella G, Grace M, Ellie R, Kate K.
STAFF: Jess W, Kolien O, Emily M, Jessica I
WACKY HOLIDAY OF THE WEEK:
Thursday, April 27th: HUG AN AUSTRALIAN DAY
Since you might not know someone from Australia by Thursday, be sure to save your hug and share it with one of the counselors you’re sure to meet at Camp Mataponi this summer.
This is a very important holiday to mention because we have so many amazing staff coming over from Australia in June. You might think Australians speak the same English as you (and they do) but they have a whole language all their own that you need to know so you’ll know what your counselor is talking about this summer. Based on talking to some of our returning “Aussie’s”, here are the top conversational phrases and words you will want to learn.
Barbie – barbeque
Breaky – breakfast
Bum – butt
Cheeky – being cute or funny or smart alecky
Fairy Floss – cotton candy
Good On Ya – Nice Job
G’day – hello
Jumper – sweatshirt /sweater
Lolly water – soft drink
Mate – friend
Oz – means you’re from Australia
Rocket – salad
Rubbish – garbage
Runners/Trainers – sneakers
Sweet As – sweet, awesome. Aussies will often put ‘as’ at the end of adjectives to give it emphasis. Other examples include lazy as, lovely as, fast as and common as.
Togs/ Bathers – bathing suit
Thongs – flip flops
Vegemite – a yeast spread that is put on toast like we use peanut butter
Zed – is the letter “Z”