— By Lisa Tener CRG Volunteer-
Many companies and organizations develop their own jargon or lingo. Camp Rainbow Gold (CRG) is no exception. Here are a few of our common phrases or words and what they mean!
Shines: Shines are a large part of our organization and are an important way to acknowledge or thank someone. Each shiner is asked to wear a silly hat while delivering their message. Typically, this happens after every meal at camp. For example, after putting on my silly hat, I would say, “Hello, my name is Lisa.” Everyone then yells back, “hello Lisa.” Then I would say my shine. “I would like to shine for Sally for finding my lost chapstick.” Or “I would like to shine for LuAnne for killing the spider in our cabin.” Then everyone claps and then the next person shines.
Circle-Up: Before each meal, the entire camp creates a large circle outside the dining area. Once everyone has assembled, there may be a few announcements, then we all sing the song “Johnny Appleseed.” It is a way to make sure everyone gets to the dining area at the same time. It creates community among the cabins and campers.
Pinecone (or Wish Cone) Ceremony: Before the final campfire at each camp session, everyone is provided with a pinecone. They are asked to write 2-5 wishes on a small piece of paper and tie it to the pinecone with colorful ribbon. These wishes can be whatever the camper wants them to be. No one reads them. For example, someone could wish for a new bike. Or say hello to a loved one that has passed away. Or thank the universe for bringing us all together. It doesn’t matter how large or small the wish is. Then towards the end of the final campfire for each session, the music/mood is toned down. Each camper is given the opportunity to place their Wish Cone (decorated pinecone) into the campfire. Where it is thought that your wishes will float up into the universe, heaven, space, whatever you believe in.
Toes-Up: Toes-Up refers to an hour-long nap or rest. CRG keeps campers, volunteers, and staff pretty busy while camp is in session. Everyone looks forward for a chance to get into their bunk, shoes off, toes up, and have a rest. Campers don’t have to fall asleep, but can read, draw, play a game. They must be quiet for any other campers who want to sleep. Toes-Up generally happens after lunch each day.
Raiding: Only positive raiding is allowed. Typically, a cabin will raid another cabin while they are away at an activity. That way they will be surprised upon their return. They might leave candy or small gifts. Or hang streamers or decorations outside their cabin.
Ghosting: Only the camp leadership team is allowed to ghost. Occasionally after campers have gone to bed they are surprised or scared by something the leadership team does. Cabin counselors will typically coordinate our contacts ahead of time.
Ratios: We hear this word a lot during camp. It’s not really lingo or jargon. It means what it says. For CRG purposes, no camper(s) can be alone, and no adult (except parent) can be alone with a camper. Depending on the activity or situation, the number of adults per number of campers differs. For example, for regular daytime activities (meals, art shack) must have 1 adult for every 5 campers. A high-risk activity (archery, mountain biking, horseback riding) must have 1 adult for every 4 campers. Ratios are reviewed thoroughly by campers and volunteers.
Lisa Tener has been a volunteer at CRG since 2009. She is currently the Camp Director at Sibling Camp and Spring Family Camp. She created our Escape Room (which she hopes to revive next year). She has also directed the Art Shack.