Facing once-in-a-lifetime girl-versus-nature experiences, and hanging out with friends

MEDFORD LAKES, N.J. — As I concluded my busy summer experience, I went to an amazing camp called YMCA Camp Lake Stockwell.

It was a day camp, but there was the option of sleeping there. Every morning, you went in and signed in. There was the option of going and talking, or playing their signature game, Gaga. The first day you were assigned to a tribe. I, personally, was in Explorers 2.

During the day in Explorers 2, there were many activities, including the swamp challenge, challenge course, archery, shooting, a period of choice, and my favorite, boating. As you can see, this camp was a man versus nature experience.

The Swamp Challenge

You need to be careful there. There were three challenges. In the first one, you saw three ropes forming a V in the air. Holding on to the two highest ropes, you made your way across the swamp. The second challenge was a series of thin wooden balance beams zig-zagging back across the swamp. The third one was the most challenging. There were two ropes about ten inches above the surface. Using them, you needed to make your way across the swamp. I went on my stomach and wrapped my limbs around the ropes, being careful not to let them move to the sides, or I would fall into the bad-smelling, murky lake. Unfortunately I got several rope burns…

The Challenge Course

There were two options here. One was to go on the 51-foot climbing wall. Another was to go on the wobbling bridge some 15 feet up. Both, of course, were completely safe, with helmets and harnesses. I chose the climbing wall, making it all the way to the top and ringing the bell. I was lowered down with a rope, jumping down bit by bit.

Boating

During boating, you had the option of going on kayaks, single or double, or on canoes. There were sponge fights, and occasionally, you were tipped over by the counselors. (Mostly by Explorers 2’s head counselor, Dwayne.) I was tipped over three times during this experience.

All in all, this was an amazing man vs nature camp that lets you face once-in-a-lifetime experiences, hang out with friends, and enjoy a bit of your summer.