Believe it or not, I am often asked if we have Halloween at camp! The short answer is… well, no, but sort of! We do not trick-or-treat, but we do dress up with our friends, have a costume parade and indulge in sweets and fun and games! It all happens on what is personally one of my favorite days of the summer: CARNIVAL!
Carnival starts with a costume parade. Every cabin dresses up together and makes their costume as a group. I love seeing how creative the cabins (and groups of staff) get every year. In the middle office, we division heads always try and come up with something clever. The parade takes place in the Apple O and each group gets the chance to come onstage and strut across to a song of their choice. It is so much fun to watch and see what all of the cabins came up with! In 2022, we started a new tradition of having a theme to inspire costumes. For our first “theme” year, we picked TV shows, and our division head group dressed up as the “Fresh Princesses of the Middle Office!” I wonder what the theme will be in 2023… (Psst: If you have any suggestions, DM them to Najah on Instagram!)
There’s so much more to Carnival that I’ll have to save most of it for another Tradition Time… because there is JUST TOO MUCH TO SAY! But since it’s #spookyseason, I have to talk about one more aspect. After the costume parade, everyone goes up to Main Campus for games, snacks and surprises — including the traditional Bunk One haunted house! Each year our Bunk One campers bring a little taste of Halloween to Carnival. They come up with a story for their haunted house, work together to build it, create costumes, and run the show themselves! To make sure the frights are fun for all, there are different times for each age group to go through the haunted house. As you get older, it gets scarier… and scarier!
Feeling spooky yet? Don’t worry — just like our adventure courses, the haunted house is “challenge by choice,” and only those thrill-seekers who want a scare choose to enter the haunted house.
What are your favorite Carnival memories? What do you hope next year’s costume theme will be? Comment below and let us know!