By J1 Reporter Andie Mikuls
It’s a cafeteria filled with kids singing every single lyric of “Allstar” at the top of their lungs.
It’s the campers and counselors filling their mouths with Alka-Seltzer tablets and Mountain Dew until it spews all over the place.
It’s the legitimate fear of stepping over the logs at the campfire because nobody wants green hair on their wedding day.
It’s all of these weird little quirks that make camp the place it is. “It’s the ability to be 100 percent yourself,” junior Mary Trainer said.
At the beginning of each school year, students come back to Marian excited about what they did over the summer. There is always a lot of chatter about Foster, a popular place among Marian girls.
Camp Foster is a summer camp located in Lake Okoboji, Iowa. Foster offers typical camp activities, such as canoeing, zip-lining, and drama, but it is so much more than that.
Kids come from across the U.S to be campers at Camp Foster. According to freshman Clara Neary, “It’s a fun way to get to know people from different cities and make new friends.”
Although kids come from many states and cities, there is always a large number of girls from Marian.
As more girls come back with stories about Camp Foster, more seem to want to go. There are even some counselors that graduated from Marian. Last summer Sloan Nelson (‘14) and Samantha Bianchi (‘14) were both counselors. “It’s fun to see Marian grads as counselors because you already feel a connection to them and could talk about Marian forever,” Trainer said.
In the past, Camp Foster has been compared to several events at Marian. Camp has been compared to both Freshman Retreat and Field Week many times. Both are filled with lots of singing, dancing, and laughing. During both freshman retreat and camp, girls build tight bonds in a short amount of time.
Camp, freshman retreat, and Field Week are all crazy busy with all kinds of activities. They are all moments that girls look forward to every single year.
At Foster there are five values, which are taught throughout the week. Campers learn about honesty, fairness, respect, caring and responsibility. Freshman Hope McLeay says that Camp Foster taught her to embrace the five values and that they are very similar to the core values taught at Marian.
The true meaning of Foster to most campers lies in the spirit of camp. At camp everyone is completely themselves without worry or stress. There is so much love and joy spread around, campers can’t help being anything but happy when at Foster. Campers go into their cabins as strangers and leave the week with some of strongest friendships they’ve ever made. It may sound cheesy, but it’s true. Just ask one of the many Marian girls that have been there.
Camp Foster’s motto is “Keep the flame alive.” At camp, girls learn to embrace their true selves and be who they want to be. Senior Bunny Nelson, a camp Foster graduate, said, “Camp Foster is about doing what makes you happy and letting your light shine. By shining my light, I can encourage others to do the same. Camp is a place where everyone can find what ignites their flame.”
Marian is similar to Foster in many ways. “Camp and Marian are both places where girls discover who they are and who they want to be; where you are completely free to be completely you,” Nelson said.
Camp Foster is not just a place to make friends and take part in fun summer activities. For girls like Mary, Clara, Hope and Bunny, it is more than that. It is a place for campers to discover who they really are and not be afraid to be that person. To many Marian girls, Camp Foster is a second home.