Campers and their counselors take part in several activities during the day. Campers visit the same activities each day, but learn new skills as the week progresses. While activities are taught by instructors, counselors participate in all activities with their campers, and serve as assistants to the instructors.
Campers have the opportunity to enter the water and or swim each day (not all campers can swim and may choose to play on the beach). The beach and swimming areas at Camp Kiwanis are situated on Mill Dam Lake. The camp swimming area is organized into three zones – A, B, and C. Zone-A is about knee deep, campers can stand with their heads above water in Zone-B, and Zone-C extends to depths of at least 10 feet and is limited to strong swimmers.
Daily swimming activities are structured to be safe, fun, and instructional. All campers are swim tested on Monday morning when they arrive in camp. Campers are assigned a rank of A, B, or C depending on how they perform on the swim test. Campers are then restricted to their zone for the week. All campers enter the water with a buddy and pairs are counted at regular intervals during water activities. Multiple life guards are on duty at all times during any swim activity.
Swimming activities during the day stress water fun. Some basic instruction may be offered if campers are receptive to the idea. Most of the time campers play games like “sharks and minnows” or “Marco Polo.” Campers also have the choice of participating in an evening free swim. No instruction is offered during free swim and the hour is spent socializing and playing.
Canoeing remains a camp favorite among all ages of campers. Like swimming, campers may choose to stay on dry land if they want. Canoeing instruction begins on the beach, where campers learn canoe safety and basic strokes. As the week progresses, campers venture out into the lake and even get to swamp their boats in shallow water on the last day. Capable groups of campers may even paddle out into the middle of the lake, explore the shore, or hold canoe races.
A canoeing instructor and several counselors accompany all canoe outings. Outings remain in sight of the camp beach and a motorized pontoon boat is kept ready to retrieve any groups that need a hand. All campers must wear life vests and remain under adult supervision at all times. For young people canoeing is a big adventure that teaches teamwork, builds confidence, and is just plain fun.
Safe archery instruction is provided at the Camp Kiwanis range. Campers start the week with safety instruction and lessons to familiarize them with range rules and equipment. As the week progresses, campers learn to handle a bow and arrow on their own. Each day, they get to practice with assistance from counselors and under the watchful of the archery instructor. By Friday, many of them are hitting a bulls-eye on a regular basis.
The camp archery range is situated away from other activities and all equipment is locked up overnight. Archers practice shooting at round targets, working on their technique, and learning how to keep score. Once they master basic skills, campers may break into teams and compete for high points, try to shoot balloons on a target, or just hone their archery skills. Archery is not only fun, it teaches safety, self-control, and concentration.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts are popular activities at Camp Kiwanis. This activity takes place in an air-conditioned cabin and is led by the camp crafts instructor. Campers work on various projects during the week. Examples of crafts activities include the creation of banners which are hung outside each cabin, making “bead men” necklaces, braiding key chains and lanyards, and creating custom frames for their own camp photos. Other projects are possible and are typically adjusted to the age level of the camper. Campers work on several projects during the week that they will complete and bring home on Friday.
Campers visit the games field once a day. Games are designed to be fun, suit the age level of the campers, foster team-work, and provide physical exercise. Games played at Camp Kiwanis are non-contact sports and do not require previous experience. This approach ensures that all campers start with an even skill level and that all can excel regardless of athletic ability. If a camper can kick a ball and run, they can play with the best of them at Camp Kiwanis.
The games field is situated in a central area of camp. Campers often decide as a group which game to play and are always led by our games instructor. Counselors play along in all games and help to hone camper's skills. While teams may win or lose, all campers are encouraged to play at their own skill level and enjoy the game. Games provide physical exercise, promote teamwork and build self-confidence.
Evening activities are held on Monday through Thursday evenings after dinner. Activities include relay races, skit night, battle-ball, and a dance. Campers and their counselors perform or compete as cabins. The dance is held on Thursday evening in the dining pavilion and many campers reserve a special outfit for the event.