West Virginia University
24 Jun

OMC-"Through the Ages"

Catherine | June 24th, 2009

Hey, hey, hey! This is Caroline back again for a new summer of camps! I have been here at Jackson’s Mill since Sunday at OMC (Older Members Conference) and it has been truly amazing! The theme for the week is “OMC Through the Ages”, so we have been traveling through history.

We started in prehistoric times on Sunday. We celebrated our first council circle with the new traditional ceremony, “The Journey”. Bob Richardson also informed us we had about 250 people in camp this week which is down from previous years, but I can honestly report that the spirit of OMC has not suffered at all. As I’ve been noticing each night at council circle there has been one thing that was really significant. Sunday’s best was definitely a Mingo commercial including a prehistoric man who stood up with a stick and performed a loud tribal call. It was hilarious!

Monday came quickly and the theme of the day was “Et tu, Brute?” aka Roman times. We had our first speaker, Dr. Nigel Clark, who spoke on alternative fuels. We attended our classes for the first time as well. We also had our traditional camp picture, but they switched up the order this year. For the first time in my 8 years of state 4-H camping the Cherokees and Delawares were in a picture together and the Mingos and Senecas were pictured together. It looked like Christmas and Halloween and the Christmas photo even sang some carols to go along with the festive colors. Monday night council circle had to be one of the funniest I have ever attended. I got a nice seat on council rock for the evening and about all the laughing I could stand! The Delawares music mix-n’-match definitely took the gold. They took a very somber traditional song here in West Virginia 4-H and mixed it with a very funny silly song, My Home Among the Hills and The Beaver Song. They sang the tune of the first, but used the words of the second. Their male chief went on to sing in the last part of the song a very high screeching descant usually performed by sopranos in a choral group. I cried, not from sadness, but laughter.

Tuesday arrived with the theme of “Let the Games Begin”, alluding to the first Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece. We did not have a speaker because we were performing our annual service to the
Mill. Campers participated in everything from painting benches to mulching flower beads to cleaning out cluttered rooms. It turned out to be a rewarding job for not only the mill, but the campers as well. Tuesday night is always a very special night here at our summer camps because it is All-Star night. There is a ceremony performed where the new inductees are tapped out of the entire audience of campers. No Tuesday night at camp has ever been more special to me however, because last night I was tapped and inducted to be a West Virginia 4-H All-Star! It was shocking and amazing all in one. We then went to council circle with all the special guest All-Stars. It was again a hilarious night. Although council circle was a little long, we came down to the assembly hall afterward and were able to congratulate all the new All-Stars and celebrate with a little folk dancing.

Although today is not yet over, it has already been quite interesting. Our theme for the day is “Who Turned Out the Lights?”, or medieval times. We had a guest speaker this morning on Cyber Bullying. It was quite the controversial issue. It spurred great discussion of everyone in their small groups and when we came back for full camp discussion the response was so overwhelming that we had many campers unable to voice their
opinions in the allotted time. We were encouraged to share our thoughts with others over the course of the day however.

So, as camp this week has been quite fun and amazing I am sure and hope it only gets better.

Until Next Time,
Caroline Bailey

1 Sandra Orland nee Swinler | Jun 25 at 3:59 pm

Thank you for such a wonderful article of the current goings on at OMC 2009. It brings back such wonderful memories and I almost feel like I am there to experience it! I am so proud that some time was spent rehabilitating the Mill with painting and mulching, etc. That’s the true 4-H spirit of service. How How!

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