Summer camp teaches skills and leadership

Lila Dell Leveritt, Lifestyle editor

Since sixth grade, junior Landon Cook has spent his summers at Camp Country Lad- a Christian based boy camp in the middle of a Mennonite village. The camp accommodates 80 to 100 boys ages eight to 15. Anyone older is a counselor-in-training (CIT) until they graduate from college to become a full counselor.

“We have Beebe shooting, archery, field games, tennis, lacrosse, horse back riding, swimming and Badminton. At the beginning of camp, you sign a schedule, but no one really follows it,” Landon said.

Landon enjoys just having fun with the kids, although they can get out of hand. Last year a camper snuck out of his cabin, and into another where he hit a kid with shaving cream and poured soap all over him. It was Landon who had to change the sheets.

“We [fellow CITs] got this horse grade icy hot from a Mennonite store. We went back to our cabin… My friend was like, ‘if you put it below your waist, I’ll put it below mine’. We did and we both felt like dying for an hour,” Landon said.

Campers and counselors have a history of pranking each other, and Landon’s no stranger. During his summer as a CIT, he decided to scare one of his campers by climbing into the second story of a cabin, and having his friend make noise downstairs to distract the camper while he climbed in the window, and got behind his bed. He waited until the camper came back to his bed, on the verge of sleep, to reach out and shake him. The camper started screaming, and Landon “ran away like a coward”.

“I keep going back because it’s my favorite place. You just chill out for a month, and don’t have to worry about anything,” Landon said.

Landon’s seen everything from campers pulling knives, to triplets who alarmingly resemble Alvin and the Chipmunks. He plans on going back as a CIT again this summer, especially for the greased up pig chasing on July 4. The main counselors put grease on a small pig and challenge the boys to catch it. Landon intends to keep going back to Camp Country Lad, and is ready for more fun!