Camp Arnold in Eatonville near Mt. Rainier aka "rules? why have rules? WE RULE!"
So, the camp was awesome! So we all got into vans that had people going to the same level of hike. Of course I was on the level three hike (duh!) and rode with a whole bunch of cool people in the "Olympia" bus. We had much fun on the road already, playing "Ich packe meinen Koffer" with names and personal details. It turned out we were all pretty much into hiking, cycling, climbing and pretty much all the cool outdoor stuff, so of course we'd be having fun on the trip.
After we ditched our stuff in the cabins, we went to our hike three up Mount Rainier. It was just a five mile trip, but we had loads of fun. We went up to a place called Panorama Viewpoint (guess why) and it was just amazing. I am only putting up a few pictures up here.
More pictures of Camp Arnold can be found on facebook:
So after we got back from our "exhausting" hike three - we decided to have some fun breaking the Salvation Army camp rules. Some refreshment was needed and so we just jumped the camp lake (without lifeguard on duty - OMG! ;-)). Lucky that some of us actually brought an extra set of clothes.
Following that we had a bonfire with some international singing, which was pretty cool.
The night ended with dancing, board games and for some people with a couple of drinks in the near woods (determined not to break more camp rules).
With pretty much no sleep, we got up the next morning and the lake was awesome!
After breakfast we prepared for the upcoming cultural presentations. We Germans were going to do a reenactment of the bulding and tearing down of the Berlin wall in about three minutes. It was the funny version, too where David Hasselhof actually comes to Berlin singing "I've been looking for freedom" and thereby unites the country
(What? You never heard of that version?).
Some time during that morning we had started playing "tag" and on the van ride home, we annoyed people by playing that on the car, but it was so much fun!
There is so much more to say about camp, but I don't even know where to start. It was the most interesting thing I have done so far. Not only was the mountain gorgeous (and I will have to go all the way up there. Goal is to be in shape by June), but the people were fantastic. Who can say he has been in a van with a Chinese girl that wrote 4000 kilometers on her bike through China to the Tibet plateau... or with a French guy who changes countries every three years, because his Dad works for the government internationally, or with a guy from Israel, originally from Russia, whose favorite is scuba diving? Not to forget about the Iranian girl in astronautics, the Asianlooking buddy from Togo, who has joined an American fraternity and had that time in his life when he didn't sleep for three days. Then there was the Polish guy with American citizenship who felt he would betray Poland if he did a cultural presentation for America. Then there's the Swedish Girl with Bosnian roots, who has fled from the war and lived in five different countries, adding Germany as the sixth in 2009, the Indian driver, who dates his Russian navigator and basically lives in the woods (well, he likes hiking), the Dutch girl whose actual name makes her blush, because it has a funny connotation in America, and the other Swedish girl who is a total sports freak, most of all soccer.
Now, if that is not a treat for everyone who loves international relations, I don't know what is. And you know what else? Aside from being interesting, these people were incredibly nice, funny and cool as well!
Go Olympia and hike three - duh!