A Day at Camp

New adventures await campers each day

A typical Camp Millican day through the eyes of Camp Director Arielle Owens

Wildlife Day at Camp Millican

There is a quiet joy in the camp morning, as the dew glistens on the grass and campers run to greet each other, explore Mount Millican, and gather for their new favorite games. One of my best-loved experiences is watching children discover the adventure that is always around them and inside them.  We see this every day at Camp Millican as children connect with nature and with each other.

Wildlife Day is always one of the most exciting experiences at Camp Millican.  Each weekly camp session includes this fascinating and animal-centric day. It begins like many others: the campers gather across from the ponds, meet their counselors, and launch into camp songs. Then, while campers continue to play on Mount Millican with their old friends and new acquaintances, the counselors check packs for the day’s lunches (and sunscreen!), and share stories from the previous day.

Frequently in the mornings the horse trailer arrives, and we all watch as the horses are unloaded and prepared for the rides that are soon to come. When the horses are ready, we “duckline” hike over to the camp house to prepare the children for their introduction to horseback riding. Two by two, campers are called to their ride, while others play games determined by “the wheel,” which is spun like a gameshow to the excited calls of participants.  Gaga Ball is a favorite, and the pit is often used as a sandbox for younger campers who dig out trenches, canyons, and castles.

After lunch, it’s time for wildlife!  Our professional wildlife rescue partner arrives with scaly, soft, and feathery friends. As the customized wildlife experience is being set up inside the camp house, campers eagerly peek through windows to catch a glimpse of what’s to come: a host of animals native to the Brazos Valley and other exotics usually only seen at a zoo. As the children file in, our partners share helpful information about the wildlife, their care needs, behaviors, and fun stories about the animals themselves. These friendly visitors often include spiders, lizards, chickens, rats, gerbils, and a beloved tortoise who roams the camp house during the presentation. The campers are provided instruction and invited to carefully pet the creatures, and experience the differences from one to the next. These moments are exciting and so valuable for these children who get to fully experience something they might not otherwise have ever seen up close.

We end this memorable camp afternoon with a final round of burning questions about the wildlife and picture-taking.  Then parents return to pick up their exhausted campers, who are full of stories and laughs about their day, and who will soon be ready for their next exciting adventure at Camp Millican.

Arielle Owens

Learn more and register for Camp Millican here.

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