Campership winners share experiences


Camden Greenfield, Sammy Aranki and Hannah Furman are three campership recipients who told their stories of summer band and scout camps on Thursday evening. Sept. 27. 2023. Hononegah Woman's Club sponsored five local students with camperships.

Local students are awarded camperships that allow them to attend summer camps. This year Hononegah Woman's Club sponsored five local students who shared their experience on Thursday evening, Sept. 28 at the Old Stone Church in Rockton, IL.

Hononegah Community High School junior Sammy Aranki reflected back on her band camp experience.

"I went to UW-Whitewater Band Camp from July 23-28. Campers were taught how to play an instrument," Aranki said.

"We stayed in dorms and there was no air conditioning."

"We had auditions right away on Sunday. Two to three bands were created with a placement of the best band. We had the option of trying out for an honors band."

One recital featured solos and duets. A staff recital showcased alumni of UW Whitewater. A total of seven and a half hours a day were filled with playing instruments.

"At sectionals I played saxophone. We worked together to practice our parts, with two practices a day, plus a group rehearsal for one and half hours," Aranki said.

"Everyone played a song specifically on the instrument they chose to use. I only played the sax," Aranki said. 

"We had to walk six miles per day to get to the dining hall."

"At the same camp, football and gymnastics camps were also happening."

Aranki said the campers had a dance at the end of the week, with a DJ.

"I met people from all over. Some were from Michigan or Indiana."

"The reason that this summer camp was so important to me is because I want to become a middle school band teacher in the future. It is the best way to learn and to lead me into a career in music. Last summer when I attended camp, I played the trumpet."

Hanna Furman is an eighth grader at Roscoe Middle School. "I went to a Girl Scout camp at Camp McCormick in Stillman Valley, IL for six days.

"We went zip lining, horseback riding, canoeing and kayaking. We learned how to build a fire. During a free day at Tomahawk, we also learned how to properly use AR rifles and archery.

We slept in hammocks or tents. We got to know each other better as we made dinner. Campers learned life and outdoor skills."

"I am looking forward to becoming a camp counselor; that is why this camp is so important," Furman said. Currently 16 eligible Counselor in Training sessions are open.

HCHS sophomore Camden Greenfield from Scout Troop 620 of Roscoe used his computer to share photos of special highlights of his time at Boy Scout camp.

"I went to a week-long camp in northern Wisconsin, in New Rhinelander," Greenfield said.

"We went camping and swimming and earned merit badges." Greenfield earned a merit badge in ecology.

"It was raining from the moment we got our swimming passes in the lake. All but one scout at camp passed the swimming tests."

"I almost finished my first aid course. On our last day we had a fire bowl where we had a bonfire with a fire ring."

"My favorite part of camp was taking a walk around the lake and playing at our campsite. If it wasn't raining, we would have a campfire."

"At the waterfront we tried out the water trampoline, went canoeing, sailing and boating."

The gift shop at the camp was also known as The Trading Post. "We had our picture taken by the 'Hodag,'  a mythical creature and the town and area mascot."

"We had a lot of fun.... In the dining hall we ate buffet style and we had a cookout one day of the week."

Different troops came from Minnesota, Alabama, Wisconsin and Illinois. There was a total of 600 campers on site with ages ranging from 13-18.

The theme was a "Fantasy Tree Patch."

Greenfield is working his way toward becoming an Eagle Scout.

Samantha Guffey is a freshman at HCHS who attended Camp Dean in Big Rock, IL. "My camp name was Doughnut," she says. Guffey is a CIT-1 (Counselor in Training).

"We learned knot tying, played volleyball, fed goats, went night hiking where we looked at the stars in the sky, and heard sounds from different birds."

"We also went uphill before rolling down the hill. We met lots of different ladies with a lot of different personalities.... The girls who were there before really showed me around. My favorite part of my time was hanging out with other campers," Guffey said.

Sisters Samantha and Hannah Guffey shared their experiences at Girl Scout camp.

Samantha's sister Hannah Guffey, a HCHS sophomore, also went to Camp Dean. "This is the second year that I went to Camp Dean... and my second year to receive a campership," Guffey said. "This coming year I will be a counselor."

"Our project combined the CTI group one and two this year, for three weeks.... I am currently a national delegate.

"Our cabins had glass in them and counselors had towels on the door.... We made curtains for privacy," Guffey said.

"I made a lot of new friends and one became part of our troop. We learned to live with other people. Our camp staff was of an international background. We were able to learn about different cultures."

"The CIT-2s checked in to make sure that everyone was safe."

Guffey and her group went swimming, and she became archery certified.

Guffey told a fun story about fixing a pot of chocolate frappuccino in the middle of the night  and sharing it with everyone. "Our camp director was convinced to try it first," she said.

Guffey learned how to help a little girl who became emotional. The camp counselor was able to calm her down.

"A Girl Scout family goes beyond to help others," Guffey said.

Both of the Guffey girls have been chosen to be Girl Scout cookie spokespeople this year. 

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