Day 3 (Oregon Session 1 ~ by Max Kohler Gause)

We’re in session at Camp Latgawa in Oregon! This is a guest post by NBTSC camper Max Kohler Gause.


I had intended to start this blog post off talking about the circadian rhythm that the campers here start to exhibit during their stay; waking up early as the sun shines, starting games as early as possible, and for some (including myself) going on runs on the trail surrounding Latgawa campground. Intended is the key word; I was sick in bed until 12:00 with a “mystery” condition that had all but disappeared minutes after stepping out of my cabin, leaving me dumbfounded that I made it to lunch. Even though half of the day will be void from this post, I learned something very important with this experience. The campers at NBTSC are the friendliest and most caring campers I have ever had the privilege to be around. One person who I barely knew brought breakfast to my cabin without care for the trek involved, and another took my dishes in secret, leaving me to investigate around in order to find and thank them. (Thanks Owen.) Moments like these are what I feel like embodies camp. Friendships are formed with the simplest of actions, and no one even thinks twice about helping another person out.

This is my first year attending NBTSC, and even though I am no longer an unschooler, I still identify with the message and concept of self learning and direction. High school has been filled with testing, competitions, intense sporting events, and all kinds of stress, while the community here is very laid back and open to learning new things without worry of failure. Today we started our training towards our eventual pool volleyball tournament with a game out on the northwest sand pit. Apparently we suck at volleyball. But that’s what makes it fun, because nobody cared and both teams cheered for each other.

After messing up about every one of my serves, and being cheered on for it, I left the commotion to join a workshop titled “100 Goals with Blake.” The concept of writing down 100 goals for your lifetime in order to discover and find your true path and joys in life is one that I had heard about before, but  one I never put down the time or had the guidance to complete. Blake cranked up some dope tunes while we all settled down to list out our life on a couple sheets of paper, making us realize how little time we actually have to do the things we love.

After Blake’s workshop I returned to enjoy the pool with a continuation of the volleyball adventure. We were even worse in the water, and it was a ton of fun.

The day flew by after that, with notable moments being our soccer and capture the flag games, and a really great dinner of fried rice and vegetables. I didn’t plan on it, but ended up practicing piano songs until 1:00 in the morning, slowly banging out old forgotten tunes much to the annoyance of some friends trying to play a game of Risk, with instructions written in Spanish (they still haven’t figured it out).

I forgot to mention Assassin. NBTSC’s campwide games are a staple, most notably the game Assassin –  famous for its abilities to end friendships with the simple muttering of a word. How it works is all of the participants put in their name and then draw out a random name from some bucket shaped container. The name they get is the person they have to kill, by simply telling them “you’re dead” without anyone else hearing. Once they get their kill, they inherit their hit’s hit, all the way down the line until they get their own name, which means they win the game.

I am really excited to attend this camp next year, and hope to continue the blog in 2016. Max out.


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photos by Reanna Alder