Closing Ceremony

Goals for the closing ceremony: Reinforce the sense of belonging and community, memories made, entertain campers in a focused and intentional way, celebrate outstanding achievements.

Act I: Processional and Lighting of the Closing Fire

Campers travel as an entire Fleet from their Fleet Awards Ceremony to Friend Circle led by four shipmates: one flag bearer, one torch bearer, and two lantern bearers. The lantern bearer is seated with his/her ship, the flag and torch bearer proceed to one of the four flagpoles.

Flag Raising

Bugle Fanfare, and call to attention.

Leader: Sloop Fleet, present your colors!

Sloops flag is run up the pole to wild cheering.

Leader: Congratulations on completing this journey, Sloops! Schooner Fleet, present your colors!

Schooners run their flag up the pole.

Leader: Congratulations on completing your journey, Schooners. Clipper Fleet, present your colors!

Clippers run their flag up their pole.

Leader: Leadership Fleets, present your colors!

Leader: Congratulations on completing your journey, which included an extra hard challenge last night!

Leader: Inaugural Outriders, present your colors!

Leader: Congratulations on completing this historic journey as the first ever Outriders of Camp Fitch!

Campfire Lighting

Leader: Fleet Torch Bearers, proceed to the fire ring!

Leader: With fire born from your passion for living the Camp Fitch Way, I command you to light the Closing Camp Fire!

Act II:

Camper/staff talent

Act III: Slideshow

Slideshow

Act IV: Journeyman, Expert, Master, Outrider Awards

Adrienne presents neckerchiefs to Outriders.

Maggie presents

Act V: Pygmies Leave Camp, Honor the Pygmy Island Fellowship

Pygmy Family Picks Up Megan

CORNELIUS

Hi, Brian! Did our daughter Megan have a good time at Camp Fitch?

DOT

Did she make any new friends?

DIRECTOR

She sure did! In fact, she made so many new friends that we decided to form a new Honor Society in recognition of the new, special friendship between Pygmy Island and Camp Fitch. We call it the Pygmy Island Fellowship, and we would like you, Dot and Megan to help honor the (number) campers who were just inducted into the Fellowship this week.

DOT

Where is Megan?

MEGAN

Hi Mommy and Daddy!

DOT

Hi Megan! How was your week at Camp Fitch?

MEGAN

Great! I made so many new friends – two of them were Erica and Leona! Erica and Leona, come up here and meet my parents!They taught me how to climb the wall and took me horseback riding!

ERICA

Megan is so nice – we had a great time together

LEONA

Yeah, and we taught her how to climb the wall and took her horseback riding!

DOT

Wow, I've never done those things!

MEGAN

And I taught them how to swim better!

CORNELIUS

Well that's great – you come from a long line of great swimmers!

DIRECTOR

The Pygmy Island Fellowship recognizes one of the most important part of Camp – the chance to make friends. The memories of the times you spend with friends at Camp is something you will always cherish – friends are at the very heart of what Camp Fitch is all about.

MEGAN

Could we have all members of the Pygmy Island fellowship – this week and last – please come to the stage to be recognized?


All members of the Fellowship come up on stage

KELLY

Let's help honor these campers who made a commitment to building strong new friendships that they can now lean on.


Sing “Lean on Me”

Act VI: First Mate Club and 5 Year Campers

Megan want to come back next year

MEGAN

Mommy, I really want to come back next year, can I?

DOT

Well, I don't know . . .

MEGAN

But I want to try to become a Journeyman in the Voyage Sail – and if I don't come back I probably won't ever get to see my friends again!

CORNELIUS

Those are good points, honey – and I think that we can afford it. We'll just wait until the spring and sign you up then!

SKIPPER

Well, the best time to sign up is right now! Camp Fitch offers the First Mate's Club deal this summer to parents who sign up for next year – you get this year's rate, and Megan gets an exclusive T-shirt that tells everyone that she's in the First Mate's Club!

CORNELIUS

Well, that does sound like a good idea – where do we do this?

SKIPPER

When you go down the hill to check out, there is a First Mate's Club table on the Teaberry porch and they will sign you up. You only need a $50 deposit to save your spot, and Megan will get her T-Shirt right there.

CORNELIUS

Great, we'll do it!

SKIPPER

Can't wait to see you next year, here's your First Mate's shirt, Megan!

MEGAN

I want to come back every year until I'm old enough to be on staff!

SKIPPER

Lot's of kids do just that, Megan. In fact we have a special award for kids who have come to Camp Fitch for five summers. They get this T-Shirt! Would you be willing to help us celebrate their commitment to adventure and friendship?

MEGAN

Sure!

LEADER

Would all the five year mates please come to the stage?

Leader corrals all 5 year mates in the back corner of the stage, another leader reads the names that are on masking tape on each shirt and each mate walks across the stage to get his/her shirt.

Act VII: Game Show Recap Skit

Game Show Skit that recaps the week

Act VIII: Fleet Return and Closing

Returning the Lamps

Color guard from each fleet is stationed near their flagpole.

Bugle/Conch Fanfare, and call to attention.

Leader: Sloop Fleet, you were given the Lamp of Truth as your beacon for the week. You were challenged to focus on improving in the Rays of Truth, Faith and Wisdom. If Camp Fitch has helped you grow in these areas, please signify by saying “Aye-aye!”

Sloops: Aye-aye!

Leader: You may now return the Lamp of Truth to the stage, and strike your colors.

Leader: Schooner Fleet, you were given the Lamp of Fortitude as your beacon for the week. As you grow into young adults, you are challenged to behave Responsibly, Serve Others and Revere your elders. If you grew in any of these areas, please signify with “Aye-aye!”

Schooners: Aye-aye!

Leader: You may now return the Lamp of Fortitude to the stage and strike your colors.

Leader: Clipper Fleet, you were give the Lamp of Love, from which shines the Rays of Purity, Goodwill and Joy. As you leave behind your childish ways, you must practice the Ray of Purity knowing that there is no perfect beauty without purity of body, mind and spirit. The Ray of Kindness implores you to do at least one act of kindness each day. Finally, as you begin to make your own decision about your life, do your utmost to seek the Joy of being alive, for every reasonable gladness that you can get or give is a treasure that cannot be destroyed. If Camp Fitch helped you get closer to these ideals, signify by saying “Aye-Aye!”

Clippers: Aye-Aye!

Leader: You may now return the Lamp of Love to the stage and strike your colors.

Leader: Leadership Fleet! You were tasked with being positive role models and taking initiative. During your time here you've grown as a team, accomplishing goals that on your own would have otherwise been impossible. Now, just as Commodore Perry carried his flag from the Lawrence to the Brig Niagara, carry the knowledge and skills that you learned in your time here into the world. If you are ready for that challenge, signal with Aye-Aye!

Transition to Candlelight

Leader: For hundreds of years, ships have sailed using a deceptively simple system of only three Navigational Lamps to help them avoid collisions at night: a red lamp, a green lamp and white lamp. In order to know the intentions of other ships, a skipper needs only to look at the red, green and white lights to know how the other ship is going to behave. The red lamp faces sideways and forward on the port side, the green faces sideways and forward on starboard side and the white lamp shines all around. So for example, if the skipper sees a green and white light, then he knows that the ship is crossing in front of him going from left to right. If she only sees a white light, then she knows the ship is moving away, and all three lights mean the ships are on a collision course.

And so it is with the Navigational Lamps of the Fitch Way: by living by the ideals of the Lamps, other people will know the direction you are sailing in your life, and will treat you accordingly. Others will judge you to be trustworthy since you hold your word of honor sacred. When you regularly perform acts of kindness, others will treat you kindly as they ply the waters nearby. I'm proud of you for having the courage to light these lamps on the ship that is you.

One of the very first campers at Camp Fitch 100 years ago was named Curly Johnson. Curly went on to be one of Fitch's strongest supporters and served as the Camp Director until his untimely death before he even reached 40 years old. Curly knew that these eight Rays were at the foundation of a Christian life and by all accounts he lived deliberately by them. Curly crafted our Candlelight ceremony around them, a ceremony in which you are about to partake. Since Curly wrote it more than 85 years ago, every summer camper at Camp Fitch has ended their experience with this ceremony.

You have focused on three of the Rays this week, and at Candlelight you will have the opportunity to make a commitment to God to focus on just one of the Rays from now until you return to Camp next summer.

If this experience felt good to you, if the days seemed like they went forever but the week just flew by, then I encourage you to come back next summer, and the next, and the next, to strengthen the rays that shine from your lamps. Your Fitch experience does not end tomorrow – in fact, it never has to end. Some of my best friends are Fitchers, and they come back year after year – sometimes only for a weekend or a reunion, but no matter what, the Lamps they lit here continue to burn brightly. The world will try to convince you that some of the wrong things are important, or allowable – materialism, greed, short-sighted gain with long-term pain. The Lamps that you've lit for yourself here will get dim at times, but your friends at Fitch will always be here to welcome you and help you get your lamps burning bright again.

Act IX: Dismissal

Kelly: Every one of you have grown this week: for many of you, this was the first or longest time you've been away from your parents. You made friends and navigated difficult social situations. Many of you have walked more and played harder than you would normally do at home. This group of shipmates has good reason to be proud of the journey you've completed this week, and although we're sad that the journey is over, we look forward to more times together in the future.

As we leave the Friend Circle and get read for Candlelight, I want to sing this old sea-song together about one journey ending and looking forward to the next journey together.

When I'm on my journey don't you weep after me
Every lonely river must go home to the sea
When the stars are fallin and the thunder starts to roll
Bright angels are the sailors, leave my sorrows down below

Kelly leads “When I'm on My Journey” which fades into a camper dismissal.

Campers return to their harbors to prepare for Candlelight. Processional for Candlelight begins at 9:15 pm.

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