Avalõke, opening campfire, was tranferred inside with the aid of fairylights and 'glo sticks', a Mad-Scientist theme night kept us all entertained and involved in the quest to find "Estotanium", an element that is produced when all campers come together to celebrate their heritage together at sõrve, and the sports pond (formally known as the sports field) was turned into a giant "slip 'n slide" for campers and leaders to all enjoy. The creativity and the ingenious ways to entertain the campers that the leaders show during all moments of Sõrve never cease to amaze me, and I am grateful to each and every one of them for volunteering their time and giving their all to Sõrve.
Thankfully all hope was not lost and the sun did show itself it us during the closing days of camp, and with the welcome warmth of its rays, and the blue cloudless skies the weight of the week fell off our shoulders and we continued on with a "normal" camp. Laughter was heard throughout camp, smiles were seen on everyone's faces, and raincoats were abandoned in favour of hats, sun-cream and water bottles. The sun brought with it news of the Inca King's stolen gold, and a journey around South America for all campers to help find and return the gold to the Inca King. A "suur aitäh" to Maie Pikkat, Rhys Maidla and their team of helpers who organised and brought the South American nations to our doorstep at Point Wolstoncroft.
Sõrve came to a close shortly after our adventures to South America with our cultural performance in which all campers showed off their newly acquired dancing and singing skills to excited adults, parents and visitors, our lipu langetamine ceremony and traditional lõpulõke, this time excitedly held outside and with a real fire!
There are many people work that throughout the year to make each Sõrve possible. I would like to thank the dedicated committee who meet, plan, raise funds and manage the legal and logistical bookings for camp, Kirsti Horst for the Estonian lessons provided for all campers, Kunst - ja Käsitööring for their beautiful handicrafts, Imbi Semmelweis and Sirje Perendi for their singing lessons, Virmalised for teaching rahvatants, Point Wolstoncroft staff who lead us on fun and exciting activities and keep us fed for the week, and this year especially, all the adults and parents at Sõrve 2016 who donated their gold coins to the "elanikud washing and drying fund". And of course, the leadership group. Thank you does not cover full how grateful I am to each and every member of this group who graciously volunteer their time during the year to plan and schedule Sõrve and then donate annual leave to come and provide an unforgettable week of fun and activities that start a new year, and leave everyone with memories to carry with them forever. Keep doing what you love to do and Sõrve will continue to live on.
This was my final year as laagri juht, and my last year at Sõrve for a while. Some of the memories I will take with me are seeing the phosphorescence in the lake after the rain, the traditional birthday singing at breakfast, and the comraderie in the leadership group when the rain threatened to get too much, and the celebrations when the sun came out.
Marika Tults summed up Sõrve so very succinctly during lõpulõke, "Sõrve isn't the location we're at, or the activities we do but everyone who is sitting here, and the feeling that we share. That is Sõrve."