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Adult Summer Camp 2023
Our second annual Adult Summer Camp was three days of kung fu and chi gong, hikes through Frick Park, and of course, lots of fun and laughter! Led by Senior Master Lisa and Sensei Michele, the theme of this year's camp was an exploration of the five traditional Shaolin animals - Tiger, Crane, Leopard, Snake, and Dragon.
We began each day with a walk into Frick Park to practice outdoors in the beautiful (but hot!) weather. We started with a short meditation in the shade before working together as a group to learn the Five Animals Form, an empty-hand form (meaning that the form does not involve using a weapon) rooted in the movements and fighting techniques of the traditional Shaolin animals. We also had the opportunity to dive deep into each of animals by learning and practicing defensive techniques based on Tiger, Crane, Snake, Dragon, and Leopard movements.
In addition to the form, Master Lisa led students through the Mantis set of strengthening exercises, a challenging series of leg and core exercises that focus on breathing and building internal energy. Sensei Michele led us through two chi gong sets, including a very traditional and very old set called Eight Pieces of Brocade that was learned directly from the monks at the Shaolin Temple.
Each day, students also took some meandering hikes back to the dojo to enjoy the beauty of Frick Park and the companionship of their fellow students. The group had dinner together at the end of our Saturday camp session, and was another highlight of camp where we shared lots of stories and laughter.
All in all, it was a fabulous experience - not only learning a new form, but also getting to know fellow students a little better. I'm already looking forward to next year's Adult Summer Camp!