Lookout Mountain Memories

As I stood in line last night at the County Fair for ice cream (not telling how many I had!), I was able to talk with some campers casually. Several said this was their favorite day of the term. One for whom this was his first 25 day camp term was in complete awe of the remade gym and surrounding areas comprising the county fair. One last year camper talked about the new game we introduced yesterday, Alabama Gold Rush. He seemed frustrated, so I pressed him, wondering if something had gone wrong in the game. I can’t believe ya’ll waited until my last year to introduce that game, that means I’ll only get to play it once. Others agreed it was a great new game. According to another counselor, one of his campers reported that the night before Mountain Day was almost as exciting as Christmas Eve. We’ll take that!

Alabama’s (famed country band from nearby Ft Payne) Song of the South blared on the speakers as the day began. All manner of characters strolled into the dining hall for breakfast. Some costumes were carefully planned while for others underwear on head and no shirt did the trick. A few of my favorites: the blow up T-rex dinosaur (the site of him flopping down the road was worth the whole day), the baby, complete with bottle and diaper, and several variations of the turkey or chicken hat. Dancing and singing intermixed with blueberry and chocolate chip pancake eating ensued once we finally entered the dining hall.

But first, Mountain Day began with a wake up call by the head counselors. Yesterday it was aided by our very own Lookout Mountain Fire Department.  One of our maintenance guys, Gene, is a volunteer fireman and graciously agreed to bring one of the firetrucks in this morning.  So head counselors decked out in costume and driven by Gene, drove down the main road, sirens blaring, to wake up camp.

After breakfast Jordan Griesbeck, our camp minister, led us in an all camp devotional.  He talked about the 4 L’s of the Bible as major themes. Life (creation), Loss (Adam and Eve), Love (Jesus), and Life (eternal). Certainly a message that gave us reason to celebrate. So it was back to cabins to don those red and blue tribe jerseys.

Our Team Sports staff brought us a full morning of Olympic competition, tribe vs. tribe.  Field events, tug of war, and some relays kept us busy all morning.  And yes, there was music there too.  That’s the beautiful thing about being unplugged for a time period.  It makes you appreciate so much more.  A little recorded music on Mountain Day gets us all excited.

Lunch could not have come sooner.  Mrs. Gail’s Mountain Day special: BBQ chicken awaited us.  Served with green beans, mashed potatoes, salad, and strawberry shortcake, we feasted. She cooks the BBQ chicken all night, low and slow, in our camp ovens.  It falls off the bone.

In the afternoon Roderick introduced the new camp game I referred too, Alabama Gold Rush. A combination of capture the flag and an Easter egg hunt, played over most of camp.  Red and blue orbs were hidden throughout each side.  The team with the most found orbs, successfully carried across the border to their safe zone, would win. Scouts to Chiefs (rising 6th - 10th grades) participated in this wildly successful new addition to Mountain Day.

Hunters and Trappers (rising 3rd - 5th grades) got to enjoy some river and pool activities during the afternoon.

The best part of the whole day (and maybe the term) came at sundown.  The Alpine County Fair.  With snowcones, cotton candy, and ice cream I probably need not say much more.  But there was so much more.

As previously mentioned in the Mission Impossible post, currency at the fair is dried pinto beans.  Thanks to hard working campers we located these just in time. Loaded with an envelope full of beans, boys are turned loose in the gym and field to play fair type games to their heart’s content. Cakewalks, Climb the Mountain, and the Sponge Toss were just a few.

We topped off the day with a fireworks display out on the Team sports field last night. I’ll also mention that both before and after the fireworks the stars were some of the prettiest and most vivid I’ve seen all summer. And a nice breeze blew through camp last night and again this morning, bringing tiny hints of fall with it’s cooler air.

This morning was overcast and cooler, a perfect backdrop for activities to resume. Spirits are high as we move towards some of our last activity days of the term. You should have received an email earlier today from Carter and me regarding Closing Day plans. We still have so many exciting things planned here at camp that the end seems a long way off. But we know many of you need to make plans so wanted you to have that in hand.

Thanks for reading and look forward to reporting again soon,