2nd Term Draws to a Close

Late this afternoon Roderick organized the annual Bubba Cox Alpine Fun Run.  Roderick, an avid runner and cross country coach at Montgomery Bell Academy in Nashville, has perpetuated this wonderful tradition begun by Ray Higgins, former Alpine program director and beloved Jackson Academy teacher and coach.  Bubba was a good friend of Ray’s and also a former Alpine counselor.  He passed away a number of years ago, too young, after a lengthy battle with cancer.  Our fun run is just that, lots of fun.  And just what he would have wanted.  Each age group has a chance to run or walk a course throughout camp.  Every camper or counselor who participates agrees to donate $1 from his store account and Alpine matches every dollar.  The total raised is sent to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Bubba’s memory.

The top three finishers in each race also receive tribe points for their tribe.  Many boys choose to walk or do a team walk.  Some do a three legged walk with a buddy, some carry guitars or wear a crazy costume. Lots of cheering and fun music accompanied the race.

The fun run put an big exclamation point on a final day of regular activities. There’s something about these last few days of a full term that is special. Boys know they are going home soon and they want to soak it all in. Petty differences and bickering are put aside (for the most part!). Camp runs like a well oiled machine as boys enjoy every free minute before and after meals and in between classes playing with friends.

Tonight it’s one final chance at glory for each age group in Slaughterball. When they are not playing they’ll be out in camp with an age group game like whiffle ball or capture the flag. We fueled up for a big night on spaghetti with meat sauce, buttered toast, and a green salad. Mrs. Gail is treating us right on these last few days. For lunch we arrived to chicken fingers, butter beans, mashed potatoes and her homemade silver dollar biscuits. I think we might just wake up to one last stack of hot pancakes in the morning.

Tomorrow will be a busy but fun day. This will probably be my last update as there are many details to cover before Wednesday.

We’ll spend some time in the morning taking care of necessities like packing and passing back lost and found. Get the boring stuff out of the way so we can play during the afternoon and celebrate in the evening!

In the afternoon the activity extravaganza comes our way, courtesy of Roderick. He dreamed it up a few years ago. Set on the team sports field, and surrounding areas, boys rotate by cabins to about 20 different stations in the course of an hour or so. With 3 minutes at each activity, the goal is to squeeze every last drop of camp activities out on the last day. Boys play a hole of frisbee golf on the road by the field, they play kickball, they play 4 square, gladiator ball on the Mountain, and much, much more. It’s frenetic and silly and a great way to finish our daytime plans on Tuesday.

Tomorrow night is reserved for a special banquet style dinner and awards ceremony in the gym. Activity awards will be passed out. We also give gifts to boys after they’ve been at Alpine anywhere from 4 years to 10. 4 year campers get an Alpine dopp kit with an Alpine logo. Probably the most coveted award is the 6 year fleece blanket with Alpine on it. It’s a fine Sunday afternoon napper, I know from experience.

Roderick will announce the winning tribe for the term. Then, more importantly, we’ll all gather together by cabin, not tribe, and sing a few final songs together. Some tears will be shed, many goodbyes and embraces. But as one of the songs aptly reminds us, “I’ve got eleven months to dream about next year . . . “.

Thanks again for allowing your boys to be with us this term. We are ever grateful.

As a reminder, the gates will open at 7:30 Wednesday morning. If we are not out of breakfast yet, you are welcome to drive on to your son’s cabin and wait there. And don’t forget to stop by and get any meds from the nurses in front of the Lodge. If your son is traveling by bus you have received an email with details. Don’t hesitate to contact Monique with any travel questions.

Thanks for reading and good night,