Yesterday morning chartered buses rolled in bright and early (some as early as 6AM). After a quick 7AM breakfast of eggs, grits, and toast, buses were packed with necessities and loaded by campers. Then we called roll and were off!
The Hunters loaded their bus for a day full of fun activities in Chattanooga. They started their day at beautiful Rock City Gardens. Then, headed to Five Guys in downtown Chattanooga. After enjoying a delicious hamburger, the Hunters spent the afternoon rock climbing at High Point Climbing & Fitness, and finished the afternoon by watching an IMAX movie adjacent to the Tennessee Aquarium. After their IMAX experience, the Hunters enjoyed some delicious pizza from Mr. T’s Pizza, a local Chattanooga favorite, and headed home. By the way, High Point is one of the largest indoor climbing gyms in the country with a multitude of walls belayed by auto belay devices for ease of use.
The Hunters weren’t the only ones who had a full schedule of trip day plans. The Trappers took off to Atlanta. First stop: the College Football Hall of Fame. While I’ve never been, I heard great reports of interactive exhibits and hands on games. It’s on my wish list for sure! After eating a sack lunch, the Trappers headed to tour the World of Coke. They were able to open happiness as they entered the vault of the Coca-Cola secret formula, got a behind the scenes glimpse of the bottling process, and were able to taste different soft drinks from around the globe. If you have a Trapper, be sure to get his thoughts on the Italian drink Beverly. From the World of Coke, they walked next door to the Georgia Aquarium. The boys were amazed at the big size of the whale sharks and manta rays. Who knew a Manta Ray can grow to be 23 feet wide?! And they took in a live sea lion show, viewing some amazing tricks and acrobatics of these creatures. After the aquarium, the Trappers enjoyed a delicious pizza dinner on the way home.
The Scouts spent the day in the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee as they enjoyed their day at Dollywood, seeking all sorts of fast thrills. Campers returned proudly exclaiming that they’d ridden rides like the Tennessee Tornado and the Wild Eagle! And new this year at Dollywood, and a fan favorite from our crowd, was the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world, the Lighting Rod (top speed: 73mph!!)
It was off to white water raft for our older age groups. The Warriors headed to the Nantahala River for their rafting trip. After enjoying a sack lunch, they were briefed with safety instructions and off they went. The Nantahala is near Murphy, NC and is a perfect beginner rapids course. The river is cool and refreshing and Nantahala Falls, at the end, provides a big thrill. On their way home they enjoyed a piping hot pizza dinner at Papa’s Pizza in Murphy, NC. For most boys, whooshing down the river rapids was the highlight of the day. Others couldn’t stop talking about how delicious the pizza was.
For the Braves and first year Chiefs, it was down the Ocoee River. They enjoyed floating down the river, surfing the rapids, and riding the waves. The Ocoee is a dam controlled river of the TVA with more adventurous runs. After their rafting run, they headed to The McCallie School in Chattanooga for some swimming and Mr. T’s pizza.
And it was a triumphant, and slightly smelly, return home for our Second year Chiefs after 3 days of backpacking the Appalachian Trail. The trail passes very near the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Bryson City. These boys rafted down the river in individual duckies (inflatable kayaks) before enjoying a feast of Papa’s Pizza in Murphy, NC. A shower with soap and shampoo has probably never felt so good as last night for these boys. They hopped off the bus at camp last night with huge smiles! Each one stepping of the bus saying how much fun he had or how awesome the trip was!
A 7:40 late Reveille was well received by all after such a busy day. And pancakes for breakfast built on the good mood this morning. Campers were excited to return back to a normal day in camp. Thanks for reading and enjoy your weekend, Glenn
P.S. - the picture accompanying this post is just prior to embarking on our Chief 1 adventure in Little River Canyon a couple days ago.