A Walk Around Camp

It’s midday in mid July and the temperature at camp is 77 degrees with almost no humidity! Spirits are high this morning as we enjoy this great gift. Skies are cloudy but no real rain chances imminent. We’ve had a fair amount of rain the last few days but thankfully much of it has fallen at night. Even the afternoon showers have been brief and not activity interrupters.

I had time this morning to walk around camp a bit. I love talking to campers and hearing about their days. One Hunter I just encountered held a butterfly he had “tamed” walking in between classes. We began a lively discussion about all the different animals he had trapped on his farm and then set free. Boys, especially young ones, truly embrace a sense of wonder for the creation around them. I think we all have it but the innocence of youth allows them to see it and appreciate it more than us. The butterfly was stunning with it’s intricate designs of blue and black and yellow on its’ wings. It was a helpful reminder for me, even at summer camp, to slow down and notice the beauty around me.

Meanwhile, there was no slowing down on the team sports field. Our physical training classes had borrowed a long sliver of the field to hold sprint races. Campers rotated through relays as their buddies cheered them on. They offered to let me jump in. I mumbled several excuses real fast and moved on.

Team sports competed in friendly matches of whiffle ball at the two home plate backstops. As I was about to move on from the field a band of crazy Hunters, Trappers, and Scouts appeared from the woods on the upper end. Escorted by two Earth Daddy counselors carrying portable music, Earth Games proceeded to dance their way across the field in style. I always laugh and admire the creativity of the Earth Games guys at this silly and noncompetitive activity.

As I walked by the Fly fishing hut I noticed some older campers intensely focused on something in front of them. I popped in to watch Jack Albritton, head fly fisherman, instructing these guys in the art of tying flies. Though I’m not a fly fisherman myself, the idea of making one’s own lure to catch a fish seems like it would be incredibly satisfying. They were making little ant like creatures for bait, using small bits of colorful foam and string and fly tying vise grip stands.

Though I didn’t make it out to Riflery some boys walked by and proudly showed me their targets. One in particular hit two bulls eyes and was clinching that piece of paper firmly. The US Post office may be mailing that target to one of you very soon!

Horseback steered their horses around a cone obstacle course in a race for precision and time. Boys have loved that activity this summer. We have a great herd of rider friendly horses that have performed admirably.

At tennis the annual Alpine Open has commenced. A seeded, single elimination bracket is used to determine the champion tennis camper for each age group. I walked with several guys who had just competed and were easing over to the Powerade shack for refreshment. Two walked side by side, having just played, one winner and one not. They laughed and talked like it was no big deal. And it wasn’t.

Our climbing crew sent a group of Braves out of camp this morning for an all day adventure at Sandrock Village. They were escorted by two of our trained guys plus a guide from Higher Ground. They’ll spend all day working routes on giant boulders, a culmination of the skills they’ve been working on all term.

For breakfast this morning fluffy biscuits awaited us, along with scrambled eggs, grits, canteloupe, and sausage patties. By the way, the Desoto dances on Saturday night landed with complete success. The chatter around camp about who met whom and how many girls’ names and cabin numbers (for letter writing) were procured has been high!

We are rolling into this last full week of camp with excitement and great expectation. There’s so much fun left to have and quite a few special events in addition to our normal schedule. Rumor has it that Mountain Day is Wednesday!! I’ll look forward to reporting back on that in a few days!

Thanks for reading and enjoy your week, Glenn