So much has happened since my Opening Day post. A day in camp is like a week in the real world. This afternoon I was finally able to shove off my office duties and go for a walk about camp. I first encountered a group of Hunter 1’s (the youngest, having just finished 1st grade) playing “Tail tag” in PA Games. It’s so simple and so much fun. A bandana carefully tucked in to the back of the shorts forms the tail. Then it’s a free for all to pull tails while also protecting your own tail. Last man standing wins.
A few campers had chosen to take a break in the shade for a few minutes. We had a lively discussion on the merits of different Star Wars characters. Yesterday evening, just before dinner, I had another discussion about Star Wars. This time, my camper friend asked me who my favorite character was. I told him Luke Skywalker. He said, no I think it’s Hans Solo. Then he proceeded to make me a finger puppet of Hans from a sheet of paper on his letter writing pad. When I told him I had two girls he volunteered to make them a Princess Lea finger puppet. They loved it! I’m amazed that a story written around the time I was born continues to capture the imaginations of new generations.
In some ways, that is camp. The stories, the adventure, and the beauty of camp continue to capture imaginations. All in a time when technology has replaced so much of what was our childhood, that is those of us growing up in the 70’s,80’s, and 90’s. Devices and video games have filled the void, drawing us in. To be clear, I’m not anti tech. I just love that camp remains a constant as we watch technology push against so many relational institutions .
And I think Alpine is so much more than a summer camp. Boys are beginning to taste a way of life that is sustainable. To wake up early and open God’s word first thing. To have a regular routine of cleaning up your area. To live among friends and learn to bear with one another’s shortcomings. To talk face to face. To sing at the top of your voice after dinner each night.
Enough pontificating, back to activities! Wilderness built forts in the woods (much better than Fortnite!). One of our camp photographers took a trip to our fishing pond and reported boys hauling in some great catches.
After my stop at PA games, I mosied over to the sand volleyball courts. Well, today they were known as the Earth Games beach. Boys had divided into teams and labored intensely over sandcastles. One group proudly showed off their recreation of Pompeii. Yet another had envisioned and created a volcano hotel. Or as they call it, a Votel. And it’s complete with an airplane landing strip. Maybe that’s in case an eruption forces a quick exit - but I didn’t ask.
Soccer classes borrowed two tennis courts for a fun game of soccer tennis. It’s really more of a cross with volleyball where only feet are allowed to get the ball across the net in 3 touches. Meanwhile, tennis used the other two courts to practice ground strokes.
After a full day of activities we dined on hot dogs, baked beans, tater tots and all the fixin’s tonight. A hot lunch was served earlier of turkey roast, boiled new potatoes, and steamed carrots.
As I write this boys are competing in various Night Programs with their age groups around camp. Thanks for reading and good night for now, Glenn