First Sunday of First Term

If you are a radar watcher you’ve noticed it’s been a rainy weekend on Lookout Mountain. But spotty rain, not the kind of complete wash out that keeps us in our cabins all day. Plus, as our beloved Alpine song says, “even when it rains we play”. We fit in 4 out of 5 activities yesterday and today we have not missed any of our regularly scheduled Sunday activities.

Just now, as I left the dining hall, most of camp hung around our games area behind the Store. Richard always gives a few minutes of free time after dinner and before night program. I was struck by the sheer number of boys and counselors playing peacefully, albeit loudly, in this small area of camp. All four ping pong tables clicked back and forth in rhythm. The Gladiator court was filled to the brim with boys and surrounded by another crowd waiting to get in on the next game. Gladiator games go fast. It’s our name for Ga-Ga ball if that means anything to you. It’s the octagonal waist high fenced court you may have seen on opening day. It’s dodgeball, but every man for himself, and you can only get out if hit in the knee or below. And the ball must be slapped along the concrete floor, not palmed.

Just down from there boys pounded tetherballs in a circular motion, back and forth, trying to wrap the string around the pole first. A group of guys and counselors threw the frisbee and others played a few holes on the course. Our course is old school, wooden signs on trees spread throughout camp. Holes 3 through 6 weave their way through this game area.

Next door to ping pong, large washers were tossed back and forth, in a focused effort to sink them in the 6 inch pvc holes. Washers is not unlike baggo or cornhole, utilizing 2 inch round washers instead of beanbags. First one to 21 wins. There are several washers courts. Another tailgate favorite is spikeball and we have several of those sets. I watched an intense match between a Hunter (rising 4th grade) and a counselor, the plastic ball and net a great equalizer. In fact, I’m pretty sure the Hunter was beating the counselor (like really beating him, not a mercy win).

In front of the Tree House is a game called Viking Chess. Honestly, I have no idea how it works! 2 sets of 12 inch tall 4 by 4 wooden pieces are placed in some sequence and then each boys sets about trying to knock down the others’ pieces. I love boys! On the porch is a more cerebral, Tetris like game called Cathedral. There are almost always boys sitting in the rocking chairs playing that. Behind the Tree House is a good old fashioned 4-square court with the red, rubber ball. When I was a camper here that and ping pong were about the only “extra games” around. The line to play 4 square might be 30 deep back then.

Our newest addition at camp is Human Foosball. It’s literally a rectangular concrete pad with a waist high fence and 6 crossbars running the width of the rectangle. Campers or counselors are the “foosball men” and a real soccer ball is kicked back and forth in attempts to score on goals at each end. Basically think about a giant version of the old arcade foosball table and that’s it. Google it and watch a video online. It’s really fun and has been a big hit thus far.

As I walked from this game area out in to camp, others played impromptu tennis matches. And a group of older campers started up some beach volleyball. Others walked and talked with friends headed to their night programs a few minutes early.

So that’s a little peak into what your boys were doing after dinner. You can probably think about your child and imagine which spot he might have chosen for a little free time.

The meals on Sunday are worth mentioning. We start off each Sunday morning with Mrs. Gail’s pancakes, her secret recipe carried down from her mother, Mrs. Crow. She and her crew arrive extra early on Sunday morning to make these from scratch and then flip each one on the large griddle. I have never asked how many they make each Sunday (I’m afraid to ask!). But we’re feeding almost 400 people so it’s easily in the thousands. She serves it with sausage patties and sliced canteloupe.

Sunday lunch is fried chicken, brown rice with gravy, green beans, rolls, and sliced pears. And the much loved Mayfield Moosetracks ice cream for dessert (with substitutes for peanut or dairy allergies). Tonight we enjoyed chicken sandwiches with all the fixin’s, chips, apples, and brownies.

Our camp minister, John Mark Scruggs, and a fine team of counselor musicians, put together an encouraging corporate worship service this morning, a priority for us each Sunday morning.

The rain is scheduled to move out by tomorrow afternoon and leave behind wonderfully cool June temperatures. There are some excited boys about continuing through their first activity rotation tomorrow.

Thanks for reading and good night for now, Glenn