I’m happy to report that our Chief 2’s arrived home safe and sound last night about 8PM CDT. Spirits were high as they reported a fun and challenging trip. They received a lot of rain on the trail. Thankfully they were well prepared with tents and tarps and jackets. Everyone of them that I’ve talked to said it did not deter from the trip - it almost added to the adventure. I do think there’s some wet, smelly stuff coming out of those backpacks this morning! Before arriving home their bus stopped off at a local pizza eatery in Murphy, NC for all the pizza they could devour. Can you imagine how much pizza they must have eaten? And how good a warm shower felt after 4 days on the trail?!
Mrs. Gail treated us well and greeted us with warm piles of pancakes, served with sausage this morning. A welcome return to camp for all the trips. If you didn’t know yesterday was “Trip Day” for all of camp. It’s a day spent out of camp on chartered buses enjoying some of finer touring spots in the Southeast.
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. Adventure began at the Tennessee Aquarium downtown where they explored the massive tanks of both saltwater and freshwater fish. Five Guys Burgers provided a midday pick me up. 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. 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 beluga whales. 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! Another fan favorite from our crowd, was the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world, the Lighting Rod (top speed: 73mph!!) I’m told that the park was unusually slim in numbers yesterday with little to no wait times on rides. Some boys rode the Wild Eagle 3 or 4 times in a row. Head counselor, Alex, called it the perfect day to be at Dollywood.
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 (a local favorite in Chatty).
Today we are back in the swing of regular activities, after a much needed late Reveille. Richard allowed us to sleep until 7:40, with breakfast following at 8. Head counselors held morning watch devotionals after breakfast rather than before. The sun is shining as we DANCE (hint, hint) into the weekend. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend, Glenn