First things first, let’s talk meals for the last few days. Hearty oatmeal, with brown sugar, toast, scrambled eggs, and link sausage awaited us this morning. Friday lunch tends to be fried catfish day, along with black eyed peas and scalloped potatoes. The ladies hand fry hundreds of pieces of fish in big baskets in the back. Many times it’s farm raised Simmons catfish from Belzoni, MS, the Catfish capital of the world! Last night the KB’s earned a much deserved night out in camp. While they spread their wings in Fort Payne, we picnicked on hamburgers with all the fixin’s, chips, baked beans, and Oreos.
Thursday night continued a special tradition for the 2nd year chiefs, marking the occasion of the last week of their last term. Carter and I hosted them at our house on camp property for a steak dinner. I cooked about 50 ribeye steaks over real wood charcoal on our giant camp grill. Carter and Gail served green beans and garlic mashed potatoes alongside. The Hershey bar pie at the end topped off a memorable evening. It’s a chance for those guys to reminisce about summers past and talk about their adventures this term, specifically the backpacking trip last week. Together, these 29 2nd year Chiefs have accumulated over 150 summers on Lookout Mountain. This is one of the biggest groups of last year campers we’ve had, which speaks to the close bonds held between them.
During the day, final competitions take center stage in quite a few activities. The Alpine Open tennis tournament carries on via age group bracketed elimination matches. A Tour de Alpine mountain biking course has been traversed by most all classes for time. Minor Sports, unapolegetically noncompetitive, is building sand castles and forts on the “beaches” of the sand volleyball courts.
Our advanced Riflery shooters have flown afield today for some sports clay shooting at a range nearby. Climbing classes compete for mastery on certain designated routes in the Bouldering barn. Wilderness even holds a friendly competition each class to see which group can get a fire started the quickest using only basic supplies.
I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned the Alpine Glee Club in a blog this term. Each night after supper, campers and counselors gather in the gym for singing. It’s not required but amazingly over 90% of camp enrolls. Reason being, tonight’s the payoff, as they travel over the Mountain to sing for the ladies of Camp Desoto! The boys will first be transfixed by the mesmerizing sounds of several hundred girls singing their camp songs. And then we take the stage for what might be defined as less mesmerizing and more raucous. Rewritten classics like John Denver’s Country Roads and Van Morrison’s Brown Eyed Girl (Desoto Girl) are sure to bring the house down.
Tomorrow will be one last chance for camp pancakes, church, watermelon, and cabin time. Monday we will mix in some fun activities with a few necessities like packing. These last few days are a little like the golden hour of a day. The realization that the end is drawing near brings about a greater cherishing of those “lasts”. The last activities, the last chance to play frisbee golf, the last cabin time. But mostly the last moments to hang out with camp buddies until next year. You can sense the soaking in of these last hours as we move towards Tuesday.
This will likely be my last post of the term. The final days bring many details for which we need to attend. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, July 2. Gates open at 7:30. Most boys have been picked up by 10 Central. Thanks again for entrusting your boys with us this term. Have a great weekend, Glenn