Warm oatmeal, brown sugar, link sausage, scrambled eggs, and toast awaited us at breakfast this morning. Our weather is still cool in the early mornings and evenings but daytime highs are creeping back up to normal.
Today we wrap up our final regular activities of the term. Three met this morning after breakfast and one final concluding activity after rest hour and store. A few needed a little extra time to settle on champions for various tournaments. Frisbees flew around the golf course during rest hour in a conclusion of the Alpine Masters. Tennis balls bounced back and forth as we march towards the finals of the Alpine Open for most age groups.
Other activities have wrapped up final competition for the term. The Tour de Alpine, our Mountain biking race, has concluded. Our physical training classes have held competitions for camp’s strongest and fastest man in each of our older age groups.
As I walked in camp this morning in between periods a camper exclaimed to me, “Oh no, I have to go to 2nd period!” Trying to empathize I asked him if it was a class he didn’t want to attend. “No” he said, “ it’s Waterfront and it’s my last time and I don’t want it to end.”
It’s that bittersweet time in the term where we are aware that camp is drawing to a close. Of course, boys will be excited to go home. And at the same time they don’t want summer to end.
Roderick leaves the very last activity slot open prior to showers this afternoon for a 2nd Term camp tradition. The Bubba Cox Alpine Mile Fun Run started in the early 2000’s by beloved program director and Jackson, MS coach/teacher Ray Higgins. Ray spent his college summers and quite a few afterwards at Alpine with some of his lifelong friends including John Gilbert of Nashville, Ken Dwyer of Greensboro, NC and Bubba Cox. Bubba passed away some years ago after a courageous fight with cancer. Everyone who knew Bubba was inspired by his combination of strength and humility. God used him in the lives of so many. And continues to as we honor his memory with this run. Any camper or counselor who runs or walks agrees to donate $1 from his store account. Alpine matches every dollar. Funds raised are donated to our local children’s hospital, TC Thompson/Erlanger in Chattanooga, where one of our very own camp doctors, Avery Mixon, practices pediatric oncology. Roderick will also give out place awards for 1st,2nd, and 3rd finishers in each age group.
Tonight our Glee Club will perform for the ladies at Camp Desoto. The boys who’ve chosen to join have practiced hard and had fun all term. They sing each night after dinner and their melodies, cheers, and laughs reverberate all throughout camp. They also earn a tribe point for participating. Our Chief 1 group has worked tirelessly on a step show that is sure to bring cheers. And our Chief 2’s traditionally close out the night with a pop song rewritten expressly for the Desoto ladies. The set list tonight includes camp favorites like “Country Roads”, “Prince of Peace”, “I Want You Back”, and “Desoto Girl”. We are singing a new favorite this year, “Earth Monkey” to the tune of Tom Petty’s Free Fallin! Alpine lyrics were written by counselor Andrew Gardner. William Slate and his team of musicians have worked so hard to put together a great show for tonight.
Tomorrow brings one last Sunday to enjoy pancakes, church, cabin time, cold watermelon, and so much more that we’ve come to love about Sundays. Speaking of Sunday, be sure and check out the longer video that William Galloway put together about Sundays at Alpine. It should be available on social media today or tomorrow.
Monday will be a mix of special activities and packing, along with some necessary meetings to talk about travel plans, pass out lost and found, etc. Final banquet in the evening will honor activity award winners, honor campers in each age group, and the announcement of the coveted trophy for the term, Mohawk v. Cherokee.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention here another bittersweet goodbye coming. Our beloved Associate Director, Adam “Bully” Shields, will be leaving us after this summer. We, and so many others, will miss him greatly. And we are very excited for he and his wife, Kathleen, as he’ll be working full time as a men’s ministry coordinator at Faith Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, AL. Carter and I want to publicly express how grateful we are for all the ways in which he has made Alpine a better place. He’s been a part of the Alpine family, and our family, for a long time now.
Thanks for reading. This will be my last post of the term as we have much to do before Tuesday!
As a reminder our gates will open at 7:30 CDT on Tuesday morning. Most folks will have picked up by 10AM CDT. We ask for no visitors tomorrow or Monday so we can enjoy our last days together as a camp community. We look forward to seeing you Tuesday morning!