A change of pace was welcome yesterday after a full first week at camp, a day of rest and worship, and fun activities with cabinmates. Sundays at Alpine are special. They feel very different than the other 6 days. We first know it’s Sunday because we roll over about 7 expecting Reveille only to notice that all is still quiet. Even the young boys sleep in a bit after a busy week.
When we are on the road in the offseason talking to current and former campers we often ask them what traditions they remember best about camp. Sundays are almost always brought up in the first 2 or 3 favorites. And specifically pancakes on Sunday morning. Mrs. Crow’s pancakes, and now her daughter Mrs. Gail’s, are known throughout the Southeast by men and boys alike.
Sunday morning also lends time to an extra special “white glove” cabin inspection, also much needed after the busyness of the week. Somewhere in mid morning a bell rings and the entire camp lines up single file, clad in white Alpine shirts and any variety of white short. A second bell calls us to silence and we process into church one by one.
John Mark Scruggs, our camp pastor, brought us an encouraging sermon from God’s Word. We have quite a talented group of musicians this summer, including a mandolin, violin, keyboard, guitar, bongo drum, and trumpet player. They lead us in hymns that also serve as a reminder of God’s love and faithfulness to us.
After church we head to the dining hall. Baked chicken, green beans, rice and homemade gravy, pears, and rolls await us. But most importantly, Moosetracks for dessert. Program director, Roderick Russ, calls out the winning tribe for the week. This week the Cherokees edged out a win by a few points, receiving an extra bowl of ice cream as their reward.
After Sunday lunch we also sing a traditional Alpine song, Thank you Lord, for Alpine. Written and set to music over 40 years ago by Bob Ross and Lee “Flop” Ozier, it has stood the test of time. And I would say has become known as the Alpine theme song. So many oft repeated phrases have come out of that song, such as “For rapids that flow” and “Mrs. Crow and her chow”.
Sunday afternoon brings time to run around and play some games as a cabin. A few cabins teamed up for a scavenger hunt, planned by their counselors. Several hunter (rising 3rd or 4th) cabins are making homemade ice cream on our porch while also playing games like Apples to Apples. Carter, our girls, and I hiked near horseback and picked ripe blackberries off the vine. If we get motivated hopefully there’s a cobbler in our future! We reunite at the end of the afternoon on the Team Sports field where we cut up cold, juicy watermelons.
Sunday night brings vespers services for each cabin area. A different counselor each week gives a short devotional in each area.
Our Chiefs (rising 9th and 10th) have had an action packed Monday. During yesterday’s cabin time our 2nd year chiefs packed hiking backpacks for 4 days on the Appalachian trail in western North Carolina. Our guides and friends from Higher Ground briefed them on safety and environment friendly practices. This morning after a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, grits, sausage patties, and biscuits (that the whole camp enjoyed) these guys set off for the trail. Carter and Bully and I got to see them off. They were so excited and maybe a bit nervous for some, not quite knowing what to expect. They will have so much fun and be challenged at times. And they’ll make lifetime memories with these camp friends and counselors.
1st Year Chiefs enjoyed some adventure of their own this afternoon. Half the group bussed to a remote area of camp for an afternoon skeet shoot, led by our Target sports head, Andrew Jakab. The other half bussed to Little River Canyon and floated the afternoon away on inner tubes down a gently moving section of Little River. They ended the night at the brow of Lookout Mountain in Mentone for the sunset and a catered BBQ dinner.
Meanwhile the rest of the boys have been playing hard all day in camp. The weather has been noticably cooler today. And we’ve managed to avoid any rain from TS Barry today.
Thanks for reading and good night for now, Glenn