Each morning Richard Cox, our first term program director, begins the breakfast announcements with a “This Day In History.” Wednesday, he looked out over a crowd of boys and counselors decked out in everything from an inflatable dinosaur costume to Big Bird footie pajamas and declared, “On June 30th, 2021 was the greatest Mountain Day of all time!” There are so many days that make camp special, and one could argue that chief amongst them is our very own Alpine holiday known as Mountain Day.
At approximately 8:00am, our very own Mentone Fire Department sent a truck to drive through camp and wake the boys up. Traditionally, everyone wears a creative and/or silly costume for breakfast, and this years lineup did not disappoint. Campers and counselors made their way to the Dining Hall where music blared over the speakers. Naturally, the field in front of the Dining Hall broke out into dancing and singing. After making their way up the ramp, the boys were greeted to a breakfast feast of pancakes with blueberries and chocolate chips, sausage, and cantaloupe.
After a delicious meal, all of camp gathered in front of the lodge for a special edition, all camp morning watch. Campers of all ages sang our wake up songs together, and Richard shared an impactful devotional. As one camper said afterwards, “That made me wish Richard was my history teacher!”
Next up on the docket was the Olympiad, where all of camp faced off in various relays on the team sports field. The speakers played upbeat classics as the boys tried to outmatch the competition in games like the Missing Shoe Relay, the Three-Legged Race, and Waiter Wars, where the objective is to cross the field with two water cups held high on a frisbee while dodging slaughterballs thrown by the opposing team. Meanwhile, the Chiefs tried their best to complete the all encompassing Chief Relay where each camper is responsible for a different task from football to washers to mountain biking and even reading comprehension.
All that athletic activity called for a hearty lunch of barbecued chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes, salad (with Shazam sauce), and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Just like holidays at home, food plays a big role on Mountain Day. The boys then headed off for an extended rest hour, and after store, the Hunters headed to the pool while the Trappers enjoyed extended time at the waterfront. The rest of camp had the privilege of playing Alpine Gold Rush. Think capture the flag rules where the course is almost the entire camp. Each side is tasked with hiding and protecting orbs (painted tennis balls) in their territory, and, simultaneously, having to try and recover the other sides orbs.
By the end of the game, the boys hit the showers and we got ready for dinner and the county fair. Though I’m sure DeKalb County has a fine fair, nothing compares to the joy and revelry of the Alpine County Fair. Boys flood the gym and team sports field for games including a counselor dunk tank, wheel of fortune, cake walk, football toss, and many more. No fair is complete without refreshments. Boys were given tickets to enjoy Mayfield ice cream, lemonade, shaved ice, and hot pretzels. For many boys, this is the highlight of the summer. They spend their time excitedly roaming around from station to station with their cabin mates, counselors, and friends.
When the last game was played and the final ice cream cone consumed, all of camp headed back to their cabins for some well earned sleep. Many have describe the entire summer at Alpine as a celebration, which logically means that Mountain Day is a celebration among celebrations. It truly is a special day for all involved, and seeing it in all its glory once again was a sight to behold. With only a few days remaining in the term, there is still plenty of fun to be had. We can’t wait for all that lies in store!
Thanks for reading, Wayne