Every now and again, it’s necessary to take some time to change up your schedule and scenery. Everyone loves a good vacation, and at Alpine, we love to take a day out of each month term for Trip Day. It’s an exciting day that sees each age group embark on a different adventure. Our day began early, with a 7am breakfast of grits, eggs, toast, and OJ. After fueling up, the Scouts, Warriors, Braves, and Chief 1’s loaded buses to head to their respective destinations for the day. The Chief 2’s actually left on Monday for their 4 day trip on the Appalachian Trail. It’s a sort of capstone trip for campers to make in their final summer.
Meanwhile, the Hunters and Trappers prepared themselves for a “staycation” here at camp. The boys got to enjoy morning cartoons and donuts with their counselors. They then got to watch and cheer for “The Great Frog Race.” Each cabin had a frog entered into a March Madness style bracket, and one on one races were held to see which frog would hop out of the ring first. The action, though sometimes a little slow, was exciting and thrilling to watch. Next the two age groups began a winding hike to the Uptop- one of the most beautiful places in Camp. It consists of rolling fields of grass, and more blue sky than your eyes can see when you look up. A quick game of capture the flag was played in the open field. Then a picnic lunch awaited the boys, and they ate with their counselors on our golf range, affectionately known as Alpine National.
Following rest hour, Hunters and Trappers gathered with their counselors to head to the Team Sports Field for the afternoon. When they arrived, almost a dozen large water slides had been inflated, and a snow cone truck was parked by the gym. It was a dream day for the boys and their counselors as they got to rotate around and enjoy each station together. The highlight of the day was the inflatable obstacle course, where boys could race each other through various obstructions.
The Scouts bus brought them to the Hiwasse River for the day. They ate a quick picnic lunch on arrival, and hopped into rafts to float the river with their cabins. Campers got to hop out periodically to swim, and also learned how to work together and maneuver their vessels through the water. For many boys, it was their first experience with rafting a river, and they had an absolute blast.
Continuing with that theme, the Warriors arrived in Bryson City, NC, to raft the slightly more challenging river, the Nantahala. Upon arrival, the Warriors reunited with the Chief 2’s, who had completed their hike nearby and were ready to get in the Nantahala for a trip in Duckies (a type of inflatable kayak). The water in the Nantahala is particularly cold and refreshing- perfect for a hot summers day or sore legs from a long hike. The campers stopped on the way home for a traditional Trip Day pizza dinner- a perfect meal to cap off a day on the water.
Braves and Chief 1’s took on the powerful Ocoee River in Benton, TN. They loaded into rafts with their counselors and a professional raft guide for a fun ride through rapids and falls. The Ocoee hosted the 1996 Olympic kayaking and canoeing competitions, and winds its way through beautiful terrain and scenery. After the voyage, the Braves and Chief 1’s headed home to meet up with the Hunters, Trappers, and Scouts for Papa Johns pizza on the dining hall lawn. It was a joyous time as campers got to tell their older or younger friends how incredible their day was in between slices. After getting their fill of pizza, campers strolled to the gym where they got to enjoy a feature film at Alpine Cinemas. It was a long day, but one that left everyone seemingly more energized than we were before it started.
Friday was a typical camp day, with the exception of a late wake up call so camp could get fully recharged from the big day. However, at retreat, something strange occurred. While Roderick was announcing the night program, Slaughterball for the entire camp, a professional dodgeball team out of Birmingham approached him. According to them, Alpine was not elite enough to play any form of dodgeball, which meant they needed to confiscate all of ours so they could prepare for the World Games next summer in Birmingham.
Of course, there are (probably) no high profile dodgeball teams from Birmingham policing dodgeball ownership on Lookout Mountain. Nonetheless, it meant that night, the campers would be tasked with getting back our Slaughterballs in a game known as Mission Impossible. Campers work as cabins to discreetly move throughout camp from station to station passing along passwords from Good Agents, while avoiding detection from Bad Agents seeking to spotlight them and send them back to the beginning. In the end, Eagles Nest, Mountain 11, and Ridge 6 were able to recover the Slaughterballs and save the day.
Thanks for reading!