Warm Welcome to Second Term

Under cloudy skies, but thankfully no rain, Alpine welcomed in 272 eager campers for our Second Term. Cars rolled in from Texas, Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Mississippi, to name a few. In total 19 states and the District of Columbia are represented this term. After a summer off due to Covid, the energy and excitement was palpable as the campers rolled through the front gates. This day has been a long time coming for so many!

My name is Glenn Breazeale. My wife, Carter, and I direct Alpine. We have twin daughters, Caroline and Gigi.I camped here growing up, from Jackson, MS. My dad camped here as well in the early 60’s. Carter grew up here. Her dad started Alpine in 1959 and her parents operated camp for many, many summers.

The first order of business this morning for each camper - unpacking. Carter, ever the camp mom, created a checklist for our college age counselors to follow. Make the bed up with fitted and top sheets and blanket. Check. Neatly unpack folded clothes into the wooden shelving. Check. Place shoes under the foot of the bed. Check. Hammer two nails in, one for the wet towel and one for the laundry bag. Check. The process was smooth and a first shot at practicing some independence. Once all campers had arrived in a cabin, a camp tour served as a good way to get acclimated.

Because of the busyness of Opening Day, a picnic lunch was in order midday. Delicious chicken sandwiches that would rival Chick-Fil-A were found in our bags, along with chips, an apple and Oreo’s. After we had eaten some darker clouds appeared and eventually gave way to a rainstorm. The timing was perfect as it gave us time to go back to cabins for a brief respite. Any unpacking was finished during the rain break. And counselors held cabin meetings to go over a few cabin guidelines and allow boys to get to know each other.

The rain halted just in time to gather in the gym for an all camp Opening Day meeting. There Carter and I welcomed everyone to Second Term 2021, to much cheering and applause. We introduced some of the administration and head counselors - so that boys would know who they could go to if they needed help with something. I emphasized that Alpine is a place where you can be yourself. That it’s not a place where we make fun of others or pick on each other. We talked about letting someone know if you are having a problem of any kind. And we covered a few boundaries and rules around camp.

This afternoon we played some and also took care of some necessary requirements like a health check (I’m happy to report we are lice free!)and signing up for activities. It’s so good to hear the screams and cheers of boys playing games throughout camp.

This evening’s supper held a first day tradition - homemade chicken and dumplings, steamed corn, green peas, green salad with sliced tomatoes, and homemade buttery biscuits.

I’ve just returned from the field where the entire camp is singing favorite camp songs. We call it Glee Club. Over the years, classic rock songs have been repurposed with camp lyrics. Just now they were singing “Desoto Girl” (our sister camp) to the tune of “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison. A favorite is “Say It’s French Toast” to the tune of Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So”. Only at camp could you have 272 boys, many of whom are adolescents, happily singing together at the top of their lungs.

Tomorrow we’ll kick off our regular activity schedule. Thanks for reading and good night for now, Glenn