After the excitement of Mission Impossible, Senior Social, and the first full week of activities, Sunday brought rest and reflection to Alpine. We love to celebrate the Sabbath at camp, and we try our best to make the day set apart and special. Campers slept in and enjoyed a pancake breakfast before lining up dressed in whites to head to the gym for church. It was a gorgeous day, with a few white clouds in the sky and a cool mountain breeze passing through most of the afternoon.
On a typical Sunday afternoon, cabins spend time together doing an activity the counselors plan out based on their campers personalities and energy level. If you walk through camp, you will find cabins in the Gladiator Ball Pit, working on a puzzle in the Lodge, building sandcastles, going for a hike, or even a counselor reading a book aloud to campers out in the wilderness. Since cabinmates usually have different activities during the day, it’s nice for them to get some extended bonding time each Sunday. In the evening, age groups gathered for Vespers where they sang hymns and heard a lesson or devotional from a counselor in their cabin area.
On Monday morning, it was time to get the second full week of camp started. The Chief II’s packed their hiking backpacks and loaded a charter bus to the Appalachian Trail, where they will spend the next 4 days hiking and camping in the woods. It’s the Alpine version of a Capstone senior project, and an experience these guys will cherish for years to come. I remember mine well, and wrote one of my college essays about my time on the trail with my counselor and cabinmates. It’s a truly special time.
In the afternoon, we had a block period. Hunters split up and took turns playing games in the volleyball pit and climbing in the bouldering barn. Trappers enjoyed a Home Run Derby on the tennis courts and then headed to the gym for Ultimate Kickball. Scouts enjoyed the pool and played lawn games. Warriors and Braves both played soccer, and then Jedi Ball and Gotcha. Our Chief 1’s had a special treat. Half the age group shot skeet and roasted hot dogs in the pasture by horseback, and the other half went to swim in Little River Canyon before heading to the Brow for a Chick-fil-a dinner.
In the evening, night activity kicked off in camp, while 3 cabins of Scouts headed up to a campsite for an Overnight. Overnights are scheduled during the term by cabin areas where campers and counselors pack a bag and hike into the woods to enjoy a night under the stars. You can imagine how much fun the boys have packing all their gear in preparation for a night in the wilderness. The boys lay out their sleeping bags and help collect firewood so they can “cook” their own dinner of hot dogs, chips, an apple, and S’mores for dessert!
In lieu of an official night program, campers on their overnight enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. New games are invented spontaneously, and boys often compete in the ancient art of catching fireflies. Alpine is blessed with very little light pollution, so the boys can stare at countless stars and search for constellations as they drift off to sleep. In the morning, they hiked back to camp for a hot shower and clean clothes- a luxury they have a newfound appreciation for!
Tuesday, believe it or not, marked the midway point of the term activity blocks. The boys thrive in a routine, and also love the exciting special events we plan for the final days of camp. We will be switching things up this Thursday as all the campers hit the road for Trip Day. It’s a fun filled day of adventure and amusement. The summer is truly flying by, and each day has brought new fun, and more importantly, closer friendships.
Thanks for reading! Wayne