Socials and Sleuthing

It was three years in the making yesterday evening when the senior ladies from Camp Desoto arrived with much fanfare to celebrate the Senior Social with our Chief age group and Work Crew. While we loved having camp last summer, we were unable to enjoy any of our usual gatherings with Camp Desoto as both camps stayed in our Covid bubbles. These groups of rising 9th, 10th, and 11th graders have enjoyed this first week tradition for many summers. In fact, I first met Carter on a rainy Friday afternoon at the Senior Social in the early 90’s.

Yesterday about 4:30 2 school buses delivered the ladies to our farm area uptop. Hopefully you’ve seen some of the photos of the decor. Signs, flowers, and snacks almost made it feel like an arrival for a casual wedding reception! The guys and girls enjoyed some “get to know you” type games and icebreakers. After a while they moved to a meadow strung with overhead twinkle lights and dotted with picnic blankets. Groups of campers chatted casually as they enjoyed a pizza dinner. After a while, guitars were brought out and camp singing commenced. The boys sang a few of our camp favorites, many girls joining in out of familiarity. Then the girls wowed us with some of their camp songs.

As the sun set and the skies turned shades of pink and blue, 3 campfires were lit in various spots around the farm. I should also add that the weather yesterday (and today) is SO much better. It’s been much cooler and the humidity is way down. S’mores were roasted and new friendships forged before it was time to say goodnight for now. The entire populations of both camps will get a chance for dinner and dancing soon enough.

The rest of camp was not slighted in the least as they enjoyed a special “block period” afternoon. We suspended our usual activities in favor of selected age group activities for the afternoon. Richard assigns a fun game to play for one of the block hours. The other is allotted as free cabin time with your counselor. This is a welcome break from the routine schedule as cabins enjoy playing frisbee golf or group tennis matches or maybe for the older campers simply hanging out in hammocks and enjoying conversation.

For supper, Mrs. Gail served up a hamburger buffet, complete with baked beans, chips, and all the fixin’s. Campers and counselors alike eat on the lawns surrounding the dining hall. Again, it’s a fun change from the norm and last night’s weather made it even more enjoyable.

Tonight we are all in camp for the most beloved night program of the term, Mission Impossible! Mission Impossible is what boys look forward to all year. For those of you wondering why we have camoflauge on our packing list, this is why. It’s an all camp game of spotlight, played by cabins. The head counselors serve as Maxes, doling out each cabin’s first assignment and password. From there they sneak around in the darkness searching out good agents for more clues.

The ultimate goal is to find whatever has been stolen from camp earlier that day. I should mention that the stealing takes place in an elaborate skit that is almost as anticipated as the game itself.

Tonight we fooled everyone. Usually the skit takes place at lunch to everyone’s surprise and delight. Today lunch came and went without any fanfare. Except for the delicious grilled chicken, green peas, scalloped potatoes and mixed salad that we enjoyed. After a dinner of BBQ pork, baked beans, and chips, we all innocently headed to Glee Club, planning for a normal night of activities.

Towards the end of Glee Club three funny looking counselors entered the gym. Declaring their intentions to start a rival camp, “ENIPLA”, they began to describe the plans for the new camp. Campers laughed and jeered as they described a camp with rest hour for 5 hours and day and 1 meal a day of only salad. The only position left to fill was for a Program Director. They tricked our Program Director, Richard Cox, into going with them to start Enipla. The Mission Impossible music suddenly blared over the loudspeakers. Our mission was clear, we must save Richard and return him to his proper place at Alpine!

I’m happy to report that 3 cabins saved the day! Richard is safe and sound back at Alpine and will be ready to provide more fun for us at camp in the days to come.

Tomorrow we’ll enjoy a later wake up after a busy week. Sunday always provides a much needed respite with a different schedule and a little more downtime (though not too much for boys!). And of course we’ll feast on Mrs. Gail’s hot pancakes in the morning, a Sunday tradition.

Thanks for reading, Glenn