Camp kicked into high gear in the past few days as we enjoyed full days of activities and night programs leading up to the second Sunday of the term. The routine of camp tends to make time fly, which, as they say, happens when you are having fun. On Friday and Saturday campers enjoyed getting into some of their activities for the 2nd or 3rd time this term, which means learning next level skills and getting to try new, more challenging things. Project Adventure, for example, has progressed from team building games into working on the high ropes course. Up top, golfers have moved from the putting green to the driving range. Even in crafts, campers have mastered making a lanyard and progressed to clay sculpting. We find it’s important to design activities to get progressively more difficult or teach new skills so the boys get to experience new things and learn more of what they are capable of accomplishing.
Fueled up by eggs and grits in the morning, and fried fish, field peas, and scalloped potatoes at lunch, the boys attacked the day. Our horseback classes have been going on trail rides to work on their riding skills. Minor Sports has been playing Banana Ball- a game where the boys use plastic scoops to throw wiffle balls to each other and into goals. In guitar classes, boys worked on chords by learning to play some of the more popular camp songs. At the end of the day, we all enjoyed a picnic supper of hamburgers, baked beans, chips, and oreo cookies, before heading off to glee club and night activities.
Night activities are a special part of the day because boys are together with their whole age group, and they typically get to play games that aren’t offered in other activities. We try to rotate more physically challenging games, like Capture the Flag or Slaughterball, with relaxed options like going for a night swim at the pool or making S’mores at a campfire. One popular option this term has been Alpine Hockey in the gym. We flip over benches to create a rink where campers try and score goals with soft plastic hockey sticks. In lieu of a puck, we’ve found a large wiffle ball works best. Teams of 7 rotate after each goal is scored making it a fast paced, exciting game to play or watch.
Another fun night activity option is Xtreme 4 Square. Teams of two compete in a classic game of 4 square played on the tennis courts with a large 16 inch wide ball. Players can set the ball to their teammate when it enters their square and work their way to the king spot on the court. Another fan favorite is known as Newcomb. Invented at Newcomb college, this game is a variation of volleyball that permits players to catch the ball and throw it back over. If the ball hits the ground, a player on that team is eliminated. This continues until one team is out of players.
After all the excitement, Saturday featured a block period in the afternoon to allow the guys to catch a break from their activities. Hunters played PA Games on the Minor Sports field, and Trappers were in the gym for Alpine Hockey. Scouts enjoyed the Waterfront while Warriors swam up at the pool. The Braves played Team Handball on the team sports field.
The Chiefs had a special evening as the Seniors from Camp DeSoto came over for a night of games, hot dogs, and fellowship at the Uptop. It’s something the boys look forward to their entire Alpine career, and a memorable part of the camp experience. This morning the Chief IIs left on another capstone event: the Appalachian Trail Trip. In 4 groups, the guys will be hiking around 30 miles over the next 4 days.
Sunday featured pristine weather, pancakes and fried chicken, cabin time, and watermelon on the team sports field. Some of our best traditions at Alpine are showcased on Sundays. One of our most popular is the serving of Moosetracks ice cream, and the double scoop awarded to the weekly tribe competition winner. This week the Cherokees took the first lead of the term.
The term is officially hitting its stride, and the boys have been having a blast. I look forward to checking in soon with even more stories from Lookout Mountain.
Thanks for reading! Wayne