This morning after breakfast, our friend and professional photographer, Lane Park, arrived for Picture Day. Maybe not the most fun hour of the term, but the one that produces the beloved cabin photos to forever remember our time this term. I have several framed in my office from my first summer as a counselor. Carter and her team have refined the art down to a science over the years so it’s really not that painful.
Cloudy skies and light sprinkles threatened to send us indoors this morning but the rain moved out before breakfast. Speaking of, I should not have skipped over breakfast so quickly. Sunday morning might be the most iconic and remembered meal at camp. Mrs. Gail has a homemade pancake mix passed down from her mother, longtime Alpine cook Bea Crow. The ladies arrive early in the morning to flip hundreds and hundreds of flapjacks on a smallish griddle in time for an 8AM breakfast. Gail serves mounds of pancakes on large trays on each table, accompanied by sausage patties, sliced canteloupe, and pitchers of syrup.
Late morning our camp minister, Chandler Rowlen, and some able musicians, facilitated worship in our open air gym. A light breeze blew through as we sang hymns, prayed, and listened to Chandler’s sermon on Psalm 122, a song of ascent from David. Chandler used a great illustration from Toy Story 2 when Woody goes to a toy museum because he thinks Andy is too old to play with him. Buzz Lightyear rescues him and brings him home where he belongs to do what he was made to do. Chandler reminded us that as Christians, living in community and with the church, we are living how God designed us to live. Chandler is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church and currently serves as a college minister with Reformed University Fellowship on the campus of Carson Newman University. He and his wife, Leah, have two toe headed blond little boys. Chandler’s main job this summer is to serve our counselors by meeting with them, encouraging them, and holding Bible studies for them. We want our staff to be refreshed and prepared for service to their campers so this investment is important to us.
Sunday lunch, another longtime camp tradition, perhaps only one notch below pancakes, greeted us at just the right time. We feasted on oven fried chicken, green beans, rice and gravy, pear slices, rolls, and sweet tea like your grandmother makes. And of course, Mayfield Dairy’s Moosetracks for dessert (and vanilla for any peanut allergies)! Starting next week we’ll announce the tribe leader in points for the week, rewarded with a second serving of Moosetracks.
Another favorite Sunday tradition is watermelon served on Sunday afternoon. As I type this, Richard Cox, our program director, is cutting slices of cold watermelon for a huge crowd of boys on the athletic field. Sunday doesn’t just revolve around food, I promise! But it is a day that we set aside for lots of special traditions. It’s a holy day, set apart, different from the other 6. That involves rest, yes, but with 307 boys that doesn’t mean laying around in our beds and reading all day ( I would have a mutiny). It involves a different schedule, special cabin and age group activities, and Sunday traditions.
By the way, yesterday’s first full day of regular activities went off without a hitch. Boys had fun getting introduced to the first 5 activities on their 11 period schedule. Tomorrow we’ll jump into periods 6-10. 3 periods in the morning and 2 in the afternoon. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll write you a letter and tell you what activities they signed up for! Ask them to in your next letter or email. Ask specific questions in letters beyond just “how’s camp?”. That might be your best shot to get a few details!
Speaking of a day set apart, we don’t upload photos on Sunday to give our photo editor a day off. All of today’s photos will be uploaded about this time tomorrow afternoon so you’ll get a double dose. After church today we took photos of all our brothers and cousins in camp together. Look for those tomorrow evening as well.
All is well at camp. Thanks for reading and good night for now, Glenn