The sun has just set on another fine day at Alpine Camp for Boys. I’m typing this from our office, and can hear an excited group of Hunters playing flashlight tag with their counselors across the way. Earlier, they were continuing their work on a special Glee Club song, “Little Bitty,” a spin off of the Alan Jackson hit that Hunters have sung for years and years. Even though they were on the back porch of our Lodge, you could hear them about 600 yards away at the gym thanks to the topography of the canyon.
While the youngest campers enjoyed their evening in camp, our oldest campers, the Chief II’s, are spending their first of 3 nights on the Appalachian Trail. Think of this trip like the Alpine version of a capstone trip for their time as a camper. Each group of campers and counselors has a trained guide provided by Higher Ground out of Rome, GA, and backpacks over 25 miles of the trail. The trip provides the boys with a formidable challenge to bond over, and also time to think and reflect on their time at camp.
Sunday featured prime conditions and a great change of pace from the first full week of camp. Boys woke up at 8am, a full hour later than normal, and filed into the dining hall for pancakes, sausage, and cantaloupe. They then proceeded to cabins for a Sunday “white gloved” inspection. The Sunday schedule allows for ample free time, which boys take advantage of to play disc golf, Gladiator ball, read a book, work on a lanyard, or hang out with a buddy. They then dressed in traditional neckerchiefs and whites to line up for church in the gym.
In the afternoon, each cabin enjoys time together planned by their counselors after an extended rest hour. The staff chooses a cabin time based on their boys favorite activities and personalities, so you see groups all over camp enjoying everything from hiking, to craft making, to wiffle ball playing, to playing ping pong. In the evening, the boys gather their laundry so it’s ready to send off to be washed the next day, and then gather together for an evening service known as vespers. Each age group meets for worship and a message, usually from one of the counselors in the age group. It caps off a day of rest, which makes Sundays special at Alpine.
While boys typically thrive with structure and routine, it is also important to mix things up now and then. Today was another block period afternoon, where the Hunters got to make sand castles and ride the PA zipline. Trappers played pickleball, 9 square in the air, and capture the flag. Scouts, in a camper lead movement, hosted their inaugural Scout Wiffleball League throughout the front of camp. The boys have taken to the game since they played it in team sports, and have organized teams and rules for the age group.
Warriors enjoyed games of Ultimate Frisbee mixed with a trip to the pool. The Braves competed in Jedi Ball and Ultimate Kickball- a high scoring version of kickball played at the Alpine Gym. Chief 1’s have a trip of their own planned this week, and will get the chance to go on a full day hiking and team building trip at nearby Cherokee Rock Village. It will also be led by our friends at Higher Ground, and should be a good experience in their preparation for the AT hike next summer.
We are fortunate to be so close to incredible natural areas, and we love to give boys the chance to explore and have adventures in and around camp. In fact, this Thursday, all of camp will load buses and head out for Trip Day- a great Alpine tradition. More updates to come on all of the trips later this week!
Thanks for reading! Wayne