Saturday marked the first full day of activities for Second Term 2023 here at Alpine Camp for Boys. You could feel the excitement in the air of the dining hall as the boys fueled up on a breakfast of oatmeal, eggs, link sausage, cereal, and toast. It felt great to be back at camp, and after the reunions and introductions from the day before, everyone was ready to get back into the routine of Alpine. I’m Wayne Ingram, one of the Associate Directors here at camp. I was a former Second Term camper myself, and always get excited when the July term rolls around again.
Before the boys could head out for the day, they worked together to tidy up their cabins. After the last floor was swept and bunk made, they rotated through their first 3 activities and the fun began. Bows were strung, golf balls were struck, tennis balls were served, PA course harnesses were locked in, and cane poles were dropped in the pond. It is so wonderful to hear the sound of camp in full swing. Campers have 11 activities on their schedule, and are placed into classes by their age. We typically run 5 each day, which provides variety to the days, and allows boys to meet new friends and spend time with old friends that may or may not be in their same cabin.
At lunch time, a classic Alpine meal of hamburger steak, scalloped potatoes, salad, and rolls greeted the boys and counselors, followed by sherbert for dessert! At the end of the meal, a much needed rest hour was observed prior to an afternoon featuring store period and two more activity rotations. The heat and humidity from earlier in the week has subsided, and it has been pleasantly warm the last few days, which makes the afternoons all that more enjoyable.
Following their last activity of the day, the boys hit the showers and proceeded to retreat- a pre-dinner tradition where all of camp lines up in front of the dining hall to say the pledge, listen to announcements, and hear what is on the schedule for night programs. At dinner, spaghetti and garlic bread were served up in the dining hall, and everyone made their way to the tennis courts for Glee Club. Over the years, several popular songs have been given an Alpine rewrite to become camp songs. Age groups then broke off to play Capture the Flag, Xtreme 4 Square, Spotlight, or have S’mores at the Ridge before heading to bed.
Sunday’s at Alpine are always special. The boys arose to the unmistakable aroma of hot pancakes and sausage made by Ms. Gail Collins and our kitchen staff. The made from scratch and freshly griddled pancakes we enjoy on Sundays have a legendary reputation. Campers returned for a special “white gloved” inspection of their cabins, and put on their whites in preparation for morning Worship in the gym.
Our Camp Minister for the summer is Chandler Rowlen, the campus minister for RUF at Carson-Newman University. Chandler preached on Psalm 127, and we sang classic hymns played by counselors’ acoustic guitars. We shuffled out of the gym to participate in another great Alpine tradition: the all-camp picture at the Council Ring. Each term from each summer takes a picture for the archives, and they are hung up in the lodge, where former campers and staff can visit and see them for years to come. We also took cabin and individual photos in our Sunday Whites, which will be sent home with the boys at the end of the term.
Sunday lunch at Alpine is chicken, green beans, rice with gravy, halved pears, and rolls. Our kitchen staff also scoops out our favorite ice cream, Moosetracks, for dessert. The rest of the afternoon consisted of an extended rest hour, and each age group playing some games together around camp. As the evening rolled around, the boys got in the first game of Alpine’s version of dodgeball known as Slaughter Ball. Afterwards, they headed off to a night time edition of morning watch known as vespers.
Today was what Glenn likes to call a “Chamber of Commerce” day at Alpine. Partly cloudy blue skies, 80 degrees, and a steady, cool breeze from the west. We ran activities 6-10 today, and feasted on a fan favorite meal of chicken tenders with Shazam sauce at lunch. A couple cabins from our Warrior age group (completed 6th graders) got the chance to go rappelling over at DeSoto Falls- a trip we have taken for several years. The boys and their counselors hike out to a cliff overlooking the falls, and are lowered down via harness and climbing rope by our friends at Higher Ground, an adventure and team building company we use for out of camp trips. It’s a wonderful way for the guys to try something new and bond with their cabinmates, and the rest of the age group is set to go on Wednesday.
The fun is underway at Alpine, and we want to thank you so much for sharing your boys with us this summer!
Thanks for reading. Wayne