Greetings from Lookout Mountain and Alpine Camp for Boys! Starting with Trip Day, the camp schedule is ripe with special events and days that provide some variety and special moments for the campers and staff. One boy put it well, “we’ve got to enjoy it because after this week, we have to go back to school!” Enjoy it they did, as this weekend featured dances with DeSoto, our third Sunday of the term, block periods, and an out of camp rock climbing trip.
Friday evening, we had our first big thunderstorm of the term. That may seem like an evening ruiner, but at Alpine, “even when it rains we play.” After eating a dinner of ham, mac and cheese, pinto beans, and cornbread, the boys erupted into song to pass the time until we could make it back out for night program. It was a great chance for camp to get refreshed, and gave way to a stretch of beautiful blue skies and comfortable temperatures. There are also few better ways to enjoy a rainstorm than under a metal roof.
Saturday was the final block period of the term, and the boys got to enjoy some quality time with their age group. However, they had to wrap up the games a bit early because of a special phone call Carter received at lunch. It was Sarah Hurt, the Director at Camp DeSoto, who kindly invited the Hunters, Trappers, and Scouts for a dance with the Juniors in their gym. Carter likewise invited the Intermediates and Seniors to come over for dinner and dancing at Alpine with our Warriors, Braves, and Chiefs. This called for showers for all and golf shirts galore, as everyone prepared for the evening.
We host the dance in our gym and the girls join the boys for dinner in the dining hall beforehand. Ms. Gail served a new, fan favorite dinner of crispitos, black beans, rice, and salad. They then made their way out to dance to classic camp favorites like Rockin’ Robin, Jai Ho, and It’s Raining Men. The girls at DeSoto have choreographed moves to dozens of songs, and are kind to teach our guys how to cut a rug.
Sunday called for traditions to be continued. A highlight for many is afternoon cabin time, where counselors plan an activity specific to their cabin’s taste. Several groups went out hiking around the 350 acre property, picking wild blackberries and blueberries. If they pick enough, Ms. Gail can add them to muffins for their cabin to have at breakfast the next day. Other cabins got in a round of disc golf, played board games, or had a ping pong or washers tournament. In contrast to a normal afternoon at camp, Sunday’s are casual and slow paced- a true day of rest and reflection.
This morning, a group of Braves and Chiefs went with some of our climbing staff to Cherokee Rock Village in Leesburg, AL, where they got the chance to climb some actual rock faces with the Higher Ground staff. For many, it is the capstone trip of a term spent developing their climbing skills. Trips like the Warrior Rappelling trips, the Chief Appalachian Trail hike, the Chief 1 hiking and rappelling trip, and the climbing trip are a great bonding experience for the campers and staff, and can significantly deepen trust and friendship amongst the boys while enjoying the gift of nature.
Tonight, we have our second to last normal night program. A few Warrior cabins and a Brave cabin are sneaking in one last overnight. Looking ahead to this week, we will celebrate Mountain Day (a beloved Alpine holiday) on Wednesday, honor our Chief 2’s at Council Ring on Thursday, and make the trip to DeSoto for the Glee Club show on Friday. Thank you again for entrusting your boys with us this summer, and we look forward to seeing you next week.
Thanks for reading, Wayne