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Trooper History

Did you know that the Troopers weren’t born with Skyline? A group of girls from Louisiana actually brought the club to Skyline in 1964, after the Mounties and Rangers had been at camp for years.
The first Trooper captain, Nancy “Fudge” Eschette, tells us her story here:
“I was a leader at Beryl and Mable’s Camp Cherokee. They lost their lease for the camp and teamed up with Eloise to encourage their campers to stick together and go to Skyline. Eloise felt the competition between the Mounties and the Rangers had gotten too intense, and adding a third club would soften things. She saw the opportunity to do this with the influx of former Camp Cherokee girls. Mazie Blanks was key in recruiting us. BEFORE the camp session started, she came to New Orleans to meet with me and a couple of other Cherokee girls. We were presented with the opportunity of starting a third club. I was tapped as the go-to-girl. I submitted the name Trooper and the green and white colors for Eloise’s approval, and set about writing some songs and cheers to get us started. AND THE REST IS HISTORY….”
Thanks, Fudge for sharing your amazing story with us! Troopers loyal will we be.

Introducing our 4th Session Nurses!

Last but certainly not least, here are our 4TH SESSION NURSES! There are 2 new ladies being introduced today so be sure to check out both of them! Here we go, first up is…

[1 of 2]

-Name: Melanie Merrin

-Degree: Registered Nurse

-Years at Skyline: 7

-Skyline Connection: Melanie has 2 daughters who are campers at Skyline!

-If you were a camper what would be your must-do activity?

-Why do you enjoy being a nurse at Skyline?
I love seeing the girls who have been campers year after year building strong lifelong friendships with each other.

[2 of 2]

-Name: Shari Busby

-Degree: Registered Nurse

-Years at Skyline: 3

-Skyline Connection: Shari has a daughter who is a camper at Skyline!

-If you were a camper what would be your must-do activity?
Arts and Crafts and Ropes!

-Why do you enjoy being a nurse at Skyline?
Watching the kids perform on Talent Night is my favorite!!

Introducing our 3rd Session Nurses!

All right Skyliners, here come the ladies who will be with you during the famed Christmas in July session… our 3RD SESSION NURSES! There are 2 new ladies being introduced today so be sure to check out both of them! Here they are…

[1 of 2]

-Name: Joyce Vander Knijff

-Degree: RN, Bachelor of Science

-Years with Skyline: This will be my third.

-Skyline Connection: Joyce’s daughter is a camper at Skyline!

-If you were a camper what would be your must-do activity?
Learning to canoe and trying out the blob!!

-Why you enjoy being a nurse at Skyline?
I love the different age groups of girls. They are different in so many ways and yet the same. Skyline is such a positive experience where girls can be themselves in a positive inclusive Christian environment.

[2 of 2]

-Name: Shavon Prather Lynch

-Degree: Emergency/Trauma Registered Nurse/ Bachelor of Science in Nursing

-Years with Skyline: This will be my 3rd year.

-Skyline Connection: Shavon is a friend of on of our Assistant Directors, Lindsey!

-If you were a camper what would be your must-do activity?
All of them!

-Why you enjoy being a nurse at Skyline?
I love the positive atmosphere at camp skyline. It is so refreshing to be surrounded by a staff who are Christ centered and campers of all ages who are seeking Christ. Skyline is truly a beautiful thing and I’m honored to be apart of it. I only wish my parents would have known about it when I was growing up!

**Fun Fact: Shavon, like Cassie from 1st session, also travels all over the US for her job as a nurse! AND did you know they are sisters? That’s right! Fun, huh? Shavon will also be with us at Skyline several sessions this summer.

Introducing our 2nd Session Nurses!

Alright, today we are excited to show you our… 2ND SESSION NURSES! There are 2 ladies being introduced today so be sure to check out both of them! Here we go, next up is…

[1 of 2]

-Name: Mary Ann Davis

-Degree: R.N./B.S.N.

-Years with Skyline: Summer 2014 will be my 5th exciting year.

-Skyline Connection: Mary Ann’s daughter is a camper at Skyline!

-If you were a camper what would be your must-do activity?
If I could participate in an activity it would be horseback riding.

-Why you enjoy being a nurse at Skyline?
I love the BACON!!!!
Really, I love it all. I love putting band aids on scraped knees, drying tears after a bee sting, and handing out TUMS when some cute thing has eaten WAY too much Belly Deli. I love giving and getting hugs from the minis. (And from some of the older girls, too) I love going to nighttime activities and watching all the excitement of the evening unfold. I loved camp as a young girl so it’s a thrill to have a chance to be a part of it as an adult.

[2 of 2]

-Name: Alison Davis

-Degree: Assistant Professor of Nursing at William Carey University/ PhD

-Years with Skyline: 3 years

-Skyline Connection: Alison’s two daughters are campers at Skyline!

-If you were a camper what would be your must-do activity?
Canoeing – I love the tranquility of the river and it is so pretty!

Why you enjoy being a nurse at Skyline?
I really enjoy interacting with all the campers and helping them no matter how big or small the issue. The talent show is my favorite nighttime activity
so much talent at Skyline. Oh, and of course, pass my favorite dessert- rice crispy treats!!

Introducing our 1st Session Nurses!!

Today we are proud to welcome… our 1ST SESSION NURSES! There are three ladies being introduced today so be sure to check out each one!

[1 of 3]

-Name: Cerrell Atkinson

-Degree: I am a School Nurse! I have been working at my school for 12 years. Having this kind of job has allowed me to be such a committed camp nurse

-Years at Skyline: This will be my 11th summer.

-Skyline Connection: Cerrell has two Skyline daughters! One is a camper and one is a counselor on our staff this summer!

-If you were a camper what would be your must-do activity?
I would probably have to pick Circus! Even though I have done several activities at camp I’ve never done Circus. It just looks cool…MAYBE this year I’ll get brave enough to try it.

-Why you enjoy being a nurse at Skyline?
I was not fortunate as a child to be able to attend camp and when Camp Skyline was hosting a party at the school I work at, I just stopped in to see what it was all about. Little did I know 11 years later I would still be coming to Camp Skyline. I have such a good time at camp and look forward to every year and every session I get to come back.
Those of you out there that know me as your camp nurse already know my favorite night time activity would have to be Club Competition night!! Since I get to dress up and act crazy like the rest of you get to…BUT I can’t deny that I also LOVE beating the ADMIN table in food art!

**Fun Fact: Cerrell will be staying as a Skyline nurse for ALL 4 sessions!

[2 of 3]

-Name: Sandra Rice

-Nursing title/Degree: RN

-Years at Skyline: This will be my 9th year

-Skyline Connection: Mrs. Sandra’s granddaughter was once a camper and will be on our counselor staff this summer!

-If you were a camper what would be your must-do activity?
Bible Study and Circus, and, and, and…

-Why you enjoy being a nurse at Skyline?
Oh my! Are you kidding? I LOVE being there taking care of the girls! They are so precious and well behaved. And the staff is awesome! The whole atmosphere at Camp Skyline is influenced by the Christian values on which the camp was founded. It’s a beautiful safe place saturated with wholesome and competitive fun activities, which encourage self-confidence and respect for others. I am NOT looking forward to “aging out”!! ☺

[3 of 3]

-Name: Cassie Rutherford

-Nursing title/Degree: RN, BSN

-Years at Skyline: 1 year, this will be my 2nd.

-If you were a camper what would be your must-do activity?

-Why you enjoy being a nurse at Skyline?
I enjoy spending quality time with all the campers and staff. Very relaxing in such a beautiful, magnificent place!

**Fun Fact: Cassie often travels all over the US for her job as a nurse! How fun?! She will be with us at Skyline several sessions this summer.

Skyline Foundation Scholarships Due March 15th

Girls at summer camp.

The Skyline Foundation is a non profit organization that provides scholarships for girls to attend camp. Scholarships are available for both the one-week Mini sessions and two-week sessions. Anyone is welcome to apply for a scholarship! Do you know of someone who would benefit from a Skyline Foundation scholarship? Please email for the application. All applications must be postmarked by March 15th.

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

I remember the moment I learned Collette Campbell lived in London. My immediate response was to assume she was joking. After all, she is Collette—there are few moments when she isn’t making you laugh, no matter what the situation. But I soon learned she was quite serious, and was further convinced that she was telling the truth when she exemplified an impressive British accent. London. Wow.

And then the song, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” surfaced in my mind. This girl crossed an ocean—not a river, not a valley—an ocean, to get to camp.

“You should come visit!” she exclaimed, with her usual bright-eyed vivacity.

The lovely Mrs. Campbell, Laurie, earnestly confirmed the invitation on closing day. As we hugged Collette goodbye and watched her descend the front stairs of Riverside, Cambre and I exchanged wide-eyed stares.

We silently shared the same resolve: Let’s go.

Numerous emails, a few phone calls, two passports, two tickets and five months later, we found ourselves on an airplane, staring upon a puffy tundra of clouds which would eventually reveal the magical urban landscape of London.

After a long place ride, Cambre and Lauren are ready to win London. Just like the Olsen twins long ago.
Not only was it our first time out of the good ‘ol U.S. of A., it was also our first time on an airplane. Cambre was ecstatic. She was positively giddy during take-off. I just tried to focus on the happy things in life… like coffee, chacos, and being on the ground.

Thankfully we arrived on British soil safely. As we rounded the corner of arrivals, Laurie greeted us with a big smile and warmhearted hug. She swiftly oriented us to the Heathrow Express, the London tube, and a British Cab. Once we had settled into their lovely home, Laurie took us to a charming little café near the Campbell’s residence called “Baker & Spice.” Re-energized with scones, we proceeded into the city to the iconic places of London.

Cambre with iconic London's Big Ben!
It is a surreal and magical moment when one finds themselves craning up Big Ben. The magic becomes even more potent when you’re strolling past red phone booths, Westminster Abbey, and standing at the gates of Buckingham Palace.

That evening we went to a delicious French restaurant with the Campbell family. Collette ordered in French—because she’s cool that way—and we chatted over a candlelit dinner. The primary topic was, of course, camp, for what better subject is there? Thus, we toasted to our coming week in London. What a week it came to be.

Cambre and Lauren went to watch Collette play some English Futball while visiting.
Upon our first sunny London morning (the weather was fabulous while we were there), we watched Collette seize several goals in a soccer game. We then ventured to Borough Market, a renowned British food market. In a word: heaven. That night, we played Pit (a game we brought to camp that Collette adores—and so do we!) with Collette and two of her sweet friends. It doesn’t take much for Skyline girls to get loud, but this game takes us to our highest volume of FUN!

From then on, the trip flew by. We visited St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, Windsor Castle, the National Gallery, the Portrait Gallery, the Churchill War Museum, Westminster Abbey, Royal Albert Hall, the British Museum, and Kensington Palace. Near Kensington Palace is ‘The Orangery,’ where Laurie and Collette treated Cambre and I to afternoon tea.

Lauren and Cambre bike around to see more sites.
One morning, Todd (Mr. Campbell) acquired us Barclay Bikes and led us on a ride through town to Regent’s Park, where we hiked up Primrose Hill for a stunning view of the city! Collette’s Aunt Renee and Cousin Bernadette, who happened to be visiting as well, joined in on the fun. We loved getting to know them during our stay!

Collette took us to a few local London favorites, such as Covent Gardens—a sprightly part of town with restaurants, shops and (if you’re lucky) street musicians. We were fortunate enough to go on a night when an impressive string quintet was playing classical pieces. We grabbed some ice cream in the midst of the January chill and enjoyed a free concert.

Collette was rehearsing for her part in 'The Jungle Book'
On our last evening in London, we went to the American School in London to watch Collette’s play rehearsal. She played the fierce role of Akela the Wolf in ‘The Jungle Book.’ We were quite impressed!

Finally, that night, Cambre, Collette and I got dressed up and went to the Lyceum Theatre to see ‘The Lion King.’ It was an incredible sight to behold, serving as the grande finale to our week in London. The ice cream served at intermission was icing on the cake!

As every camper knows, camp goodbyes are some of the most heart-wrenching. You can’t help but hum that nostalgic vesper tune, “Mmmm I want to linger…Mmmm a little longer…” The morning we left London, we posed for our parting picture (wearing Skyline t-shirts, of course!) in front of a red phone booth. After hugging Collette tightly, we watched her disappear down the sidewalk on her way to school.

Just as we had on the first day, we enjoyed a treat at Baker & Spice with Laurie. We then loaded our suitcases into a cab, said our goodbyes to the family and sped off to catch our plane ride home.

Cambre and I still marvel that we actually took the trip. It was an adventure that we will reminisce about for the rest of our lives. With all our hearts we miss the dear Campbell family! We are so grateful for their generosity and hospitality. Having three Skyline gals in one household is quite an undertaking! Knowing that Skyline sisters live as far away as London makes one eager for the coming summer, and thankful for the love that draws campers to the mountain—across rivers, through valleys, and—ever so often—over an ocean. What a blessing it is to be part of such a widespread family.

Mrs. Campbell, Collette, Cambre, and Lauren

Love to all Skyline Cuties,
Lauren Holley & Cambre Godwin

Catherine Shook, Head of Hut Row

I’m from Atlanta, GA and I go to the University of Georgia (go dawgs). For me personally, Skyline is the place where I grew up and began to figure out who I was (deep) (true though). This will be my tenth summer at camp and it has shaped so much of my identity and personality. I want the campers of 2014 to have the most fun summer ever where they can make great friends, learn more about who themselves and experience God in a way that they maybe haven’t before.

Katie Baumberger, Head of Hut Row

From: Atlanta, GA
School: Texas Christian University (TCU)

Skyline is my absolute favorite place in the world and I can’t imagine what my life would be without it! I bring up camp in conversation with people every single day and only those who have been to camp before really ‘get it’. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what is so awesome about Skyline but the people-campers, counselors, and staff alike-are definitely a huge highlight. As a camper my amazing counselors taught me about friendship, self-confidence, God, and how to live out a joyful life. As a counselor I’ve been able to work with some amazing people and I’ve been so inspired by them. I absolutely love the campers at Skyline and how hilarious and fun loving they are. I could go on for days about what Skyline means to me but basically, as cliche as this sounds, I wouldn’t be the same person without it.
I want the campers to come to Skyline prepared to have the best time they’ll have all summer! I want the girls to make new friends, gain confidence in everything they do, learn some new songs, try and succeed at something new, break out of their shells, learn more about Jesus, and make Skyline a second home for them. The more I think about the campers that will be coming this summer the more excited I get about how great they’re going to be and how many opportunities they’ll have to grow at camp!

Taylor Bates, Head of Summerplace

We’re so excited to have someone who loves summer place as much as this girl does!

Hey everyone, I’m Taylor and I am soooo pumped for summer 2014! I’m so excited to be a part of the head staff of camp this summer! I’m from the epicenter of the 2014 snowpocalypse itself, B’ham, and when I’m not daydreaming about camp I attend Birmgham-Southern, where I am pursuing a degree in sociology and psychology with a Pre-Med focus. I also play lacrosse and am a member of Alpha Omicron Pi fraternity. This summer will be my 16th summer up on this glorious mountain, and it has no doubt become an integral part of my life. Camp has not only given me my best friends, the funniest stories, and a place to call my home, but it has also instilled in me the tools to be successful outside of camp. Above all, camp has played a huge role in my walk with God, and it has given me a place to foster that relationship so I can leave camp stronger in my faith than ever before. This summer I plan to show each girl that they each bring something unique and wonderful to the table, and to teach them to embrace each other’s differences, just has camp has taught me over the years. I know this summer will be the best ever, and I can’t wait to see what camp has in store for us!

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