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The Drop Off

The Drop Off

The last time all of you heard from me I talked about Luke and his senior year. The more I had to write about the harder it was for me to do it. It was very exciting and at the same time it was an entire year of lasts. The last first day of school, the last homecoming, the last prom, the last lacrosse game and then came graduation. It all went by so fast and I spent quite a few days crying in my closet because of the speed at which it went by. Those of you that have a senior this year it is bitter sweet. There is no other way to put it, however I believe it’s more sweet than bitter.

Not only did our year fly by so did the summer. Of course we have camp in the summer time so there wasn’t a lot of time to think about getting him ready for college. After camp we went into hyper drive to get everything done! Getting a child ready for school CAN be done in three days! Many of you know we drove to Missoula, Montana. We went out for orientation and the start of school. They have many out of state students so they are gracious enough to do an orientation right before school starts.

We arrive a day early and check in. Luke wanted to stay in his dorm room from the start. My mothers heart was glad he wanted to be independent but was sad because this was the end of a chapter in all of our lives. Everything was fine, we went through parent orientation (it was very helpful) and then it was time, time for the goodbyes. Our goodbye was not long and drawn out thankfully, it was quick and short. We ate a fast breakfast Saturday morning then he was called to help his teammates move other students in. I got a quick hug and a pat on the back reassuring me he was going to be fine. At this point I was teary but new this was going to be the most amazing experience for him. We had raised him to be independent, to leave us and explore, learn and continue becoming a man. As he jogged off I saw the years of his youth pass by and then into middle and high school years. It was a precious time.

Now what? What are we going to do? I had told Larry at the beginning of his senior year I would not go straight back to an empty house. We didn’t. We took the next several weeks to drive back. We visited friends, national parks and enjoyed being together. I would recommend to every mother out there, don’t go back to an empty house, enjoy a little time with your spouse when the last child leaves. All of this being said, when it was time to start heading south, I was ready to get back home. Yes, I knew my house would be empty but I had already started planning what to do with his room. Boy is he going to be surprised when he comes home!!

Being an “empty nester” is not the horror story I thought it was going to be. Larry and I have always had children, Abby was two when we married and Luke came two years after that. We didn’t have that time at the beginning of a marriage so many couples have. I was a little worried about what this time was going to be like. So far so good! It’s fun being by ourselves and having our own schedule. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss our children and they are doing well spreading their wings and flying on their own…besides, It’s what we raised them to do.

2017 ACIT Applications are OUT!

ACIT Applications are now available online! 2017 campers who are 13+ can apply to help serve meals and come to camp for half price! More info, along with the application, can be found on our website under the “Apply” tab. Don’t miss this great opportunity! Applications due MONDAY, OCTOBER 31.

On The Road Again

on the road

Travel season is on and in full speed! If we are coming to a city near you, we would love to see you. Check our facebook, instagram, and the blog for more details on each show day!

We can’t wait to see you!


Our summer staff came together around a great idea that would allow us to continue growing our faiths together despite our participation physical distance this time of year. We kicked it off last week and want to give the opportunity to participate to our entire Skyline family!

So, welcome to #skylinewordwednesday!

Each week a passage of scripture from the Bible will be posted and we are encouraging you to carve out a little bit of your day to sit down and listen to God in His Word then share about what stuck out to you with others. We have enjoyed using the SOAPS method together and, if you want to try it out, you can find more information on that attached in the document below. You, though, are welcome to use any method you like.

A SOAPS method

2016 Memory Book Cover Contest

Our 2016 Memory Book Cover Contest is officially underway!

Past Memory Book contest winners!

After each summer, a Memory Book is created for all of our campers and staff that consists of photos and memories from each session. We challenge both campers and counselors to submit creative artwork to be considered for this years front or back cover!

If you choose to participate, here are a few things to know:
1. Create a front cover design, a back cover design, or both! Two artists could potentially be chosen.

2. Use a VERTICAL 8.5×11 sheet of paper or similar size if creating on a computer.
(**if your idea wraps around from cover to cover please create it landscape (horizontally). Remember that you do not want to design it with your title and focal ideas in the center because it will then land on the spine of the book.)

3. Include “Camp Skyline Ranch” & “Summer 2016” in design.

4. Submissions are due MONDAY, OCTOBER 3rd.

When finished, submit to Sarah Kate:
Camp Skyline Ranch
Atten: Sarah Kate McLaughlin
P.O Box 287
Mentone, Alabama 35984

If you have any questions, please feel free to call Sarah Kate at Skyline at 1-800/448-9279.

Looking forward to seeing some creative ideas!

Honor Campers 4th session 2016!!

Showtime and hard work pays off!! last time!!

Well howdy parents!! can you believe you you made it through the whole session and the end is in sight? It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago when we were just getting to know one another and you had just dropped off your campers. I gotta tell ya, I have gotten to know a lot of the campers this session and it has been so much fun to see them work as hard as they have on everything from archery, circus, rope climbing and even some of them and their projects in arts and crafts. Every time I walk into the dining hall or even jus around the camp, I have little campers running up to me and telling me of something they have done since I saw them last in their activity. The girls at rifelry and archery gave me almost daily reports of their progress, I had a camper today at lunch get up and come talk to me about her routine tonight for Showtime and ask advice about the timing in her trick and swing. Its really amazing to see how hard they have worked and how proud they are to show me what they’ve accomplished this session. I know you are gonna be proud of them when they tell you all they’ve done and you should be! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many ear to ear smiles when someone is telling me about the hard work they’ve done, and what they’ve accomplished earlier in the day but your campers do it everday! Its also something to see the bonds these campers have with their counselors. Everywhere I look I see counselors giving campers piggy back rides or just walking and talking to them between classes, giving up their beli deli time to work with them on a gymnastic routine or another activity. I’m telling ya, its been a great session up here!

Today was the last day of activities and everyone was getting in their last go ‘rounds at all their classes. Like I mentioned last night, we taught the campers in ropes course how to climb up a rope today and they LOVED it! Talk about hard work though! They got a work out but quite a few of ‘em came back and had races against other campers up the ropes to the pole about 25 feet in the air. You wouldn’t believe how quickly some of them made into the top. Be sure to check out the pics today of them working up the rope and see for yourself how proud they are! If you want to see some more pictures, follow Camp Skyline Ranch on instagram and there are some more there too! (I know, I should have shared that with you earlier in the session… bad, theres just so much to say I can’t get it all in every night!”

Speaking of a lot to do, you should have seen the girls perform at Showtime tonight! They knocked it outta the park with their performances and it all started out at the circus. Those girls performed to “The Beach Boys” theme and were all decked out in their beachwear as they swang through the air. All of them did great and there were several that just nailed the tricks they’ve been working so hard on this session. If you’ve been following along with the newsletters all week (and who out there hasn’t?? Its a LOT more entertaining than whats on every channel of TV these 2 weeks!) then you know I was working with a camper on getting her “Standing jump off” on the trapeze. Can I just say I was one proud person when she did her trick perfectly and then made her double dismount with ease and plenty of height in her swing to spare. And if thats not enough, there were several other campers that surprised even me at what they had accomplished this session.
Today was the last day for our Musical theatre class to get in their rehearsal for tomorrows production of Annie, I can’t wait to see that and we;ll have pics and video there too so you can see it tomorrow night.

Speaking of tomorrow, we’ll let everyone sleep in a little later (I know I’m not upset about that!!!) and then its breakfast and the start of packing day and our huge Grand Championship up at the horse stables! Thats where were have our riding contest for the Horse cup that all the clubs have been competing for all session. The whole camp will be there to wait and see who claims the last Grand Championship of 2016!! After the Grand, we’ll have our club meetings and then picnic lunch before we get to watch the matinee of Annie I was talking about earlier. Now from here on things get a little bit different. Seems these girls have something called “feelings and emotions” (???) that tend to take over when they realize their camping time is coming to an end and this is the last time they’ll see one another for awhile.

As we have our banquet where we announce the different activity winners, honor campers and counselors, and then the big prizes, the Horse Cup, Points Cup and the coveted Spirit Cup (you better have ear plugs when they announce those!) they realize that camp time is coming to a close as we round out the night with our friends song and all the campers emotions come to a head and there isn’t a dry eye in the place. (If I could sell kleenex in there I’d make a fortune!) It really is moving to see the special bonds that have grown over these past two weeks between not only the girls in each cabin, but in their clubs or just even in their classes. Its amazing to witness how much these girls and their friendships mean to each other. I guess theres just something about spending some time with one another at camp watching each other have fun and accomplish so many things together and with each others support. And don’t just think this applies to the campers, our counselors love these girls too and they’ll be boo hooing just as much as the night comes to an end.

As if thats not enough, we’ll wrap up the night with our river vespers where our counselor choir will canoe down the river singing Skyline songs and the cabins tell their cabin wishes for the year and then……POW!!! Its time for the age out campers to make their final speeches in front of the whole camp about what their time at Skyline has meant to them. Theres no teleprompter, theres no cheering after every dang sentence. Theres just straight from the heart speeches that are so good, I can’t believe is coming from someone as young as these campers are. Its honest, its emotional, its heart warming and it means so much to everyone thats listening as the rest of camp is taking in every last word of wisdom these age out campers pass on to them. If there were any tears left over from banquet, there no longer available. I wish I could come up with the words in the English language to even come close to describing how well these age out campers deliver their speeches but folks, it just ain’t possible. All I can say is parents, you should be so proud of all the independence, confidence, and maturity these girls gained and showed while they were here……they sure earned it!

With all thats happening tomorrow night, (not to mention someone…..(yea…its me)) gets to stay up tomorrow night and burn all the DVDs that will have every picture you’ve seen this session on it and we’ll have it ready for you guys when you get here Friday to pick up your camper. So with all that going on tomorrow, this will be the final newsletter for the session and the year. Don’t stay up any later than usual (1 or 2 Am these past 2 weeks??) waiting for a new edition, you’ll have to read this one again……(there will be a “60 seconds from Skyline” video and pictures that go up tomorrow though so you can still catch those!)

Well….where do I go from here??? Its been a great session and we certainly do appreciate all y’all that kept tuning in by checking and reading my little newsletter every night. I know when I would tell some of the campers I had written about them in the previous nights letter they would smile so big cause they knew their parents read it and probably knew I was talking about them. I hope you guys have enjoyed these blogs, pictures and videos as much as we have but I sure doubt it. Its been a blast to get to play along with and watch your campers grow this session and we can’t say enough how much were honored you let us have your most prized possession here at Skyline during this time. You guys please be careful on your way here Friday morning and be sure to stop by the front office and say “Hi”. I’ll be easy to identify, I’ll be the one that looks like they’ve been on the computer almost as much as you guys have lately!!

So for one last time in 2016….
you folks have a great night, be careful and God Bless, we’ll see ya Friday!!

(you need a kleenex?)


60 Seconds from Skyline:


I wild and some what tired hello to ya parents!! We have had busy day up here with everyone enjoying their activities and also thinking about what they were gonna wear at tonights Video Music Awards Ceremony! As you can see from ALL the pics that went up there was plenty of action as we had all sorts of guest show up for our VMA’s. We had the social media’s, the Incredibles, all of our songs form camp were here,some girls named “the Kardashians” (don’t know who they are…..thank goodness), and even our infirmary nurses and staff dressed up and had probably the best outfits as they were decked out as the cast of the movie “UP”. You don’t want to miss their pictures, I”m sure you’ll be able to pic them out when you see ‘em. We had so many guest here tonight at the awards, its easy to see why the campers trunks were so stinking heavy on opening day. Who knew those girls could pack so many clothes in one trunk? It all paid off though as every camper rocked the runway and was interviewed as they walked up the red carpet to get into the ceremony. Of course they had to sign the guest book and seek to our interviewer and tell everyone n the gym who they were and what they were wearing. I was surprised at how many campers didn’t know who Charlie Brown and Snoopy was….these girls really need to learn to ready the Sunday comics a little more….know what I mean? (just look for my picture in the file and you’ll understand).

It all started off at dinner when we had all the tables covered with black table clothes and had the “Oscar Statues” at each table for the campers to see while they were eating. There was also plenty of Hollywood banners all around the dining hall and the gym to add to the effect of being at the big show. Although there were a lot of great videos from all our campers and their cabins, the grand winner tonight was……..drum roll please……Rosey Den and their version of Running Man Song. We’ll try to get all the videos on the DVD and have it for ya at the end of the session if theres room on the DVD. That way you can be sure to watch them again and again with your camper!! (I know you can’t wait for that!!)

Before all the VMA action tonight we had plenty of other action around camp as all the campers are in high gear and going as fast as they can in their activities. I decided to give archery and riflery a change of pace and replaced their normal targets with some hunting targets of deer on them. Now before you all send in nasty emails about girls not wanting to hunt or shoot at deer, let me tell ya, (it was just a poster anyway…) it didn’t take 2 minutes before I had campers coming up to me and telling me how many deer they had harvested already and how they already go hunting with a bow and when they started to shoot at the targets, they backed up their words!! Those girls can hunt with me anytime the way they were excited and putting their arrows right on target. They even all thanked me for the new targets and are looking forward to doing some more shooting tomorrow. I was blown away at how much they enjoyed their classes today. hats what make the day fun when the campers surprise ya like that and really get into their activities. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if some of you are buying some archery or air rifle sets for Christmas. These girls are really lovin’ it!

The ladies at conning today had a little adventure as they learned exactly what it takes (and it ain’t much!!) to roll a canoe in the river. Be sure to check out their pics and have a laugh or two on them! They sure were!

Even though the sun was out and it was another warm day here on top of the mountain, that didn’t stop your campers at circus, ropes or horseback from having some fun N sun as they were making their ways up the ladders and around the rings on horseback. There are some real acrobats out here in the circus and the campers that ride horseback and making it look as easy as pie as they post their way around the rings
Now tomorrow will be our last day of classes (can you believe it? Where did all the time go?) and everyone will be getting their last rides on the zip line, horses and in the river or pool. The ladies in arts and crafts, pottery and musical theatre will be puttin’ the finishing touches on their projects and brushing up those last lines they have to learn for their matinee on Thursday.

In ropes class, were gonna take some of the campers and teach them a special skill. They’re gonna learn how to ascend a rope!! Thats right, they’ll learn the correct way to climb UP a rope and then once they’ve practiced it to where they’re good at ut, we’ll have races up the rope to the top of the pole. Its a fun sight to watch ‘em climb up the rope and see them master the technique and do something no one else has done. If theres any climbers or cavers out there, we’ll be teaching them the “frogging system” and if you know anything about that (or even if you don’t) its always fun to watch the try to get up the ropes looking like a frog. Be sure to check back in tomorrow and see if your camper makes it to the top!!

Well, its been a long day and night with the awards ceremony and everything (your campers have been working on their videos all week long and I know they’re tired too……or it could just be me????) By now, everyone has finished campfire and th night time devotion dn is tucked squarely away in bed dreaming of froggin’ up the rope or finishing their arts and crafts project, o rid they’re like me, just dang happy to be in bed for awhile!!

You guys at home have been great playing long this session and I’m so happy you’ve kept up with everything your campers have been doing this week. No matter how many pictures or videos you’ve seen, your still gonna have a LOT of stories to listen too once you pick up your camper on Friday!

y’all have a great night, I’m about to call it a night and check the back of my eyelids for leaks, you should do the same, I know some of y’all have been on the computer way longer than you planned these past two weeks!!

Enjoy the video and I’ll see ya back here one last time tomorrow night!!

Oh, I almost forgot, be sure to look through this afternoons pics and you’ll see where one of our cabins had a cake eating contest without using your hands…yea….you guessed it. Those are some GREAT pictures and from the looks of them the campers they had a pretty good time too!! You should try that with your camper when you get home!!! (although I bet you don’t…….they loved it though!!)

Take care and good night!
60 seconds from Skyline:

VMA magic!!!

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