Posted by Larry Johnson on July 19
A late Hello to ya parents!! Sorry its a little (ok, a lot) late tonight for the blog and those of you night owls that stay up to read it when it comes out (you really could find something better to read than anything I write, I promise ya……somewhere my high school English teachers are rolling their eyes at you guys!!). Its been a sunny and warm day up here at camp and we capped off another fun filled day with one of the wildest nighttime activities you’ve never heard of. Its called “Speed Challenge” and I’ll do my best to describe it to ya, but really theres just no way I can paint the picture in words of all the campers cheering and yelling all night long as we run one race right after another and there covered with shaving cream and all sorts of other stuff, but here it goes. Cross your fingers….
So we divide the campers up by their clubs and their painted and dressed up beyond what you’ve ever seen for the competition. Nothing but red, green and blue no matter where you look. then we divide each club up by age group so their competing against other campers that are the same age as them. Ya with me so far? They’re in their clubs and in age groups. Good. we’ll keep going. Each age group then runs a series of 10 relay races back to back to back, etc… until all 10 are finished. All the supplies are in the middle of a circle and each club is stationed about 20 yds away from the center of the circle on a larger circle. You still there? 2 circles, 1 inside each other. Supplies inside smaller circle, kids at 3 locations outside the larger circle, ok, we’ll keep going…. When we start the first relay, half of one age group is holding hands and has to run to the middle with the rest of that age group inside that loop the other campers were forming by holding hands. Once they reach the middle, the ones on the inside trade places with the ones holding hands and they run back to the outside circle. as soon as they get to the outside, they have to know who’s running the next relay and they immediately start that race back to the inside circle. This keeps up one race after another until all 10 are run and we have a winner for that age group. Then we reload everything and do it again for the next age group, then the next, next, next, and next. Until we’ve run 60 races in all. (now maybe you see why the blog was a little late tonight??)
Now these aren’t you’re ordinary relays either, like I said one group had to do the circle run, another relay was for 3 campers to run in and cover one of the campers with shaving cream and then run back, the ping pong ball on a spoon relay, 5 campers had to run in and dig out a marble from a bucket of ice. Did I mention they had to grab the marble with their bare feet? Another one was the group hula hoop pass, the crepe paper wrap around arm relay, of course we had the wrap your group in toilet paper relay, and the camper surf where they had to lay down and get one of the campers to “surf” over them to the middle circle and more. If you’re still with me, just try to imagine how easy it would be to round a heard of wild cats…..Thats about how its best described and the rest of the girls that aren’t in the age group racing are all cheering and yelling and pulling for their club to win their heat in the relays. Whew!!! I’m tired agin just from trying to describe it. I hope you guys at home were able to follow it and at least have some sort of idea as to the craziness your campers jumped into tonight with both feet! They had a ball and trust me, after all the cheering and racing, I can assure you every one of ‘em is fast asleep already and resting for their last day of activities on Wednesday. Oh yea, I almost forgot, at the end of the night, congrats go to the TROOPERS for their imressive stamina and endourance to win the overall competition!! Way to go ladies!!
Today all the campers were going full blast in their activities, I gotta tell you about one moment that stood out today was as I was walking by the ropes course this afternoon. I heard a bunch of campers encouraging another camper to go off the V swing. I wasn’t close enough to see it very well, but when she did go off the swing, you could hear all around that area the other campers yell “you did it Sadie!!” and cheer (I’m surprised they still have a voice) her on as she rode the swing down from the trees.
I always tell ya the good things that happen at camp but I really feel like I need to tell you some other stuff too. I finished mowing the sports field this afternoon just in time for the ultimate frisbee class to come out and play during their activity time. Folks….. we need to do some serious work with this younger generation ‘cause after watching about 2 minutes of these girls try to throw a frisbee (something you and I think should be second nature…right???) well……it just wasn’t happening and my eyes couldn’t take it anymore. Now without giving away too much info, but as someone that grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, throwing a frisbee should be like breathing. You just don’t even think about it, it just comes naturally. Right???…..WRONG…it was painful. I walked over to the class and asked them and their counselor if they wanted to learn the right way to throw ‘em. They took me up and we actually worked on normal tosses and then sidearm tosses and I gotta give ‘em credit, they got a LOT better by the end of the class and were heard saying crazy stuff like “hey this is fun!! that was a good throw!!” we advanced to throwing the frisbees in (ok…..maybe not in but actually AT) the lacrosse goals and by the end we had 8 out of 11 frisbees in the goal from about 20 yds away. When I told one of the campers to run to the middle of the field and turn left and keep running and then threw a frisbee that went up and curved towards her and then hit her perfectly in stride you would have thought I was showing ‘em a time machine or something by the way they stood there wide eyed and jaws dropped in disbelief that it was even possible. Of course that lead to them trying to hit each other in stride as they ran “routs” all over the field past time for the classes to change. The good news is they invited me to come back tomorrow to continue with our “lessons”. I told then the frisbee was our X-box back in the day and everyone “our age” could throw ‘em like that. Again….. wide eyes and jaws dropped as they thought I was pulling they’re leg. Do me a favor, when they get home, go get a frisbee and show your camper how “cool” we all still are and see if they don’t jump right in and want to keep throwing with ya. I know, its a crazy idea, actually playing with our kids and no computer anywhere around….who knows, maybe it will catch on…….
Can you believe tomorrow is the last day of activities everyone will be trying to get their last rides down the zip line, on their favorite horse, in circus or down the waterslide. Tomorrow night we’ll have our Showtime at Skyline where all the campers in the performing classes will get to show their stuff in front of the whole camp. We’ll be there with all the pics so you can see what they’ve learned with their hard work while they’re here (maybe I should get the frisbee class in Showtime?)
You guys have a great night, I’ll be back tomorrow with the last blog of 3rd session as we get ready for our last day. I’ll be sure to let ya know how the frisbee class does and everyone else around camp.
you guys have a great night, you’ve done a great job keeping up with all the action every night and I hope you get some rest before I see ya on Friday.
Y’all have a good one, I’m gonna go catch some sleep and get ready for another day of frisbees and everything else.
we’ll see ya tomorrow,
Larry is originally from Florida and graduated from Florida State University (Go Noles!). He taught and coached for 12 years before working full time at camp. During the off season, he heads up the winter retreats and leadership training with sports teams from all across the country. He’s married to Sally (who tries to keep him in line) and is an avid pilot and caver in any free time he can find.