Posted by Larry Johnson on June 13
Well Howdy to ya parents!! Can you believe the end of first session is almost here? This will be the final blog for 1st session from me (it’s ok, you can still come back and ready the ones the rest of the summer if you wanna). Since today was our last day of classes and tomorrow will be our Grand Championship Horse show and at the end of the night our banquet there won’t be any time tomorrow to sit down and write another blog so this will be it. Hard to believe 2 weeks has almost gone by already. You may be wondering why there won’t be any time to write tomorrow, well, for one, by now you see how long t takes me to write them anyway, but beside my deficiency in typing as soon as the banquet if finished the campers all go to River Vespers (more on all that in a little bit) and then I’ll be in the office putting EVERY picture you saw this session on a flash drive and making copies for you when you arrive Friday morning to pick up your campers. Needless to say that takes a while just to get the first one finished and then theres that making 200+ copies thing that takes a while also. Thank goodness I have a nice supply of movies to play throughout the night to help pass the time. Anyway, you will have a higher quality copy of every picture you saw this session ready to take home with you and then look at starting at the beginning all over again.
Like I mentioned earlier, today was the last day of classes and the campers took full advantage of every minute they had getting their last rides down the zip line, being blobbed, finishing up their arts and crafts projects and of course, there were several campers that made their final shots count in rifelry and earned their patches for sharpshooter. Several of those ladies are in our ACIT program and help set the tables for our meals and they tell me about their rifelry scores every day when I’m hanging out with them in the dining hall. Those ladies in the ACIT program are great campers and some dang good shooters too!!
We had a special guest in our cooking classes today as Kevin Dillmon, of Rome, GA, and owner of “Honeymoon Bakery” (also father to one of our current campers and 2 former campers) stopped by and taught our cooking classes this morning. The campers learned how to make a homemade pizza from scratch!! I gotta tell ya folks, they saved me a piece when they were finished and it was REALLY good!! If your daughter took cooking have them make one for you when you get home! You won’t be disappointed, I promise! (this also comes in handy for our older campers when they get to college!!) You could tell how good it was ‘cause I practically had to fight for my one piece, they were gobbling it up as soon as it was finished. Every camper left the class with a big smile and a full belly! A big THANK YOU goes out to Kevin for giving up his time and spending it with our campers to show them some tips in the class!
Tonight we had our Chorus and Drama presentation of “Songs of Broadway”. This is the first time they didn’t do a “set play” and folks, I gotta tell ya, they knocked it outta the ballpark! Those ladies have been working so hard to learn their steps and songs. I’ve been watching them this past week during Beli Deli and sometimes during rest hour come out to the gym and practice over and over again. Their hard work sure paid off, cause it was an outstanding performance from everyone involved. Great job to all the campers and the counselors that have been working with the girls all session!!
Tomorrow we’ll get to sleep a little later and then have breakfast and club meetings. Followed by our Grand Championship up at the horse stables. All the campers will be there to watch and cheer on our campers that are competing in it tomorrow. We’ll be there too wit the camera so you can see how well they all ride and who brings home the Horse Championship and points for their club as they hope to win the Horse Cup.
After lunch its time for Showtime at Skyline where all the campers in circus, flag and baton, dance, gymnastics, cheering and are will get to perform in front of the whole camp as they show everyone what they’ve learned this session. Its always a great time to watch the girls stand out in the spotlight and hear everyone cheer for them as they preform.
As I mentioned at the beginning, this will be the last blog for me this session. After all the performances tomorrow we’ll have our end of camp banquet where we’ll see who wins what awards in each class, which campers are chosen as honor campers and then which club wins the Point Cup, the Horse Cup and the most valued “Eloise H. Temple Spirit Cup”. Its a big night for everyone involved and theres a lot of energy tat has been spent for their clubs as the girls gave it their all in the competitions.
Its about that time when the reality of camp almost being over starts to set in. After all the awards are handed out, the campers realize that their time with each other and where all they had to worry about for the day was trying to find the horseshoe are coming to an end. So is the time they may get to spend with all their new friends (and theres something special about camp friends that you just can’t find anywhere else!). As they sing their last song of the session you start to see the hugs, the eye start to water up and eventually give way to big tears as they say goodbye to one another and talk, laugh and cry about all the fun times they had and memories they’ll always have together. It really is a tearjerker to see what the past 2 weeks and how much these girls have meant to each other.
Then its time to head down to the river for River Vespers where our counselor choir will paddle down the river and the age outs steal the show. The age out campers to come to the podium and give a short speech they have written themselves about what they will miss and what their time at camp has meant to them. The first time I listened to this part of Vespers, I just sat there with my jaw dropped wide open. To hear these girls talk straight from their hearts, about what they have learned at camp and what they will cary forward with them through life if something I can’t even start to explain. Their speeches are honest, sincere, and humble. Its so nice to listen to young ladies talk about whats positive in their life, how being at camp has affected them and how they will pass it on.
I actually got to eat dinner with all the age outs tonight as Sally always invites them to the house and cooks them a meal at the end of the session. And what better way to cap off a meal of salmon, chicken and dumplings, spinach and homemade macaroni and cheese than with a big bucket of homemade Oreo ice cream!! (yea…it was a good as it sounded!!)
Well folks, we can’t thank you enough for letting us keep your most prized possession here at camp thetas 2 weeks. We hope you guys have had a good time keeping up with everything while you were at home. I’m sure theres a lot of y’all that spent way more time that you thought you would on the computer while your camper was here, but thats OK, I know all your campers are really proud of the way y’all made it through the time without therm there to help you with the computer!!
Have a safe trip up to the mountain Friday morning and please be sure to stop at the office when you check out and grab your flash drive with all the pictures. Not to mention, you can just say “HI” when you do, I”ll be looking for y’all and it will be easy to tell who’s been up every night as late as I have!!
Thanks for playing along the last 2 weeks, we’ll see ya Friday morning. God Bless !!
for the last time this session,
I’m outta here,
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.