Posted by Larry Johnson on June 19
Howdy parents (thats mountain talk for “hello” to all you city folks out there) what another beautiful day we’ve had up here on the mountain. The weather has been great, although it does get a little warm later in the day, but as you can see from the pics and video, theres a lot of campers that take fun swim at the end of the day so they have it all figured out. Mother Nature is looking like she may bring us some rain later in the week and with that will be cooler temperatures, but I have learned not to believe anything they say about the weather until it happens. We’ll see how it goes and no matter what we have plenty of plans for fun in the sun or in the rain.
One of the best things about getting to work my way around camp each day is watching all the interactions not only between camper to camper, but also between the counselors and the campers. These ladies are the kind of people you want around your campers. Each day, I watch them teach, lead, converse, and have a genuine interest in their campers. when I go down around the rifle range the campers eyes light up as they tell me how much they’ve improved with each round of practice and I watch the counselors correct and instruct them on how to get better.
Out at the circus area, I had the counselor ask me to build another cloud swing for them and put it up instead of one of the other elements we had hanging. The reason being? Well, she said they can get more girls up each period and teach more circus acts if we had the extra could swing and most importantly, the campers in their classes had asked for that extra instruction. Game, set, match ….. making and hanging a new cloud swing went to top of my list and was done in 2 days. They’ve been on it every since.
Not only are the counselors being active in their instructions, the campers are helping and pushing each other too. I was out at the Pamper Pole (A large telephone pole they climb to the top of and then stand on the top and jump off to try and grab a trapeze thats hanging a short distance away) and there were a group of campers there today and one of the older campers said she had never done it and didn’t have any plans on doing it either. (Yea…I kinda wondered why she signed up for ropes myself) but then there was a small camper that looked at her and said “Do it for the Troopers”. Not only were they both members of the Troopers club, but the older one was the CAPTAIN of the club and had just been called out by a much younger camper to “take one for the team”. All I could think of was this young camper had gone for the coup de gra of all dares and although she used a slight breech of etiquette and bypassed the double dare and the double dog dare she went straight for the throat. Even above the holy grail triple dog dare, she pulled out the “do it for the Troopers”.
Well, it worked. The captain of the troopers had no answer other than to put on the harness and slowly make her way up the pole to the top. Nothing puts pressure on someone like peer pressure and she couldn’t let down one of her fellow club members. After several painstakingly moments watching her slowly ascend the pole, she made her way to the top, cautiously and carefully positioned herself in a standing position high above the ground and facing the trapeze. It took the whole group of girls waiting at the bottom to count (several times) to three in an attempt to help her build the courage to make the leap to the trapeze but after 4 or 5 times of the group counting to 3 for her, she finally made her jump to grab the bar………She missed the bar, but earned a lot of respect and a hug from her younger club member when she was lowered to the ground. One thing these girls are learning is you measure success in a lot of different ways. And this was a success to more than just the older camper who had no intention of getting on top of that pole today.
You’ll see in the pics today some fo the ladies at horseback working with the younger campers. The young girls love their counselors at horseback because they’re right there with ‘em every step of the way instructing and making sure they are doing a good job and safe on top of the horses. If you ever wondered how many times the counselors walk around the ring next to the camper and her horse, the answer is simple. As many times as they need.
I was at lunch yesterday and talking about how many steps I get during the day making my way around camp. I made the mistake of asking one of the counselors at horseback how many steps she had and her answer was somewhere around 14,000. Not bad until you remember this was only lunchtime and they had 3 more classes of horseback to go.
Finally today I went down to the waterfront to watch a little fun swim and see what was happening. It didn’t take long to find the campers that were cooling off the best way I think is possible and thats to take a ride down the waterslide into Little river. You can see form the smiles on their faces in the pictures and video they would agree thats its the best way to get into the river.
Tonight we had our camp talent show and your campers didn’t disappoint! They were dancing, singing, playing piano, gymnastics (and some of the gymnastics were really well choreographed to music!) and more. I think almost every camper that got up to preform got a Standing “O” other they were finished. We even had several that belted out some songs from the movie “The Greatest Showman” and you couldn’t tell if they were singing or it was the movie playing somewhere. I mean, these ladies were really great tonight! Its too bad none of the major networks were there to televise it, It would have been a lot better than some of the stuff they put on the air now a days!
I’m not sure how the judges picked a winner cause they were all that good, but at the end of the night they were able to pick a few and here they are…….
Groups 1,2,3 &4
3rd place- Mary Wallace
2nd place- Adeline Little
1st place- Sarah Davis Roe
3rd place- Scarlett Scott
2nd place- Jo kelly
1st place- Mary Allen Richardson
Groups 1,2,3 & 4- Kennedy Duffy
Groups 5&6- Emma Bell
Congrats tall our campers that performed tonight. I’d rather climb the pamper pole 100 times than have to get up on stage and preform in front of all the campers, that took guts!!!
Tomorrow night will be “Get Skyline back” and I’ll go into more detail about all that tomorrow. basically our campers will dress up like boy counselors from Camp Laney and come into the dinning hall and take the club leaders and their flags. Remember how important the clubs are to these girls? Well, lets just say your campers will do everything in their power to rescue them and get them back. Tune in tomorrow night to get all the details!
Y’all have a great night, its a little late and I’m heading to bed, you guys do the same. Some of y’all are looking a little tired already!
Have a good one!!
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.