Posted by Larry Johnson on July 25
Welcome back parents to a wild Tuesday!! Our day started early today as one of our canoeing classes headed out to Deosto Falls before breakfast (7:00AM) for their very own early morning picnic by the falls. The rest of us enjoyed a nice breakfast in our dining hall (8:00 AM) AND without having to paddle for 40 minutes to get to the table. While the falls is a nice trip with incredible views, I think I’ll take my coffee and breakfast the easy way if its all the same. Maybe we can do brunch one day instead??
I had a chance to sit down with the ACIT’s today and hang out with them for a few minutes. Those are the ladies that come in to the dining hall before lunch and dinner (during 3rd and 6th periods) and set up the tables and eat early so they can help get food out to all the other campers when its time for the rest fo camp to eat. These are a special bunch of campers and believe it or not they have a really fun time doing this job. As I was sitting and talking to them one of them was so excited to tell me about a trick in circus she had done the day before. She was so excited, she kept starting over and over, filling in more and more details each time to the point where it would have taken her an hour and a half to watch “60 minutes” know what I mean? I didn’t mind as you could tell by how wide her eyes got when she finally got to the point of describing the trick she had done. I’m not sure its has ever been done here at camp before but she’s gonna try it again tomorrow and when she does, I’ll be there to film it and try to get it on the video fr ya tomorrow. I know I haven’t described what she did, but I’m afraid if I try to start, I may get carried away and end up typing all night just to describe it. Just make sure you tune in tomorrow and you can see it for yourself if she’s able to pull it off one more time. Judging by her excitement and very detailed description of the whole thing, it will be worth your time to see it!
A few nights ago I went into some detail myself about a camper trying to build up courage up on the zip line. I managed to find my way out to the ropes course again 6th period today and asked her of she had conquered the zip line yet and she answered “no, I’m gonna do it next year”. When I asked her why she hadn’t done it yet she informed me the zip line is too high. I didn’t hesitate to let her know the zip line was NOT going to shrink during the off season and if something is to be done eventually, then it should be done immediately. She didn’t bat an eye and looked ant me with a sounding “NO”. After some negotiations back and forth and when things were looking like they would not end in my favor, I let her know I had already written about her and needed to let everyone know (in my best Paul Harvey imitation) “ The rest of the story….”. Her answer was to just tell y’all she would do it next year, to which I gave her a dose of her own medicine with “No”, Then it was the “just tell them I did it”…… “No” was my reply again. Then she called my bluff, she said if I had written about her to print it out and let her see it. A chink in the armor!! Negotiations were now underway!!
After a quick bike ride to the office to print out the blog for her it was right back to the ropes course to prove I was a man of my word. She was gone, but her counselor said she was headed back to the ropes shed and when I had left, she started asking her counselor about what she could do to be able to do the zip line. If nothing else at least I was in her head and she was trying to find a way to conquer her fear of the zip line…. or just trying to find a way to master the zip line one time so I would leave her alone. Either way it was a win for her (and me) so the game was on!
I found her walking towards the shed and proudly handed her the printed version of “The Roost” so she could read for herself the details of her attempt days before. As she read the page you could see her taking deep breaths and wrestling with how close she was to making it and what she needed to do next time to make it happen. She then took the pages (yea, she kept them!) out to another counselor of hers and showed her the blog with the story of her obstacle. When she returned to the shed, I was waiting and asked “so……?” . She shrugged and answered “Maybe tomorrow, be back out here 6th period”.
I know this has been a long road for you guys at home to get to a “Definite Maybe….” but to me, thats a long way from the resounding “no” I got just 30 minutes earlier. One winnable battle at a time and I gained some traction today with her progress. Now I know her name and haven’t listed it for a very good reason. If you’ve seen pictures of your camper zooming down the zip line, then you know this story isn’t about your child, but if you haven’t, then maybe it’s about her and you’ll definitely want to tune in tomorrow to hear how it ends……
Tonight was one of my favorite nights of the summer with our own Video Music Awards. Each cabin has worked tirelessly on getting them set up, filmed and edited to have them ready for tonight. When we started the ceremony all the campers were lined up waiting to get into the gym on the red carpet and they were dressed as all sorts of characters. We had powder puff girls, The Incredibles, a shark (it IS shark week after all!!), Mario brothers and many more. All the campers strutted their stuff as they entered on the red carpet and made their way to the photo station (there’s plenty pf pics for you to look at tonight!). After everyone entered, in came our special guest of camp nurses and admin dressed as Snow White and the 7 dwarfs, complete with the witch with her apples.
Everyone loved getting to see their finished works for the very first time and each cabin won an award for different categories and everyone got to come up to get their group pic with their trophy. We’ll try to get all the videos on a USB for ya at the end of the session if we’re able. Cross your fingers!! Finally at the end of the show, it was time to see which cabin won the coveted “Video of the year” award………. and the winner is………………….. Deweys Den!!! Congrats to all the girls for all their hard work and all the fun they had tonight!
Well, tomorrow is out last day of classes and everyone will be back at it getting their last rides (or their first) down the zip line or on their favorite horse. We’ll be there catching all the action and you know for sure we’ll have the cameras rolling when I head out to the zip line at the end of the day. I’m as excited as you are to see ….. “The REST of the story….”
See ya tomorrow folks, you can put a fork in me…… I’m done!!!
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.