Posted by Larry Johnson on July 08
Merry Christmas (in July) to ya parents!! What a “wonderful life” we’ve had up here today. I’m gonna tell you “a Christmas Story” and hopefully keep you entertained, especially if your “home alone” reading this. All our campers woke to a “white Christmas” this morning, almost as if it was a “Miracle (on 34th street)”. Now it was a little “Frosty” last night but we didn’t get the “Polar express” the weather channel was talking about. I’m pretty sure the age out campers from Riverside and the fact there were about 200 rolls of toilet paper used to roll the rest of camp last night had a little something to do with it more then the cooler weather. Nicely done ladies, nicely done!! I know the younger campers on the main side of camp enjoyed waking up this morning to the sound of horses running through camp yelling Merry Christmas to everyone. From there we all went to the gym and waited for “(the) Santa Clause” to stop in with help from his “elf” and hand out his presents to everyone. After all the fun it was time for Sarah Kate to read to everyone a true Christmas story about the meaning of Christmas and then it was off to breakfast of homemade donuts and fresh fruit (and eggs, bacon, bagels, biscuits and more!!)
At our church service we were treated to our guest speaker, on of our former counselors and admin, Aja Grimes. Aja brought lots of energy to her message as she delivered it using some Zumba moves that all the girls enjoyed dancing to. It was a perfect way to celebrate Christmas in July with a little exercise.
After lunch we all had a much needed nap in order to get ready for our carnival this afternoon. Once all the campers came from rest hour, they went straight to the biggest celebration on the mountain as we had inflatable slides, an obstacle course, 9 square in the air, face painting, snow cones, and all sorts of fun games for everyone to enjoy all day long. You could tell the campers really liked the snow cones from all the green, purple, blue, or red tongues they were walking around with afterwards.
Now I know what your thinking, thats a lot of stuff to do in just one day and your right, but we aren’t finished yet!! After dinner it was time for counselor hunt where the counselors put on their best Mossy Oak and try to stay hidden from the more then 200 sets of little eyes that were looking under every bush and in every trash can for them. I’m always surprised how seriously the counselors take this activity and how hard they work at hiding and not have to take the “counselor walk of shame” back to the gym after they are found. But as well as they hide, your campers always seem to find them and proudly escort them back to the gym for club points. I was with several groups of campers when they found a counselor or two and you’d think they had just won the super bowl the way they celebrate when they yell out “Camper sees you counselor!!!!!” There was plenty of that tonight as they walked almost 40 counselors back to the gym.
Tomorrow will be another full day of classes and we’ll have some campers going on a special out of camp trip as they head up to raft the white water of the Ocoee River. We’ll have pics form that just as soon as they get back but thats always a little late so they may not go up till later or even till Tuesday. Now if your camper isn’t going on the rafting trip, don’t worry. We’ll still have pics and videos from here all day and with some campers gone on the trip, that means more times to go on the zip line or shoot your bow with fewer campers in class.
Now we’ve had such a busy past few days, were gonna slow things down a little bit tomorrow night and let everyone enjoy some time to kick back and get their legs back under ‘em as we all head to the gym, dressed in PJ’s and complete with their sleeping bag or blanket as they enjoy what looks like the worlds largest slumber party and a movie. The best part is everyone will get their very own bag of popcorn to enjoy while they’re watching the movie. I’m pretty sure theres a law somewhere that says you HAVE to have your popcorn if you’re watching a movie. If there isn’t then there ought to be!
Like I said, its been a busy weekend up here and after all this action I sure could use a little “(Christmas) vacation”. Well, with that last one I thinks about time I wrap this up like a Christmas present and head off to bed, If I don’t get enough sleep, Sally says I turn into a “Grinch” and act “scrooged”
Hope y’all had a Merry Christmas and have a great night!! 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.