Posted by Larry Johnson on October 30
Hi everyone, it’s Larry here. I know, it’s a little different hearing from me now instead of every night during the summer. I always try to fill in the details that happened around camp every day while your campers are here, so what could possibly be happening now that all the campers are gone? If you don’t think anything changes, just pick out which picture from above looks a little different…. Many people think once camp is finished, it becomes a quiet mountaintop “get away” where you can enjoy some cool weather, watch the leaves change color, or just sit and listen to the crickets or river flow over the dam each night. Although there are just a handful of days where that might be the case, most of the time we stay as busy during the “off season” as we do during the summer.
Sally and the other ladies that help keep everything running smoothly during the summer are already putting miles on the road as they travel around the southeast and beyond attending Skyline parties telling girls all about camp. What’s best about that part of their job is they get to see current and former campers and counselors that might also be in that area. When they’re not on the road recruiting campers they’re busy right here in our own town helping out at Mentone’s senior center supplying lunch, fun activities and plenty of smiles once a month to our local senior citizens.
Of course Mr. Pickle (ropes course) and Paige (the peso princess) are busy every week at camp handling all the groups that hold retreats at Skyline throughout the off season. Would you believe our first “off season” group at camp was actually about 4 hours after all the campers and counselors left back in late July? Pickle also has been known to visit several campers’ events such as cross country races and volleyball matches supporting our campers as far away as Birmingham. You never know, he may show up at one of your school events too!
Now it just wouldn’t be right if everyone else was busy and I took it easy. I’ve been working with some of the off season groups and staying busy with everyday camp items as well as taking care of responsibilities of being the president of the Camp Owners and Directors Association for all the independent camp members across the U.S. I just finished a roundtable podcast with the American Camping Association regarding camps use of facial recognition for their pictures. If you used our Waldo program this summer, you know how easy that was to find your camper! If you want to hear the podcast and see what different camps think about the technology, please use the link below
So now you know what happens at Skyline when everyone is back home. We’re still here, always working to find new and exciting ideas for all the campers when they return next summer. If you happen to be traveling up (or down) this way during the fall or winter be sure to stop by the office and say hello, I promise ya, there will always be someone here waiting to see you and talk about camp!
Have a great fall and enjoy the cooler weather!
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.