Posted by Larry Johnson on July 01
Well helloooo and Merry Christmas in July to ya parents!! I know this session is the “Christmas in July” session, but I’m gonna be honest with ya. Even with the Christmas banners, lights and everyone singing Christmas songs all around camp, its hard to get in the Christmas spirit when its in the upper 80’s during the day (I don’t know how they do it in Australia!!). The campers aren’t having any problems though as you hear them saying “Merry Christmas!” to each other as they pass on their way through camp all day. Oh to be young and have a great imagination!!
Its been a busy day up here as we opened up our first day of classes and everyone was running from class to class eager to get started with each new activity. It didn’t take long before all the campers in horseback, ropes, circus, repelling, and all theater activities were up in the air, up on their horse, or already hitting the targets in archery and rifelry. Its been a great way to start the session.
Of course it seemed like everyone’s favorite time today was Beli Deli as they all found the camper favorite “Frios Pops” to be a staple of keeping cool with a smile. If you’ve never had a Frios Pop, you’re missing out, they’re the best popsicles you’ve ever had and they come in all different flavors with all natural ingredients. Just look for a pic of your camper at Beli Deli and you’ll see plenty of pops and smiles.
Today being the first day can sometimes seem little slow as all the campers are getting their What to do’s and what not to do in each class. But as soon as all the directions ore finished, the best part (to me) is seeing everyone get started on their activity and working through that first bout of fear and the unknown. Especially when you’re talking about the ropes course, circus, horseback and swimming (on the blob). You see campers taking their time and slowly positioning themselves to the counselors directions even though they aren’t sure of the outcome. Once they finally get into place and the action starts, their fear and hesitance is replaced with a smile the size of Texas and the screams of joy and excitement followed by “I wanna do that again!!” To me, thats one of the best parts of camp, watching them learn new task and expanding their boundaries of confidence. What’s even better is it happens every day as they get more anymore confident. Just keep checking on the pics and see for yourself.
Tonights activity is a camper favorite and full of action, SOCK WARS! This is where we split the camp into 3 sections and each club (remember I told ya not to forget which club your camper is in!!) takes a section and hides their club flag. Once we ring the bell to start the action, all the girls, armed with hands full of stuffed socks charge out of their area to recon the other clubs and try to bring back the other clubs flag. If they’re hit with a stuffed sock thats thrown by a camper in another club, they have to report to the scorers table before they get back in the game. Needless to say theres nothing like a couple hundred girls, all dressed up in their club colors, complete with face paint to match, running around, yelling and filling the air with stuffed socks. Its about like trying to herd a bunch of wild cats on a hot tin roof. Campers and socks EVERYWHERE!! After the time is up, everyone will come back to the court (some dragging their shoulders with them!) and they’ll announce the winners. Since I’m getting a head start on tonights blog, I’m gonna take a little break and wait till that time comes so I’m gonna take a little break and I’ll see you guys after the contest!
Ok, you guys still with me?? Man what a battle we witnessed tonight. Those campers were slingin’ socks through the air, mountain charges into enemy territory, searching for hidden flags and one group of ladies (Rangers) even executed a beautiful flank maneuver where they came in behind another club (Troopers) that was engaged with the Mounties and never even saw it coming. General Jackson would have been proud of how they pulled that off. It paid off too, ‘cause at the end of the night, it was the Rockin’ Rangers that came away with the win! Be sure to watch the video so you can see all the action from Sock Wars tonight, there are some great moves in the lost art of sock dodging and throwing!
Tomorrow will be another full day of classes and it will only get faster each day. Now that all the directions of the first day are over, it’ll be ‘get there and get going’ for all the campers, no rest for the weary (I may be the only one thats weary already….know what I mean??).
Now with all this action I’ve been tellin’ ya about, I imagine you’re thinking exactly what I’m thinkin’…. When do they ever slow down?? Well here’s your answer. Tomorrow night!
Tomorrow night we’ll slow things down a little bit and have our Camp Skyline Talent night where everyone will come to the gym and be entertained by some of the best talent this mountain has ever seen (and if you’re a country music fan, you know theres been some pretty good talent on this mountain!!). Everyone will enjoy a cool night in the gym and be entertained by the ones that will be performing in the show. If you think “America’s Got Talent”, then wait till you see what we have up here. We’ll be right down front with the camera and video so you guys playing along at home won’t miss a thing. Be sure to check back in tomorrow and see how it goes.
Well, this had been a little longer letter and I imagine you guys are pretty tired of reading so I’ll go ahead and sign off and let ya get to the video.
Y’all have a great night and we’ll see ya back here around the same time.
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.