Posted by Larry Johnson on July 08
Merry Christmas in July to ya parents!!! Its been a warm wonderful white wonderland of fun and good cheer up here today as we celebrated our Christmas in July. Usually we let everyone sleep in a little later on Sunday but today it was up early to the sound of our barn staff riding through camp waking everyone up yelling “Merry Christmas!!”. From there it was to the gym where everyone enjoyed a spectacular “White Christmas” that was still white thanks to an unexpected snow storm (thanks to the Riverside campers) of toilet paper thrown all over the rafters and everywhere it would hang in the gym. Usually they TP outside of Hut Row and the Lodge so those campers can wake to a white Christmas, but some much needed showers last night forced everything under the gym and to tell ya the truth, I think I liked it a lot better in there. It was nice to celebrate Christmas morning in the gym and still appear to be in a winter wonderland.
After a breakfast of homemade doughnuts and more, it was back for cabin clean up and get ready for Sunday School and church. Our guest speaker for our Sunday service was non other than an alum Aja Grimes. Aja was here for many years as a counselor and on staff and its always a pleasure to have her back in front of all the girls talking to them about God and how he interacts in their life. All the campers enjoyed listening to Aja and especially when she worked in a dance routine for them all to learn at the end of her service.
For once this session the afternoon wasn’t that hot. During rest hour Mother Nature dropped a bucket of rain right on camp and it was just what everyone needed to have it cool off and enjoy some good ole fashioned humidity. Not to mention rain during rest hour makes the perfect way to catch a much needed nap to the sound of the rain hitting the tin roofs. I can’t think of a better way to start the afternoon. I actually heard on Riverside counselor say for the first time she can remember, every girl in Riverside slept for the whole rest hour (I don’t blame them with all the activity they’ve had the past week!!)
This afternoon we had our Christmas Carnival where we had giant inflatable slides, a dunk tank, sno-cones, giant Jenga, face painting and all sorts of games. The ladies from Riverside and Summerplace also had the choice of going to the river and playing on the blob or the pool. No matter where you were today, there were all kinds of options to stay cool and enjoy the afternoon.
After our carnival and picnic on the grounds (and yes, the campers dug into the watermelons face first!) and then it was time for our world famous Counselor Hunt. Our camper did the very best they could to hide from the campers and not be found but there was no way your campers were gonna be rejected from finding as many of them as they could. They were looking in the dumpsters, up trees, under bushes and buildings, everywhere you could imagine or even dream not to hide, they checked it! They didn’t miss to many of them cause when it was all said and done with, nearly every counselor was found, brought to the gym and turned over to the admin to see how many points they worth for their club. And now, the moment I’ve all been waiting for, (bonus if you can tell me what movie that line is from??) the winners were…………the MOUNTIES!! Way to go girls!
Tomorrow will be another busy day (I’m starting to see a trend here with our activity…) as we have one group of campers heading out of camp to challenge the white water of the Ocoee River up in Tennessee and another group of campers that will be heading underground for the day as we go explore and play in a SCCi cave not too far from here. Both trips will be all day but I gotta tell ya, the girls going caving will get enjoy a constant 57 degrees and lunch underground as we make our way through the cave. Some of y’all may cringe, but I gotta tell ya, its not a bad way to spend the day! We’ll have plenty of pictures form both trips for you to see when we get back so be sure to check in and see how they did.
Now with 2 groups out of camp, that means only one thing for the rest of the girls back here at camp….. no waiting to do your favorite activity! There’ll be plenty of time for the girls here to go up on the circus, zip line, shoot rifles, archery and whatever they want with fewer campers in each class. That jeans there should be plenty of pictures of everyone here doing what they do all day long.
Tomorrow night is one of my favorite nights of the session. You guessed it, movie night! All the campers will come to dinner in their PJ’s and head from there to campfire and then the gym to enjoy a laid back night of movies, popcorn and just some good down time as we hang out and enjoy the cool night air as we watch the movie. This is a great night to let everyone get their legs back under them as we finally have some down time to relax and watch the movie. I don’t know which one were seeing yet, but I’ll let ya know tomorrow when I find out. To be honest with ya, based on how they reacted to the rain at rest hour today, I’d be surprised if many of them actually make it through the whole movie without falling asleep in the cool air. I know what I will be doing once I get up there and get settled in….. (any guess on that one??)
Well, its been another fun filled day and everyone has had a great Christmas in July. I know everyone is looking forward to getting back in their activities tomorrow (and movie night…. or maybe thats just me??)
You guys are half way there so be sure to pace yourself and get some rest too. If you’re not careful, you’ll find out you’re spending the whole session on the computer and you’ll be as worn out as your camper (and me too). Yes, you…I’m talking to you. Thats right, go ahead and let go of that mouse and go to bed. You’re looking way too tired……
Have a good night, we’ll see ya tomorrow and Merry Christmas in July!!
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.