Posted by Larry Johnson on July 20
A soggy hello to ya parents! Even though it rained a little bit ere today Mother Nature was kind enough to not make it rain early this morning when the Mini campers were checking out. She waited till they were all gone and then opened up the flood gates during 2nd period and morning bell deli. Not to worry though, everyone that had an indoor class went to work there and all the rest that had outdoor activities came together in the gym and did a new activity this year called “Skyline Shark Tank”. This is much like the show on TV where each cabin comes up with a “winning” idea they would ike to promote at camp next year. They put together a sales pitch and trouble shoot anything they can think of before they present it to the camp and our panel of judges for critique. Once they present their new ideas they have to answer the questions the judges have about how they would implement it into the program and what benefit the campers would get out of having it for next year. It was pretty cool getting to see all the girls get together and push their ideas for improvements or just new ideas at camp. No word yet if they’ve decided to start on any of them but I know they were all written down and will be discussed in the off season. Who knows, maybe your camper came up with the great new idea for next year??
Fortunately, the rain quit and for the rest for the day it was back to fun in the sun (and humidity), but that didn’t slow anyone down one bit. Everyone was back in the swing of things for the afternoon. One change the weather did affect was our planned out of camp trip for the caving and rappelling class. Instead of taking the rip and hiking to the rappell/climb area we decided to teach them how to do a guided rappel on SRT (single rope technique). They climbed up a rope to the top floor of Pickle’s Palace (3 floors) and changed over to rappel and rappelled down one line while attached to another one that sent them over the waterslide and to an anchor by the river. Its a nice technique and a pretty advanced technique the girls knocked out of the ball park. I couldn’t be more proud of how far they’ve come and you can see in their faces how excited they are of their achievements.
A couple of nights ago I wrote about the camp schedule having to be flexible (or maybe it was last night… they’re all pretty much a blur to me by now). Well, another fine example of that came into play today with the rain. As I said earlier, the campers that had indoor classes went to their classes instead of participating in Shark Tank. Cooking class was scheduled to make homemade ice cream today and when everyone showed up a little bit wet from the rain (ok, some of them showed up lotta bit wet). Our head of cooking just couldn’t bring herself to make them make ice cream. So what do ya do?? Well, you change plans and on the drop of a dime, get everything together to let everyone make homemade cookies, “borrow” some milk form the dining hall and turn your class into a nice hour of hot homemade cookies and milk. Of course she didn’t tell me about this till after all the classes were finished today. If she had given me ANY advanced notice, I would have been able to give you a first hand report of how they tasted, ummmm…. I mean how the campers did! One thing they are NOT flexible on is they don’t share what little tidbits they have left over when the class is finished each period.
One of the more popular classes at camp the last few years is Bible Study class. We have 2 classes (one for older girls and one for younger girls) and they are loving those classes. It gives them time to come together, listen and learn and even ask questions for better clarification in some situations. I’ve walked in on their class a couple times and I tell ya, they are really engaged in the discussions and paying attention. Of course they don’t ride the fact it in our house and its air-conditioned and they lounge around on the couches. Not too shabby learning conditions!
Now tonight after all the rain today and clouds the rest of the day, the temps are just right for a nice cool, relaxing movie night in the gym. All the campers came from dinner dressed in their PJ’s and set up camp in the gym so they were all comfortable for the show. Before they could get settled down for good, each one came up and got their own bag of popcorn (I’m pretty sure its a law somewhere you gotta have popcorn every time you watch a movie, especially if you’re in your PJ’s). Once everyone had their popcorn and got settled, it was time to sit back, relax and enjoy Ratatouille. Or…… Plan B- Sit back with your popcorn, get comfortable, watch the opening credits to the movie and then doze off and have to be waken up when the movie ends. I’m pretty sure I’d take the over on the number of campers that went with plan B.
Either way, they’ll be getting some extra sleep today since tomorrow is Sunday and we’re gonna let everyone sleep in a little longer in the morning.. Once they do get up, it will be off to breakfast of more of the homemade doughnuts and everything else that goes with them for breakfast (eggs, bagels, cereal, fruit, biscuits, bacon (ya gotta have bacon), and more. Then its off to our Sunday church service and then it’s time to get ready for the biggest carnival on the mountain.
We’ll have all sorts of giant inflatable slides, a dunk tank, face painting, games, sno cones and more. Its a fun filled day that everyone enjoys. After carnival, everyone will get ready for the night time activity “Counselor Hunt”. This is where all the campers will do their best to put on their camo and keep from being found by your campers that are teamed up and looking under every bush and rock trying to find them for club points. The best part is when they find a counselor, they get to take that counselor home with them after camp for a year. Just kidding, I just wanted to see how many of y’all were paying attention out there. They actually have to let the campers stay here but they do get club points for the ones they find and I’ll be back tomorrow with the totals and let ya know which club got the pints for finding the most counselors.
Well, its a fairly easy night with movie night going on. I think I’m gonna take advantage of the time and head off to get caught up on some sleep myself. I’m gonna need it to keep up with your campers next week!
You guys enjoy the night, get some rest and I’ll see ya back here tomorrow!
Have a good one, we are….
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.