Posted by Larry Johnson on June 23
Welcome to day 5 parents, Many thanks to Frances for writing last nights blog for me while I was gone all day in the cave. Plus its always nice to hear someone else view of the day, I enjoyed reading her input and see what I missed during the day as well.
I’m writing todays version in bits and pieces as I come and go out around camp and into the office. Here’s what has happened so far……
7:00- wake up…. it figures, today is a little sleep later day, breakfast isn’t until 0800, oh well off early for some eggs, fruit, biscuits and gravy, bacon, cereal and of course lots of coffee.
9:00- campers have finished breakfast, going back and cleaning their cabins, club meetings and now are headed out to first period activities. I get to speak to a few of them as they all walk by and tell me where they’re going. Can’t stay long though, gotta get back to print off Waldograms and emails so they can be delivered on time.
10:00- Morning office work finished, back out to camp for Beli Deli time and to pick up a game or two of corn hole against some campers that wanna challenge. Beli Deli is the snack time, but its also a kick back and hang out time for all the girls. The campers enjoy getting to hang out with their cabin counselors or each other and just talk or play with Bitsy and Piper, our two resident camp dogs who’s primary job seems to greet each camper with a “ya wanna pet me?” look. It must work, I always see campers playing with and petting them. As I make my way through camp I end up by the horse barn. Its always amazing to me to watch the smallest campers get right up on the horses that tower over them and just ride around the ring and control the horse like its no big deal. They’re always smiling as their boots barley reach the shortened stirrups but they have a good hold on the reins and they make their way around and around.
11:56- mid way through 3rd period, need to make sure I remember to head to cooking class to sample todays project. Pro tip- its always better to check in with cooking towards the end of class so they are sampling their work instead of early in the period when they’re still creating their work. Off to cooking and archery, I’ll let ya know what they have today. be back in a bit.
12:20- OK, back sooner than expected, cooking is making a protein power ball today. Saw lots of peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips and as one camper warned me….”lots of fiber, you’ll be heading to the bathroom soon”. They looked delicious but they were still in process so I didn’t get to taste them. What I did get to try was yesterdays cooking project that required a 24 hour chill process. Cookie Dough fudge!! Yes it was a delicious and rich as it sounds. If you camper is taking camps cooking class be sure to have the demonstrate some of their favorite recipes for ya when they get home. You’ll be surprised and full!!!! (Just be ready for a bathroom if ya try the protein power ball).
12:30- lunch time! today is chicken Alfredo with roasted broccoli, rolls and more. It looks and smells delicious but for some strange reason my stomach is full. could be the late morning snack from cooking class. Note to self, that was not a good idea to go there just before lunch
1:30- the mythical rest hour…. for me, Its kinda like BigFoot around camp. Some campers have seen it and can even describe it to ya, but I’ve never seen it, only heard of it from others. Not sure it really exist…… May need to do a little research??
2:20- Rest hour still in progress and its quiet out in camp (except by Riverside, I’m not sure those older campers ever take a break?) I did make it to my office for a partial glimpse of rest hour, 10 min without my radio going off so I’ll take it as a possible sighting. Call it what ya want, it was pretty nice. Now its time to head out for the next 2 1/2 hours and teach the CSR classes. After a full day in the cave yesterday, today is a survival technique day and we’ll start off with different knots and when to use them. After that its build your own hypothermal survival kit (not that theres much need for them during the summer….. unless you’re in a cave for a long time). Then it will be repacking our gear from washing them yesterday to get ready to tomorrows 2nd cave trip.
5:30- CSR class over and now it check out camp time. Theres a large number of campers at the tower getting ready to make their attempts to reach the top. Like at the horseback rings earlier, some of these campers seem so small yet their determination is huge as they struggle to make it up each route on the tower.
5:45- down by the arts and crafts area (its in the shade!!) lots of concentration on the faces of the girls as they put the finishing touches on their arts projects and pottery. SOme of the pottery projects are out drying in the sun getting ready for the kiln. WOW! I had no idea they were making nice bold and cups like that. Also in the area is the leather working area where campers are making their stamps and buttons on the leather items their making.
6:00- classes over for the day, time to get ready for dinner and then tonights activity Candy Crush! Its a low impact fun free for all that everyone enjoys participating in. That will be after dinner so I’ll give ya more details about that after it happens.
9:24- yea I know I skipped a couple hours….you’ll see why. Tonight we had Candy Crush for our nighttime activity. Like I sad a little while ago, its a laid back active night if you can picture that. All the cabins had to make their way around camp (together) going from group of counselors to group of counselors. Once they got to a counselor group, they would have to perform a certain “task” in order to receive a balloon that had some mystery amount of points inside it. Some of these task were everything from impersonating a dinosaur roaring, singing their favorite Disney tune in a British accent, performing the macarana dance, making a basketball shot from the free throw line and more. Once the whole group completed the task they would receive balloon with the mystery amount of points. All they had to do then was make their way to the next set of counselors with their balloon. Only problem was, there were 2 sets of counselors that had their own task for them to do and if they couldn’t complete that task the counselors (hecklers) would take one of their balloons and pop it. Not to worry though! All they had to do was go back to that station, repeat whatever task was offered to them and they could get a balloon back. Hopefully this will explain some of the “unique” ways you’ll see in the pictures of campers trying to hide their balloons they’ve earned from the hecklers! They were pretty creative at hiding them!
11:07- Well, it’s been a full day, I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to hang out with me all day long and if you’re feeling a little tired it’s probably because of the 18,584 steps you took with me today! go ahead and get some sleep, you earned it!!
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.