Posted by Larry Johnson on June 29
For the final time this session…hellooooo parents!! Today was the final day of activities and all the campers were getting in their “final rides” on everything from the ropes course and circus to favorite horse. All the campers in rifelry and archery were refining their skills for tomorrow tournament. Well have a champion in both by this time tomorrow.
In horseback the campers were putting their best foot forward, or better yet, making their horses put their best foot forward s they competed in the horse show today. Winners from today will compete in the Grand Championship tomorrow in front of the whole camp! We’ll bring every one out to watch the final round as the campers compete in the Grand Championship and try to win points for their club and with the Horse Cup at tomorrow nights banquet (more in that later).
Tonight we had our Showtime at Skyline where all our performance classes got to display their talents in from of the whole camp. It was a show to be remembered as everyone enjoyed performances from our advanced circus class, gymnastics, dance, cheerleading, and then it was topped off by our chorus and drama class putting on their rendition of “Frozen”. All the campers really enjoyed their performance and you could tell how hard those girls worked all session to learn their lines and places.
To top it all off, all this was lead by our emcees that were our camp “age outs”, campers who are in their final days of their final year of camp. They even had their own “acts” of a “day in camp” to which everyone enjoyed a laugh or three with their interpretation of a typical day. (according to them….)
Tomorrow after the Grand Championship we’ll have to do some in house chores of packing and playing a little game of lost and found. Then it will be time for club meeting and lunch as we have a picnic on the grounds. This is one of the favorite meals for the campers. Not because they enjoy the hamburgers so much (some of them do though!!) but because it gives they time to sit back and hang out with all their new friends they’ve met over the last two weeks.
After that it will be time for the awards ceremony where the campers will receive awards for the number of years they’ve been at camp and also for how well they did in each of their activities.
later in the day it will bedtime for our banquet. Here we’ll enjoy our end of the year slide show where the campers will for the first time, get to see some of the pictures and videos you guys at home have been enjoying all session. Followed by our toast to activity leaders and club leaders and then honor campers. This is a BIG deal to these girls and it should be. Winning an honor camper paddle is something they will remember and keep with them for the rest of their lives.
Next will be the presentation of the activity “Stitch and Achievement” patches for each activity to the campers that excelled the most in those areas. and then….. it happens. It’s time for the cup presentations to see which club won the Point cup, the horse cup and the Eloise H Temple Spirit cup. You can hear then yell across the whole mountain when they announce these winners.
After that, the emotion gets turned 180 degrees as the campers realize that their time at camp is coming to an end. Their friends, new and old they’ve gotten used to hanging out with, trusting, cheering for, encouraging, talking to without using their thumbs to type a text (this is a lost skill they have enjoyed relearning!!) are all about to be gone from their everyday lives. You’ll notice in the pics, they’ll turn from cheering to pictures of tears and hugs as they realize this chapter is closing and another one full of the unknown is about to open up. Its OK, they all know they have the courage and confidence to face anything if they’ve been able to conquer riding a horse, going off the zip line, or even mastering riding a mountain bike. Its a proud moment to see these girls learn to keep expanding their comfort zone and branch out with confidence.
Speaking of confidence, our CSR class will take their final out of camp trip tomorrow to rappel some 50 foot cliffs and then after our own picnic lunch well do the big 100’ rappel off the face fo the mountain. Its a challenge not only to have the confidence to rappel down, but then to have the determination to climb the top all the way back up. You’ll love the pics of them “over the edge”!!
At the conclusion of the banquet we’ll all head (in their clubs) down to the river for river vespers where our counselor choir will canoe past singing songs from camp followed by the cabin wishes. And then one of my favorite times of each session. The age out speech.This is when the campers who are aging out of camper time here at Skyline will step to the podium and give a brief speech to the rest of the campers about what their time here at Skyline has meant to them.
After having to listen to “professional” politicians talk on TV no matter which channel you turn too, it is refreshing and hopeful to hear these young ladies get up and speak right form the heart. The way some of them talk about their true feelings going all the way back to the first year as a camper and how they have progressed over the years is an amazing thing to hear. The advice of not taking any moment for granted they pass on to all the younger campers who think it will be years before they have to make this speech is inspiring. If you camper is an age out camper do yourself a favor, ask them to read their speech to you. You too will be amazed at how mature, thoughtful and compassionate you camper is. Trust me, they got it from you, you deserve to hear it.
Well folks, thats about it for 2nd session 2022. There won’t be a blog tomorrow night (sorry, theres just too much going on, you guys will be ok, you can check back 3rd session if you really miss our little late night chats (or early morning chats over coffee if you’re one of those!). We can’t thank you enough for trusting us with your most prized possession and I know you’ll be glad to see them and the change in them when you pick they up on Friday. The pleasure has been all ours and thank you again!
So for the final time 2nd session……Y’all have a great night
I’m outta here!! have a safe trip up and we’ll see ya in front of the office Friday morning (I’ll be easy to spot…I’ll be the one that looks like they’ve been on the computer looking at pics and typing as much as you guys have been over the last 2 weeks!!
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.