Posted by Larry Johnson on July 10
Merry Christmas in July Eve to you parents!! We are all hunkered down for the big day tomorrow (or today if your an early morning reader). We tried not to be distracted by Christmas tomorrow and go about our business with all the activities this morning. One “new” activity is just a version of tennis and that is “Pickle Ball”. I gotta admit, I’ve never played but I do like what I saw today with the younger campers playing. not too much running and a much slower pace than tennis. I may have to take a try but you know, I think I’ll start off small and by small I mean I’ll play the youngest campers first!!
Speaking of playing, I gotta apologize for being a little late tonight with starting the blog. I tried to leave the house to head over to start writing but on TV the Red Sox had just tied the game with the Yankees and they they won it in extra innings. As much as I tried, I just couldn’t leave the screen sorry about that and LETS GO RED SOX!!
Now, back to my late (later than normal) night writing. I stopped by the girls down at the rifle range to check in on them today and they are taking this class serious! They were concentrating and working on getting better with each grouping of shots. Good news is they were doing it! Some of you dads (or moms) are gonna have some good little hunting partners with ya this fall. Just wait and see.
This afternoon it was time for CSR class where we had a “survival” skill day. All the girls in class learned and successfully started a fire using just a ferro rod and some cotton. They also made their own hypothermal prevention kit. Close to the end of class we “just happen” to run into one of our counselors who….”was hiking and fell in the river and was really cold” (not really). The girls had to determine her level of hypothermia, use what they had to warm her up and then using the ferro rod and cotton start a campfire to help warm her up. I’m happy to report she is warm and doing fine thanks to the new learned skills of the girls in class. It was fun to se them learn a new skill and then get to practice putting in into action.
Tonight was a BIG night here at camp. All the campers came to the dining hall dressing in their best Christmas get up and some of them went above and beyond. One was even dressed up as a Christmas Tree and several were reindeer. After Dinner everyone headed to the gym for Santa’s workshop where they had face painting, made ornaments to hang on the Christmas tree outside, made Christmas chains to hang on the tree, danced to Christmas music and more. They headed by cabin down to the dining hall to take turns at watching a Christmas movie complete with Santa’s favorite chocolate chip cookies and milk. Some of the campers took the opportunity to hang the ornaments they made on our camp Christmas tree outside the gym. All I can say is there was plenty of Christmas spirit from every camper as they passed me outside and everyone of them yelled “Merry Christmas!!” as they went past. Of course none of them offered any of their cookies but that’s OK, it was all meant for them and they enjoyed every bite. All this is in preparation for tomorrow morning when the big guy himself will stop by camp to hand out presents to each cabin. Its gonna be a Wonderful (life) Christmas in July.
Speaking of Christmas, What would a Christmas be without it being a White Christmas. Remember that cold front I was talking about last night? Well, its developed and my friend at the Weather Channel Jim Cantorre, has assured me its heading straight for Mentone. Specifically, Camp Skyline! He promises that our campers will all awake to a Miracle on Lookout Mountain as they look outside tomorrow morning and have a White Christmas!
Well thats it for tonight except for our traditional T’was the night before Christmas poem so here ti goes…….y’all have a great Sunday and Merry Christmas in July from Camp Skyline.
Twas the night before Christmas and all across camp
the humidity was high, everyones clothes were all damp
The stockings were hung by every campers bunk
In hopes that St Nick would leave something on their trunk
the campers were all nestled and snug in their beds
While visions of ropes course and horseback swirled in their heads
With Sally in her PJ’s and I with my cap,
Had just settled down for a much needed nap
When out in the camp there arose such a clatter
I stumbled out of the bed to see “whats the matter?”
Away to the windows I flew like a jet
if something was outside, I hoped it hadn’t left yet
The moon had a reflection on the river below
If something was in the water, I wasn’t gonna go
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
but a miniature sleigh, pulled by some nice looking deer
With a little old driver so lively and quick
I thought I was seeing things, perhaps I was sick
More rapid than eagles, he called them by name
No matter who he was, this fella had game
First Driftwood and Joywood, Beetlebum, and Bevshack
Then Bar H, Hot box and Brookwood, he toted his pack
Then on to Rosey Den, Edmae and Totem Hall
Then Hillbillies and Deweys Den, he hit ’em all
Then across the river he flew in a snap
He knew his way around, he didn’t need a map
Up on the roof, of Summerplace he landed
And quickly left them all presents, and did it single handed
And then in a twinkling, on to Riverside’s roof
He went straight down the chimney, in just a “poof”
As I drew in my head and was turning around
Down Riverside chimney, he came with a bound
He was dressed in all fur from his foot to his head
I though to myself “he’s gotta be hot, if that was me I’d be dead”
A bag was flung on his back full of toys
it was presents for the girls, this trip had nothing for any boys
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry
I hoped for just one present with a name on it for Larry
He had a broad face and a little round belly
He obviously found the dining hall and had some biscuits and jelly
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf
I thought when I saw him I was looking at myself
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
was a notice to me, its time to go back to bed
He stopped by the infirmary to visit our nurses
and left something for them in each of their purses
Then laying a finger aside of his nose
he was finished with his work so up the chimney he arose
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle
He took off really fast, like a Patriot missile
But I heard him exclaim as he flew above the pines
Merry Christmas to all, from Camp Skyline!!
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.