Posted by Larry Johnson on July 29
Terrific Thursday to ya parents!!!! Man what I special day I got to have up here today. Now I know, I know…… you guys playing along at home wanna hear about your daughters day, not mine. Just hear me out for a minute and you’ll see exactly what I’m talkin’ about and I think you’ll be able to relate. At least I hope so!!!
We have a “little project” in the works for later this fall where we need to have a conversation with a couple girls from several different classes, so today I was on a mission to get around and do a quick 1 min interview of random campers in as many classes as possible. It didn’t take long (actually the first one I did) before you hear phrases like “Because of cooking class, I want to be a chef when I grow up”. Or I’ve met a new friend that lives in Dallas TX and were gonna facetime every Saturday to keep in touch online while we’re cooking what we learned in class together. Now those statements alone will be enough to “get ya” when you realize that what you thought of as a quiet class is that meaningful to some of our younger campers. But when you see that camper agin later in the day and you’re talking to her about her comments about her new friend that she’s gonna stay in touch with every Saturday is the camper standing right next to her, smiles, jumps up and down gives her a huge hug and yells “Thats ME!!!” It hits ya how well these friendships have formed and how strong they are to each other. It was great to see the smiles on their faces as they headed off to flag lowering.
Another interview I got to do was with a camper on the ropes course and at the end, she used phrases like “beyond what I thought I could do” or “confidence” or even “Makes you feel empowered when you reach your goals you had to work for”, you cannot help but smile as you walk away and you realize that no matter how much fun that camper thinks she has today, she actually made my day by just talking to me. Interview after interview, every story was the similar about how these girls learned to do stuff they once though was impossible. I could go on and on but I wanna save some of the stories for later this year.
While I was walking around looking for campers to talk to, (not like thats a hard thing to do up here during camp) I was able to look around and watch all the campers in their classes. I can tell ya, circus class has been working really hard out in the sun. They’re not the only ones, I got called down to Arts and Crafts to take care of a little wasp nest that popped up and while I was down there I happen to get a sneak peek of all the finished projects from pottery and Arts and Crafts. All I can say is WOW!!!! some of those paintings I saw I had to ask someone else if they did that here, ‘cause they looked way better than anything I thought was possible in that class. Theres some seriously talented painters here that have that special touch. Speaking of touch, the girls in pottery have it too as there were all sorts of bowls, ring stands and more that looked just like something you would see in a nice store.
The girls in horseback were back to their English style of riding today and they were all warming up for the Grand Championship on Saturday. This is a huge event and the winner will almost certainly be in prime position to claim the Horse Cup for their club. Tomorrow (Friday) will be the prelims where they’ll whittle down the field to the final participants in the Grand on Saturday. Their practice time is up, its all for the big money now as they try to get every post timed just right and put themselves in position for the big win in the Grand.
Tomorrow will be the final day of activities (I can’t believe its here already, can you?!?!) and every camper will be getting in their “last rides’ on their favorite horse, the zip line, V swing and everything else. They’ll also be getting their last chances at bullseyes in archery and rifelry and I’m sure they won’t be disappointed from what I’ve seen so far this session.
Tonight, it was time for our wild and wacky evening activity of Speed Challenge. Now if you’re a rookie parent to camp this year, let me tell ya about speed challenge. First all the campers come to dinner all decked out in their club colors and when I say all decked out, this session took that to the full extent. There was a sea of red, blue and green everywhere I looked during flag lowering and dinner. Several of them didn’t have an inch of non painted skin or clothing as they were in full club spirit mode head to toe. After dinner it’s over to our sports field where each club has their own area and we ran 10 relay races for each age group back to back, to back to back……you get the idea. As soon as the first relay race is finiehd, the next people start their relay race immeadiately and that goes on until all 10 for that age group have been completed. Thats actually the completion of 1 race. Go ahead and do the math in your head, thats about 60 races in total and like I said….back to back to back…….. Its as easy as herding wild cats on a hot tin roof with both arms tied behind your back…… got the picture?
As one age group is racing, the others are “cheering” (and by cheering, I mean jumping and yelling at the top of their lungs the whole time). Some of the crazy races include wheres my shoe relay, the over under over relay, the ever popular broom hockey relay, you can’t forget the cover your partner with shaving cream relay and of course the “whole team through a Hula Hoop” relay. Thats just a taste of the craziness in tonights relays and remember, when everyone from one age group finished, we rest everything and did it again…….6 times!
By the end of the night, the final results were,,,,,,, Mounties 3rd, Troopers 2nd and the Rockin Rangers 1st!!! Way to go girls. The race for the Spirit Cup and Point Cup is getting tight as we get close the end of the session.
Needless to say, after all the running, cheering and a full day of activities, tonights campfire was nice and quiet as the counselors spoke on the tonights theme, “Love, what it isn’t”.
Tomorrow will be the final day of activities and everyone will be bouncing around to get in as much as possible. I think I’m about to bouncing myself right over to my house to get some sleep so I can try to keep up with all the girls tomorrow and maybe catch a few more conversations with some of the stars of the show, the campers! You guys have a great night and get ready for tomorrow’s final blog of the summer.
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.