Posted by Larry Johnson on July 10
Happy Monday (if there is such a thing) parents! Today was a great day here at camp, there was activity all around and even outside of camp. Your daughters were right on cue getting started in their activities. With the great clear and cool morning everyone was busy from the time thy got up (which was early, our breakfast is at 7:30 and they had Morning watch and flag raising before that so you know they were up and at it with the sun this morning.
I watched several small campers during 1st period hop right up and get on some of the biggest horses you’ve ever seen. It always amazes me to see such a small person on top of and perfectly controlling a large animal like a horse but there they were! Just out there doing it. They’ve really done well this session learning how torrid and all about the horses.
One thing we do a little different here at camp is our admin are actively involved in teaching a class or two. I’ve told ya about my caving and rappelling class but all the other admin were out there today working and lapping with the campers in classes like ropes course, mountain biking, cooking, Bible study and yes, yours truly was in a cave with the campers in my class today. Its so much fun to be out with the girls and to watch them overcome fears and set new boundaries in their growth zone. Ivy was talking to one camper and during the conversation the camper told her that in just one week, she has already conquered 3 of her fears on the high ropes course, mountain biking and believe it or not the waterslide! Hey don’t laugh, that thing can be intimidating if you’ve never done it. It was great to hear them get excited about their new victories and to see them keep pushing forward and challenging themselves.
I have a couple girls in my caving, survival and rappelling class that are 1. scared of heights and 2. claustrophobic. Needless to say the smiles you see on their pics hanging over a cliff or in a pancake squeeze of a cave are genuine as they too, conquer their fears. I just love seeing them get more brave each day. When we returned form the all day cave trip it was time to finish the trip by cleaning the muddy gear (just look at our “out of cave” pic and you can see we brought back a little acreage from the cave with us). Something I heard more than once was the fact how happy the girls were to be having movie night tonight as their night time activity. Something tells me they may have burned a calorie or two during their expedition and were all looking forward to a little down time tonight enjoying the movie (or some zzzzz’s).
Now you don’t have to conquer new fears just to be noticed here at camp. One of our admins highlights today was the fact she worked one of the beli deli shifts and she was so excited that every single camper she gave a snack and drink to said please and thank you! That might not seem major in the grand scheme of things but folks, let me just tell ya. It is.
Out in the tower (rock climbing) activity, they have a little side competition goin on. For each camper that can climb to the very top of the tower its a point for their club. Now you know how serious they take their club competition so they’ve been more up and down that the stock market! Hopefully well get a few more up with that. After a day of fierce climbing all the way to the top (no small feat in itself) the Rangers and Troopers are each tied at 28 points apiece.
Now the Mounties may not be bouncing the tower as much as the other clubs but they have, on their own, started Skyline sisters. This is where an older Mountie will “partner up” with a younger Mountie and be a big sis to them and maybe hang out with them during beli deli or just spend some quality time with them talking about how their day went. What a great job ladies!!
Theres a lot more going on and tomorrow we’ll be back out there trying to see all the hidden gems of “forever moments” and report back to you. Its wonderful to see that even though we have the horse, ropes course, canoeing, arts and crafts, etc… these activities aren’t the reason for camp. They’re just tools we have at our disposal that get the girls to actually talk to each other, encourage each other, and actually communicate without using a keyboard or their thumbs. It’s a really cool concept they’re enjoying and to see the smiles on their faces as they realize what they say and do matters, well…. it just doesn’t seem right that I’m telling you this by typing on a keyboard but you get the idea.
Well, I think there girls that were cleaning their cave gear today may have had a good idea. A little bed time sure does sound good to me too right now so I think I’ll go ahead and say good bye and head off to sleep myself. You guys at home should follow their lead too, some of y’all have been staying up late every night to read the blog as soon as it comes out and its starting to show. Go ahead, go to sleep. You’ll thank me later!
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.