Welcome August Campers!

Three campers enjoy each other in the cabin.
Cabins buddies are the BEST camp buddies.

There is a spark to the August session that is unlike most of our other sessions. Two weeks offers a great taste of what camp has to offer, but our hope is that your girls won’t be ready to leave at the end of the session. In a longer session girls can get out of camp and enjoy this beautiful area through hikes, canoe trips, kayaking, climbing, or tubing…and still not feel like they missed too many of their activity periods. BUT, August girls come ready to GO! Maybe it’s the time at home anticipating camp. It’s also a little bit younger session with 8th graders as our oldest campers. It seems that every girl is at that prime age for camp…where they’re not “too cool for school,” and every new activity or evening program is just really GREAT. I will be checking in every night to give you a re-cap of the day, an occasional observation. Hopefully, it will be somewhat lucid as I play hard each day, and am usually ready to hit the hay when I hear Taps echoing through the hills around camp. I usually am most inspired (and productive) when I write from my home office. Pinecrest, where Laurie and I live, is a stone’s throw from the 8th Grade “Sparks” and all of the older girl cabins. In fact, as I write, I am listening to the “sweet” summer sounds of slamming screen doors, laughter, an occasional squeal (usually upon the discovery of a multi-legged creature co-habitating with the girls in their cabins. Camp comes alive when the girls are here. It’s still beautiful, a little peaceful and a great place to live year round, but I miss the summer sounds when camp is not in session, even for a day or two between sessions.

We are having a “rock star” summer! Your girls are arriving in the middle of a well honed summer, primarily due to a “rock star” counselor staff. I guess it’s just the perfect convergence of a number of factors, but we have been amazed at this group of counselors…faith filled, loving, energetic, fun! And they are just hitting their stride. Activities are “dialed in,” and we’ll be off and running after a good night’s sleep. Although I have a love/hate relationship with technology, signing up for activities before camp allows us to hit the day running tomorrow morning. No need to waste a day getting activities assigned. It’s done!

Today was a gorgeous day for opening day, and I have noticed a welcome shift in our weather the last couple of days. It’s back to normal, I think (and hope). As you all probably know, we take great pride in our physical campus, and spend lots of time fine tuning everything. Our maintenance guys do a great job. James even insists on fluffing (and turning under the edges) of the pine straw around the trees throughout camp. It has killed them that they haven’t been able to mow some areas in several weeks due to the rain. And the grass is growing. So on Thursday, one of the guys used a weedeater on a large portion of the soccer field! That’s pride. Any way, the rain the last couple of weeks has all come at good times and it disrupted very few activities, but it still came. During rest hour, during the night. Soggy. But, we haven’t had a shower for several days. Things are drying out, and the forecast calls for only an occasional afternoon thunderstorm for the next 10 days or so. If they are anything like today, bring it on!

After the last lingering parent left :-), we had a really great lunch spread which cabins enjoyed by hill group. Oven roasted turkey breast, pitas, tuna salad, PB &J’s, pasta salad and cookies. The afternoon was spent with cabin mates rotating through some really fun activities…games led by 20 year veteran and Woodworking guru Molly supported by the Trip Staff….swimming at the Swim Lake testing out the Streak (the fastest water slide this side of Brevard), the Tarzan rope swing, and enjoying lots of tubes and noodles…getting fitted for and picking up pre-ordered items; several cabins started on the  high ropes course, zipping down to the finish line (all cabins will have the opportunity), and then the health check (a.k.a. as critter check). Lice have become more resistant and prevalent, and every year we discover a couple of cases on opening day. We found a camp mom and expert in Asheville, who comes in with her crew and equipment, and can nit pick with the best of them. She has specialized equipment to take care of those little pests in a single sitting. Good stuff.

Dinner tonight was out usual Sunday midday feast…mounds of fresh fried chicken, warm yeast rolls with butter and honey, broccoli (with chees sauce for girls who don’t like green), and wild rice (white for purists). We have some really popular changes this year… a little extra space in the dining hall that accomodates a brand new salad bar. Dee, our queen, has been making all sorts of treats for the big people. You keep the big people happy and the little people usually follow suit. Of course, plenty of campers like her  additions to traditional salad bar fare…tabouli, quinoa, bulger, homemade dressings. Yummm. Afterwards, we all headed to opening campfire, where silver five year pins were awarded before enjoying skits from each hill’s counselors, lots of singing, and a story to end the night. Campers are in cabins getting ready for bed, sitting in friendship circles talking about their days and getting to know each other. They’ll soon be asleep and dreaming about tomorrow, sure to be a great first day in the Heavenly!