Opening Ceremonies!

A counselor helps campers work on precision canoe paddling.
One of the favorite canoe formation maneuvers is the star. Here, girls work on it in canoeing activity.

There is something magical about the Olympics, and I’m pretty excited that they are in London. I’m also pretty excited that someone invented TiVo because camp is more exciting, and I’m going to have to steal glimpses of the action late at night or early in the morning as I can. As I write, there is a group of counselors in our basement on their night off watching the opening ceremonies. Don’t tell me…I don’t want any spoilers. I would guess that there will  be a heavy dose of the British invasion…Paul McCartney, the Stones…beyond that, I’m sure the queen will play in there somewhere too. Bejing, with its money is no object-no holds barred approach, would be a hard act to follow. I hope you all are watching some of it, and not hitting refresh on your computer, waiting for my words, or more likely…fresh pictures! If you watch T.V. like I do, you are doing both. It has literally been 8 or 9 weeks since our set has been on other than for movies for the counselors.

I’m stealing glances at a pink sunset outside my office window, and resisting the urge to go check it out…no I’m not. Back in a minute. O.K. Back. This was one of those quintessential summer evenings…the kind with a welcome hint of a breeze as the ground cools from a warm day. The lightning bugs are out in the pasture, providing a sporadic light show that intensifies as dusk settles in. I’m listening to the happy sounds of the bedtime ritual up above on Pineview…screen doors slamming, conversation and laughter that will grow quieter as Taps approaches. All cabins end the day in a friendship circle in the middle of the cabin…many will take turns talking about their highs and sometimes their lows for the day.

My day started pretty early this particular one. Dave and I met again with coffee in hand, and drove the buses out to the farm. The contrast between the the younger girls and the older ones is marked. The Pineview girls were loaded and accounted for almost as quickly as we had arrived. Door to door service deposited them up on the hill…we arrived a little earlier so that our 8th graders could get breakfast and load back up to make the trek over the mountain past Bryson City to the Nantahala Outdoor Center where they met their appointed guides and rafted down the mighty Nanty. Cold and crystal clear, the waters are dam released, so always predictable, but the difference is that they come off the bottom of the lake that feeds it. So, it is coooold, even on a warm summer day. The class III and IV rapids provide a fun ride and plenty of thrills.

Breakfast was my favorite, and the only time I eat pancakes…ever. Bill made his signature buttermilk dessert plate sized flapjacks. They were served with strawberries, syrup, link sausages. There are always hard-boiled eggs, bagels and cereal with yogurt to accompany any breakfast. I spent most of the morning taking pictures and doing a little video as well. Activities were going strong. There were lots of girls on horses, both in the ring and on the trail. The canoe girls were working on formation paddling skills. There were girls learning to roll kayaks. The nature girls spent time out in the woods looking under sections of metal roofing that Steve the nature guy had positioned for habitats with Steve and Caitlin. On these warm July days (86 was the high today), I still gravitate to the swim lake. There is just so much fun activity to watch around the hub of camp…girls on the high ropes course, zipping down to terra firma after exploring all it has to offer…rope swingers and water sliders. I can hear the goings-on in McLeod…a group practicing their dances or staying in shape in Fit for Fun.

The Heigh Ho girls are at the farm tonight, and like the other hills, they should have perfect sleeping weather. They’ll dine on grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, make s’mores around the campfire, swim, play games, and then sleep in tents or the barn loft. Some will sleep out under the stars, which would certainly be my choice. The older and younger girls celebrated the Olympics with their own Parade of Nations. Cabins were assigned a nation, and did a skit and song to commemorate their adopted country. It was colorful and funny, and a good way to celebrate the world coming together. Tomorrow’s a big day. We’re taking the entire camp out to the farm for our BIG annual game of Capture the Flag. We’ll start with homemade pulled pork barbecue, and enjoy a picnic to start things off. Can’t wait.

2 responses to “Opening Ceremonies!

  1. Thank you very much for the wonderful pictures and interesting blogs every night! It’s wonderful to see Sydney having so much fun and hear about camp daily! I really appreciate it!

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