Wide Open!

Summer camp girls in cabin one pose with their counselor in Arts and Crafts.
Campers pause for a pose with Callie after finishing up bandana necklaces.

If I didn’t know better, I would expect Junior camp to start with a whimper and end with a roar, but it’s really the other way around (except the whimper part). These girls are wide open, and ready to go….which is a good thing, because camp is designed for lots of energy! It is fitting that the session started off with such a beautiful morning, because we are all ready to go for a terrific week, and anything else would have been a tad disappointing. Our trunk boys were tested by arrivals en masse…I hope no one had to wait too long to get unloaded and up to the cabin. I was actually pretty proud of them considering the number of trunks to get situated.

After all of the settling in, Ship’s Store shopping, application dropping off, etc., the bell rang, signaling our first gathering as a camp family n McLeod, our original lodge at the end of the swim lake. We sang songs, took some individual portraits and cabin shots to post online, and then headed to the dining hall for the first lunch of the session. Cabins made their own sandwiches and chose from turkey, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes, chips and chocolate chip cookies. There was also homemade chicken salad, PB and J, and pasta salad.

Opening day afternoon is designed to have loads of fun. I spent time taking pictures (with Gretchen) of all the fun going on. The Slip n Slide was a big hit on the soccer field, although VIncent, our site manager may not like what we did to the grass. A huge piece of plastic lined the hill from top to bottom…add some Dawn dish soap, water and some slipper campers, and you have the recipe for some of the most squealing fun you can imagine. The swim lake was also a popular spot and will probably remain so all week. After a quick “there and back” assessment by swim staff and an explanation of the “buddy check,” everything was open and there were more squeals as girls tried the Tarzan rope swing and the Streak for the fist time. Both are some of the most fun you could ever have on the water. There were girls in inner tubes and others practicing dives from the diving dock.

Over in McLeod, Steve O’Neil, our nature guru, was busy showing off some of his critters…mostly reptiles…snakes and lizards and toads. There were games in the Rec Lodge bandana necklace projects in Arts and Crafts and a little bit of opening day “business.” Our camp mom and pro “lice checker” came with her posse to check every girl. I’m sure you know from school that lice just seem to be more prevalent than they used to be…there is absolutely no health hazard, but they sure are a pain if you have to start bagging laundry at home…so we decided to take the bull by the horn and get a crew who can treat it with professional equipment if needed and prevent any spread. More fun was a stop by the Ship’s Store to pick up any pre-ordered items. Our staff crew down there was able to fit girls, get their name in each item and make sure it got back with them to the cabin.

Dinner was our traditional Sunday lunch. Our counselors would be too disappointed if we skipped this menu….mounds of fresh fried chicken, steamed broccoli (with cheese sauce for those who prefer not to eat green), wild or white rice, and warm yeast rolls with butter and honey. Yummm. Ice cream filled in the cracks.

Our evening program was County Fair. A fun dress-up affair, buddy cabins come up wth a theme for the pairs, and attend in costume. There were superstars, catfish, pigtails, lemonade, pillow pets. So one cabin were cats and the other fish for catfish….clever 🙂 Besides music and plenty of dancing with counselors and cabinmates, there were games like limbo and basketball throws, bean bag toss, face painting, fortune telling…a Starwalk to bounce around in, snow cones, a dunkin booth, and Moon Pie, our Shetland pony…not much bigger than a Great Dane was there to be doted over by admiring attendees.

As I write, new cabinmates are settling in with their counselors for the bedtime routine. Friendship circle begins the “wind down.” Girls talk about their highs for the day, what they are excited about (CAMP!), and just get to know each other. Counselors will do a devotional, and tuck each girl in for sweet dreams of a great Illahee day of activities tomorrow.

We’ll be checking in each evening to give you a run-down of all the fun we are having. Hopefully you have found the pictures. We’re off to a fantastic start!


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