The benefit of a late post tonight for you night owls is a set of pictures from a new angle at Sliding Rock. Hopefully, they’ll all be loaded by the time I publish tonight’s update. There are some fun ones of faces as girls hit the water at the bottom. The downside to getting those shots is that I have to just snap away, and then get back on the computer and go through, culling the bad ones out. That takes a little time, but it’s worth it I think. Gretchen and I have both been pushing each other in our picture taking to get beyond the cute snaps of campers, which will always be our bread and butter. I never get tired of smiling “mugshots,” and I know you don’t either, especially when it looks a little like you! 🙂
We have been having the most wonderful weather at camp this session…another crystal clear Chamber of Commerce blue ribbon day! This evening hanging out at Dollys was really pleasant. I mean…it’s always fun, but the temperature was just right, and dusk’s approach left some pinks and blues in the sky right before sunset. Nobody was in a hurry, and it felt like summer in the mountains. Always a popular spot, we just hit it right tonight…and were the only ones there until some of our counselors came to end a night off before heading back to camp.
I was in the Forest twice today, and that’s a good day! I drove the bus to the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education with a double dose of nature classes for stream exploration. Today, cutbacks in funding helped us out because Lee, the program director there was the girl’s instructor for the morning. We were looking for aquatic macro-invertebrates, and Lee told us that based on what we found, we could tell how pure the stream’s water is. We used kick nets and “D” nets to catch all sorts of critters…may and stonefly nymphs, crayfish, and water striders, salamanders, and baby trout. After identification, the girls determined that the stream was of the highest water quality because several of these species would not tolerate any level of pollution. Afterwards, we walked over to the hatchery and he let us feed the Rainbow, Brookies, and Brown trout that are being grown for release. It was a pretty great morning.
Soup, Janna and Ben took a couple of van loads up to Courthouse Falls to swim in the pool beneath. Soup’s swim hikes are always popular, and Courthouse is particularly beautiful. Again, there was nobody else around, and it felt like the group was discovering it for themselves for the first time. One of the advantages of the longer sessions is that there are plenty of opportunities to get out of camp and explore without feeling like you are short-changing your activity schedule. In June and July sessions, we even have a new activity that meets every other day and takes girls to all of the great hikes in our neck of the woods…many of them to end at a waterfall or swimming hole.
Tonight’s evening program was split by hills. Heigh Ho watched the Lizzie McGuire movie on the big screen with popcorn and lots of room to stretch out. Hillbrook had a Luau out on the swim lake, with the entire place all to themselves. The Tarzan Swing, the Streak waterslide, and diving dock were all open, and it was “abuzz.” I took Pineview to Sliding Rock and Dollys. The August session is younger than our other sessions overall with girls up to eighth grade. This session’s oldest girls are terrific as most, but they remind me of St. Bernard puppies. They love EVERYTHING about camp, and are too young to be “too cool for school.” Or maybe being at camp just allows them to “act their age.” 🙂 Now that I think about it, that’s probably more the case. Let me just tell you…it is a very positive environment…singing silly (and appropriate songs), taking on sliding rock with gusto, leaving ice cream mustaches after slurping down their ice cream cones, and giggling and shrieking all the way home on the bus. Good stuff.
The Foodie report…french toast and bacon for breakfast with the usual extras…”walking” tacos for lunch…pretty fun actually…a frito bag opened and sprinkled with cheese taco meat, and lettuce…most dump it out on a bed of lettuce and make a salad. Dinner was amazing…chicken parmigiano with linguine, red sauce with alfredo on the encore table as well as eggplant parmigiano for vegetarians types. They’re still hitting homeruns in the kitchen.