A Week of Trips Begins…the Drizzle Ends!

Two Illahee campers dressed as twin nerds pose for the camera.
Nerd twins joined at the hip!

When I got up this morning, I’ll have to admit that my first reaction was…still?! It was gray and drizzling. Even with a day and a half  of the wet stuff, we didn’t pass a 1/4 inch total rainfall. Now that it’s out of here, I can be thankful for the nice watering that the grass and plants all received, as that’s what gives the sights and smells that make western Carolina…Carolina…hemlocks and rhododendrons. Absolutely breathtaking. Of course, my initial reaction gave way to “what an amazing day”! The community shared that sentiment. Without even a suggestion, almost every activity that meets outside…was still outside… including tennis. They had pulled out the nerf balls that we use to teach beginners tennis, and girls were practicing volleys…some with parka hoods deployed! No Eeyores in this crowd!

As we turn the corner into week two, there is a flurry of activity, especially among our Trips staff. Today, the kayakers get their first taste of a technical river with a trip over to the Nantahala. Cherokee for Land of the Noonday Sun, the Nanty is technical but forgiving, a great teaching river with constant flow due to its dam release. It draws from the bottom of the lake that feeds it, and is COOOLD. I have some extra layers of natural insulation, but some of your girls…not so much. More incentive to stay upright, I guess. The climbers are right at our backdoor in Pisgah, and campcraft girls went to the farm. Our trips hiking girls tackled the Big East Fork trail. Tomorrow we have tubing and flyfishing trips going for some of the older girls. As a camper, it must be hard to choose between all the things going on in camp and the great options to have an adventure somewhere nearby.

Choice period is the period right after rest hour where girls get to choose what they want to do each day. There are a couple of quiet activities…reading, postcard writing. Most girls choose more active options…Splash (free swim)…Arts and Crafting, or the camper counselor tennis tournament which is in round two. The kitchen has certainly hit its stride. We had French Toast and bacon for breakfast…camp bacon turns vegetarians back into meat eaters :-). Meatball subs for lunch with an amazing salad bar (Texas caviar made its debut on the bar today) with fries. There were also less meaty options for subs (sliced turkey, lettuce and tomatoes, but most opted for the former. Dinner will be Chinese-themed…Asian Orange Chicken, rice, salad, green beans and chocolate cake.

Tonight was the Illahee Prom for the oldest two hills. Lucky girls brought “dates” (or at least they looked like boys) for a giant dance party Prom of the Century. The Hillbrookers went to Sliding Rock, which is always a hoot. I always need to take a breath and remember that I am on a different schedule when it comes to the youngest girls. We add about 30 minutes to our arrival times…arrival at Sliding Rock, arrival at Dollys, arrival back home. I remember those days…of course, they also have the most shrieks and squeals, and maybe the most fun? I don’t know about that. It’s all fun.