Ain’t No Mountain High Enough!

Diana Ross’s voice serenaded us bright and early across the hills at Hannah Ford Farm this morning- nothing like waking up to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough!” Last night Pineview had their hill-wide overnight four miles down the road from camp, at our farm outpost. If I’m being honest, there is usually some hesitation surrounding the farm; It’s understandable,  sleeping outside in an unfamiliar place, away form the cozy comforts of their cabins. It can be a big challenge to overcome for many! Nevertheless, we had a blast. We enjoyed tasty burgers, dogs, and veggie burgers right off the grill, and s’mores around a fire for dessert. Each cabin prepared a skit to perform for the hill, and the girls giggled for an hour watching the silly performances. We ended the night with a movie, “Princess Protection Program”, which led girls to settle right into their sleeping bags. The stars were beautiful last night! One cabin (PPP) chose to sleep on the hill outside so they could get an up-close view of the sky. Despite some ant bites, they had a smooth night and lasted the entirety of it sleeping outside. One of my favorite requests from a parent came through the Illahee website the other day. It was a dad asking if we could please remember to tell his daughter to look up at the night sky. They are from Atlanta so many of their nighttime views are clouded by bright lights.

We left the farm at 7:30, a little bleary eyed, but happy! It was a successful night of glamping, and everyone was excited to return to camp for biscuits and sausage. We also had fresh cut watermelon and cantaloupe (which happen to be my biggest cravings these days), and hard boiled eggs alongside buttery grits. We had a record number of birthdays- five total! We sang to them at Rise n’ Shine and they enjoyed their homemade birthday cakes at lunch. Today was the final day of Pine Day activities. Canoeing celebrated by doing canoe slides and splashing around the swim lake. Ceramics and woodworking, as well as the other arts activities had the day to finish up projects and put the final touches on their masterpieces. The Dance, Drama, and Puppetry classes will perform their work for the camp tomorrow! We are in the final rounds of the tennis tournament- Gordon and his partner, Amelia, are in the finals!

We enjoyed crispy chicken tenders for lunch, with fresh peaches, corn, and homemade whipper snapper cookies for dessert- the cooking classes made these for camp to enjoy. Some chose to follow the recipe, and others winged it- their cookies looking a little more like muffins! It was a heavy lunch, and I took a good nap afterwards during rest hour. I don’t think I was the only one! The girls practiced for Sing Around the Lake during Choice Period today, and we gathered for our final Bag Supper of the session. I think this may be the most popular meal, and I am not sure if it’s because they really like sandwiches or candy bars (I am thinking it’s probably the latter). After Bag Supper we gathered around the Swim Lake for Canoe Formation and Sing Around the Lake, a tradition we’ve honored for decades- Each Hill group sits in a designated area and takes turns singing traditional camp songs to one another. It sounds beautiful, and sometimes slightly off key, echoing across the lake. However, this time we were interrupted by a quick downpour that sent us to the Rec Lodge. We continued our songs there. Despite the break from tradition, it was really fun and the girls took turns calling out song requests while we waited out the storm. Once the rain trickled to a light drizzle we were able to head back to the lake for the evening finale, counselor Canoe Formation. It was beautiful in the dark light, and the shadows and flares on the lake looked like a painting.

There is a steady rain still going that I am sure will lull the girls right to sleep! I know it will me. We have a big day ahead of us tomorrow!

Good night!