Day One and County Fair

The first day of activities brings a collective sigh of relief for directors, counselors and the campers. I think we all like some routine after opening day. Last week’s orientation and staff training included settling in horses that were shipped in from south Florida and eastern North Carolina lesson barns. The riding staff worked on lesson plans and teaching techniques; our former program director and local tennis pro, Dave, came in to lead tennis clinics; 17 counselors spent two days in lifeguard training and an afternoon learning teaching techniques for all level swimmers; the ropes course director trained staff on the beanstalk and our adventure programs director, Lee, led kayaking clinics; Ed, our new woodworking instructor spent the week setting up the wood shop and prepping projects; local potter, Betsy, worked with the ceramics counselors and oriented them- and Gretchen worked with the arts activity staff. Not only is Gretchen the staff director but she has a background as a studio art major and she was an art teacher before joining Gordon and me at camp 20 years ago.

We started the day with French toast sticks, bacon, berries and melon and cereal, granola and yogurt and gathered for Rise and Shine in the rec lodge. The first rise and shine includes a few housekeeping notes and Gardner and Lucas gave a demo of proper shower curtain procedure inspired by recent floods in some of the shower houses- it included water over the head and was a definite hit and perhaps made a good point! I spent the morning wandering around camp thinking- this is the best job ever! It was great to see the activities in motion! Our camp photographer, Rosie, was out most of the day along with Gretchen and Shelton. Thanks to them, you’ll have a good glimpse of day one.

The Pineview cabins surround Gordon’s and my house and having the girls back makes the neighborhood come to life. 5th period is followed by choice period. Pineview girls have the option of doing an activity or being on the hill next to our house. They play basketball (in fact a few are out there now shooting baskets at 9:15-feels like summer), and they weave friendship bracelets, read a book, sketch in journals or just talk. On main camp activities were hopping- especially Camille and Mary’s line dance activity in the rec lodge- other activities were Splash, tennis, a hike on the trails around camp, and crafts in the dining hall. I spent most of choice period on the wall outside the dining hall with 8 month old Jasper- Gardner and Lucas’ baby- he is a definite camper magnet and gave me an intro to lots of conversations.

We often say that a day at camp is like three days in the real world- they are packed full, so after a county fair style dinner of BBQ wings, corn on the cob, salad and churros, we all gathered at the tennis courts with our wacky costumes and wigs to enjoy a dance party, bounce houses, the dunk tank and pony rides over at the barn. The llamas made an appearance thanks to our long time friend and llama caddy, Mark. He has two llama babies now- one only 26 hours old but he brought his older boys who’ve been county fair highlights for several years. With names like Lightening, Who’s da Man, Iceman, Elwood, Little D, P. Diddy, and Peaches- how could they not be popular?

It’s been a great day and I’m ready to hear the sound of taps. We have counselor Bible study early tomorrow morning at our house, Pinecrest. I’ll brew lots of coffee and make some cinnamon rolls for the crew who wants to wake up early to join us. Meanwhile, I hope you sleep well!

4 responses to “Day One and County Fair

  1. Thanks for this fact and fun-filled summary of all the preparation, training, and first-day events!
    It sounds absolutely perfect– Congratulations on a successful beginning!

  2. You all are the best! Thank you for everything. You are changing lives.

  3. I LOVE this post so much!!!! Reminds me of my beloved camp days. Wish I could return! Thank you all SO much for creating the best atmosphere of love, freedom & structure and FUN for Ava and our girls. So very needed right now.

  4. I loved reading this post so much!
    My granddaughter is blessed to be in such good hands with y’all !!

    I wish I were 10 again

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