Taking in Our Surroundings

I remember last summer one of my favorite emails I got was from a dad from Atlanta writing in to “please remind my daughter to look up at the starry night sky while she is at camp”. Growing up in the bustling metropolis Atlanta, there aren’t always opportunities to see the night sky. Not only this, but it isn’t often that we are reminded to slow down and look up, or look around. Last night after campfire we were greeted with a beautiful, magnificent rainbow over McLeod Lodge and the swim lake. It looked like a painting, and immediately the girls from cabin two ran to look up and point!

I think one of the best parts about camp is that campers can slow down enough to notice the beauty around them. Not only this, but they are free from distractions that often cause us to miss out on this beauty. Whether it’s the twinkling fireflies, the light through the trees at the Woodland Chapel, or the bull frogs splashing off the shore of the canoe lake, campers often return home noticing more. I think this is true in their friendships and community as well. There is nothing like sharing a cabin with seven other campers and learning how to co-exist with strangers.

Today was a perfect 10! We started the day with french toast sticks, crispy bacon, fruit salad, and the usual boiled eggs, yogurt and homemade granola. I’ve tried to avoid the breakfast sweets, but there is something about a french toast stick dipped in warm syrup that I can’t resist. I usually start out the summer making smarter food decisions and as the weeks go on the chicken tenders and Hershey pie get even more appealing. Good thing I don’t eat like this year round! We ate Greek chicken gyros and potato chips for lunch, and a camp favorite- tortellini for dinner! Complete with garlic bread.

Lucas and I spent the afternoon hanging out with the Sparks in our living room. These are rising 10th grade campers. There are 31 of them all squeezed into a (pretty luxurious) cabin, and we share a driveway with them. It’s fun having this crew as our neighbors. Most nights they are pretty tame and we only have to remind them to keep the noise down once or twice 🙂 Today we did a poetry writing exercise with them, and got each Spark to share a “Where I’m From Poem”. They spent time writing and listening to each person share. It was a super fun way to get to know this group better. They giggled and were expert listeners, and we all snapped as if we were at a coffee house poetry slam.

Pineview went to Sliding Rock tonight, and enjoyed a post slide treat at Dolly’s. It was the perfect evening, as the rain came and went today which left a clear, beautiful night. The water was chilly, as always! Heigh Ho and Hillbrook did Cabin Adventure and each signed up for an activity for some cabin bonding and time around camp. Some highlights were a s’mores scavenger hunt with cabin 19, cabin 15 made bandanna necklaces, cabin 11 and 12 washed cars and had a water balloon fight, and cabin 10 had their own spa night! The CITs went on an evening hike into Pisgah Forest to watch the sunset and the Sparks stayed on camp to begin painting for their big final banquet!

It was another fantastic day in the Heavenly!

Thanks for reading,

Gardner

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