Bring on the Weekend!
June 11, 2010 by Don Gentle
Pictures from June 11, 2010 (password required)
Friday got off to a beautiful start with some great trips heading out in the morning. The cavers had the dining hall to themselves as they met for an early breakfast and then were off to Morril’s Cave (commonly called Worley’s) in Bluff City, TN. It has more than 37,000 feet of mapped passages on two levels. Worley’s is known for its voluminous size with rooms more than 75 feet wide and 250 feet long with high ceilings that can exceed 100 feet. It is noted for its beautiful formations within its eight to ten miles of passages. The lower level of the cave contains a perennial creek complete with various fishes, white crayfish, and salamanders that the guys love to discover. The boys each take a pair of coveralls and a headlamp into the pitch black cave which remains at a constant 55 degrees year round. The group adventures through muddy slides, tight squeezes, and creek wades. Deep in the cave, they take a few minutes to shut off all their lights and not make a sound (or at least attempt!) to experience the total silence and such utter darkness your eyes never adjust. Every camper gets a chance to go caving, and the best part of it is, the trip does not count as one of their five activity choices, it is bonus!
Climbers also had an early start to insure plenty of time on the rock before the afternoon thunderstorms made their appearance. They took off for Stone Depot up on Cedar Rock to put techniques to use that they have learned on the tower. Mountain bikers took a crew over to Sky Valley in DuPont State Forest for a half day of great down hills and some seriously challenging grinds to the top of the next hill. The group did great, partly due to Don Gentle on the trip taking video of the guys. You have to pull out all the stops for the camera.
The paddlers had a full day trip over to the Green River, which is the first river on which campers experience some pushy water and technical turns to avoid rocks. There are several spots to practice “surfing” which involves pointing your boat upstream and balancing it on a wave in such a way that no paddling is necessary to remain in the same spot. Needless to say, it takes a lot of practice and the process always includes a lot of flips, splash downs, and laughter. There is also the famed Super Man Rock where campers hold onto a perfect grip in the middle of some stiff current, thus “flying”, at least as long as you can hold your breath.
In camp, the weather cooperated nicely with many thunder rumbles heard but no serious storm materializing. Bull’s eyes were hit profusely in archery and riflery as our shooters are beginning to move up the ranks. Fishing mixed things up with a hike over to the Bottomless Pond where there was instant success with large bass hitting everything dropped in the water. After such a confidence boost, the counselors were made to guarantee a return trip in the near future. Wood working was in full swing with campers making everything from lacrosse sticks to doggie stairs for easy access to a couch for one “Elvis”. Down at the barn, campers were finishing up their last lessons and trail rides for the week in preparation for the Gymkhana on Saturday, more details and pictures to come soon.
All in all, it was a great Friday with campers maximizing their first week here. The weekends have a different schedule and tend to focus a bit more on both goofy fun and time for reflection, allowing a breather before Monday kicks off another jam-packed five days. With their first week under their collective belt, all of our campers are feeling much more comfortable with the rhythm of camp life and their personalities expand along with their comfort level. It looks to be an awesome group of guys and great next two weeks!!
Tonight’s age group activities:
“Juniors”– (Hillside & Connestee) are participating McCallie Ball.
“Middler 1”– (Lakeside & Foxhollow) are playing dodge ball in the gym.
“Middler 2” – (Flattop, Holiday & Chalet) are on the waterfront with canoe fill-ups
“Upper Middlers” – (Windswept & Outpost) are going off the water slide.
“Seniors” – (Halfway) & “Upper Seniors” – (Lookout) are playing capture the flag.
Have a great night,