Only 3 Days Left… I Want to Stay Longer!

Pictures from August 4, 2010 (password required)

Wednesday dawned a bright, sunny day with unaccustomed silence before the wake up bell.  These boys are working hard!  With today being one of the last two tripping days, campers were off in all directions as soon as the cinnamon toast was destroyed and assembly songs belted out.

Climbing sent two more trips to the Cathedral Rocks for the guys to try out their tower skills on actual rock.  It gets much harder as soon as you must find your own finger and toe holds as the guys discovered.  With a lot of coaching from their counselors (and plenty from waiting, helpful campers!) the boys painstakingly hauled themselves up three levels of difficulty for that oh-so-sweet moment of slapping the top of the rock to cheers. The Cathedral Rocks are a perfect place to start your climbing career, but some of the more experienced guys get to head to a much taller rock face tomorrow for an advanced trip sure to open their eyes.  I look forward to the stories and embellishments, more to come soon.

In Hiking, our Perimeter overnight arrived back in camp after a great, but arduous, journey.  They began with the Lake Loop trail then headed up to Dogwood Den Ridge before crossing over the road and disappearing into the Still Oaks area to end up camping at one of our shelters.  With plenty of firewood, a nearby creek with crawdads, and plenty of cheesy pasta for dinner, the boys were in wilderness heaven.  After an excellent night’s sleep, back they came with packs being proudly carried and lunch at the dining hall quickly sought as they relayed unimaginable physical exertions and trail obstructions to anyone nearby.  A second group went out of camp today heading for the peaks of High Pisgah for two days.  With such an incredible resource so close by, our tripping programs are able to really push campers with constantly more challenging, longer hikes while motivating them with gorgeous views, delicious berry bushes, and pristine swimming holes.  While the Two Weekers get a taste of what is available, it takes a longer session to more fully explore all that our state and national forests have to offer, and to acquire the skills necessary for such exploration.

Canoers also headed out for a full day trip to the Little Tennessee to get the next level of whitewater experience.  The increased length of the river and more powerful currents make the partner pairs work together to control the 15 foot canoes in order to avoid rocks, get speed boosts with downstream V’s, and catch a breather in an eddy along the way.  This is the first level of river that requires boaters to handle themselves comfortably or be pushed along by the constant flow. This is also the level where boating fever is contagious and lights many a fire to get back out on moving water.

Mountain biking also enjoyed the gorgeous day over in DuPont with a wonderfully smooth trip along several of the many trails.  The amount of effort each camper has put in to make it on those trails is amazing with days spent practicing braking, downhill position, obstacle courses, and controlling their bikes in a split second (or two).  Because so much of the safety on the trail involves a camper’s awareness, this constant rehearsal of techniques is necessary to ingrain each movement into a camper’s muscle memory so they react with conditioned reflex.  The need for this work becomes instantly understandable to the guys after they tackle their first trail, which they love but come back respecting fully.

Our youngest campers headed out this evening for a night on Sliding Rock and then over to Dolly’s for some serious ice cream love.  The excitement level with the crew was uncontainable as they were gradually herded together and corralled into vans.  I have no doubt there will be loud, convincing cases made for the best ice cream flavor and the exact temperature of the Davidson river by some very tired, very happy little guys.

Around camp, activities were still going at their usual frenetic pace with tennis balls flying everywhere (sometimes even in the opposite court!), regatta boats getting souped up, and a waterslide/Rock-It combo for Choice Period.  Campers were advancing left and right in Archery and Riflery where several guys had just shot their best scores of the session and were clutching their prized target sheets closely on their way out.  Pottery was busy glazing all sorts of creations and a group of campers practiced their lacrosse throws with crab apples hurled into a pasture.

 The energy in this camper group is seemingly inexhaustible when a new activity or source of excitement presents itself.  I look forward to these next two days of pure fun and watching these guys make the most of every single minute here, literally, every minute. 

Have a great night and please enjoy the pictures,

Woody

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