Oh, the Places They Will Go
June 24, 2013 by Woody Noland
The final week of the session got off to a rocking start this morning with activities in a flurry and trips departing camp left and right, bound for points all over Western NC. Campers that have been working hard for two weeks solid are now reaping the rewards of their efforts as woodworking projects get finished, levels are attained in Achery/Riflery, sailors negotiate our tricky winds with ease, and fishermen move confidently towards their favorite spots. The confidence that their successes have built up to this point is noticeable in their interactions with staff, each other, and the ownership they feel towards the camp program. New ideas and creative (crazy!) suggestions are now flying as campers begin to see all that camp has to offer.
Cavers were the first out this morning as usual, but with three multi-day trips, they weren’t even down the road before other groups were heading out. Climbers left on a two day trip to Looking Glass and had some amazing, dry, cool weather today… the kind perfectly conducive to climbing hard and talking about it around a campfire for a long time. Hiking sent out two trips. An overnight trip left for the Mountain Bridge Wilderness in South Carolina, one of the premier destinations in the upcountry encompassing Caesar’s Head and Jones Gap. Another trip, this one a three day, left for Panthertown Valley which is a stunning wilderness area that is a favorite of many of our staff members. We all look forward to the return of smelly, happy, tired guys with all kinds of stories to tell.
Mountain Biking ran a half-day trip to Dupont which covered some serious miles and showed guys what their in-camp work has been building towards. The trails at Dupont are some of the best in the southeast and there was plenty of talk about big banking turns and HARD uphills, accomplished with great ease in the telling at least. Canoers hit the Lower Green with a mixture of young guys paddling tandem boats and some older campers trying their hand at solo canoes or closed boats. Again, great stories with big eyes from some of the first timers and thumbs up from the counselors who reported a day of serious learning at every level.
The barn also had a big day followed by a fun evening. Today was the first portion of their three day Rolex Riding Event, a much anticipated test of skills and control as campers negotiate cross-country courses, practice their style in dressage, and push themselves harder than any other time the rest of the session. Many of the riders finished off the day with an evening ride and campfire nachos down at the barn, providing an excellent close to a challenging day of horsemanship. These slower moments allow the conversation, or debriefing, to happen naturally and brings home many of the lessons the guys are not even aware of learning in the heat of the action. With two more days of the Rolex, more will be forthcoming!
Thanks for checking in this evening. As I type this, a rainstorm is rolling in right as campers are settling into bed, making for perfect sleeping conditions and exactly the kind of rest these guys need to push it hard again tomorrow. Enjoy the pictures and have an excellent night!