Are You Kidding?
June 21, 2014 by Don Gentle
Tomorrow is a big day for me. My two girls will head off to camp at Illahee for two weeks. My oldest, Grace, is returning for her second summer at age 9. However, this will be her first two-week experience. Izzie, while only 7 years old, is heading off for the first time. She didn’t flinch for a minute when we asked if she wanted to go for two weeks. They are both a little excited and nervous. We have been talking the last few nights about all the cool things they get to experience at girls camp, how fun their cabin counselor will be, and all the new friends they will meet. I am so excited for them!
This whole process of packing the kids up (Zoob did most all of it), and sending them off to camp has really hit home. I have been telling parents for twenty years that it is the best thing they can give their child in the summer. And you know what? I think it’s just as important for my kids. I am so excited for them! They will learn so much more from their camp counselor then I can ever teach them.
The camp counselor has a huge advantage; campers think they are the coolest. Campers want to impress their counselors so they tend to do what is asked of them and even add a smile, because that is the cool thing to do. That scenario makes it very easy to do great things with kids. I do have one advantage over you all. Girls talk a little more about their camp experience than the boys do.
Let’s talk about all the cool stuff we did today! What a spectacular Saturday! We started out with our typical pancake and bacon Saturday. However, Nathan thought it would be cool to do red white and blueberry pancakes, so we had a full patriotic rainbow on our plates! Soon after breakfast, the paddlers sent a small group out to the French Broad River trip.
Fishing had all sorts of fun going on. Half the group tried their hand at fishing with landing nets. They bait the water while holding the net very still under water. If they are lucky they catch a fish. Today, they were doing quite well. Part of the class decided to do spotted newt races. Yes, you heard me correctly. Our lake is full of these cool little spotted red newts. The newts like to get back to the water, so the guys made a path or race track and had them racing back to the lake. It was a great event.
Horseback riding let the boys take a shot at bareback riding. They boys mentioned that it was not quite as comfortable, but it sure was a lot less hassle.
Down at the tower was our classic pirate day. Campers put on their pirate faces, make-up, and eye patches. The staff armed themselves with hoses, buckets, and splash bombs. While the boys try to “attack” the tower and “plunder” the candy at the top. The counselors fight back with water guns, buckets, and sponge bombs. It makes for a fun summertime event on a hot sunny day. The best part is that the make-up tends to stick around for a few days. Don’t be surprised if you see a few more pirates still around on Monday :).
Archery had one of my favorite special events, the Clout Shoot! The event starts with a pin in the middle of the field that represents the middle of the ten ring. The archers then, shoot up in the air attempting to get the closest to the pin. It sure is something to watch all of these kids shoot a volley of arrows into the air.
Woodworking has been the talk of the week. Talk about a great activity for young boys. I have two words; “power tools!” It’s not too many places that boy is able to use an air nailer, sander, or scroll saw. All of this under the one-on-one guidance of a qualified staff member. These guys have made some really cool stuff. They will be excited to show you on parents day.
The love kept on rolling all the way over to hiking. Today was car camping day! It was an event complete with pie irons and hot dogs over the fire, lawn games, and a red neck hot tub. For those who are a bit confused, the red neck hot tub is a pick-up truck bed lined and filled with water. The pictures will help explain it.
Finally, tonight we hosted Keystone Camp for a square dance. The boys exchanged their normal choice period for “beautification hour” to prepare for the dance. It was a great event. The boys were excellent hosts and the girls were very kind.
What a day! I could use some rest. Enjoy the pictures of the incredible day. We are not kidding around. It’s just another day at High Rocks.