July 29, 2014 by Don Gentle
I stepped outside at 7:15 this morning to meet a beautiful sunrise and the brisk mountain air. It was a cool 57 degrees this morning. As Barley (my trusty hound) and I made our way up to the bell, you could already hear the rustling of campers. Even though the bell was another thirty minutes away, the boys were far too excited to sleep. They tried hard to be quiet in their bunks, but the temptation was far too great. A soft whisper floats out of a cabin; “hey Don!” I quietly make my way. I poured a cup of hot coffee and waited outside by the bell to take in the morning beauty. The mountains of North Carolina sure are an awesome place to have a summer camp. Time flies when you are trying to have a moment for yourself. It was time to get to the wake-up bell. The chimes of the bell echoed through the hills, quickly followed by Sumner’s trumpet belting out morning revelry. The screams and excitement of camp came alive! I screamed out after revelry “Good Morning High Rocks!”
It sure was pretty cool to see these boys all head off to begin their own adventure this morning. Main camp can seem like a pretty big place to a little guy. The one constant I hear from alumni when they return for a visit is that camp seems so much smaller. To a point, they are correct. The inseam of a seven-year-old requires a whole lot more steps than a grown man. Nonetheless, these boys headed out of assembly armed with their schedule and backpack off to face the first challenges of the day! Little did they know, they had already conquered several challenges already. The all got dressed, mad their beds, cleaned up their living space, and assembled their own breakfast. All of this in a matter of an hour. I don’t know about you, but I still find that a challenge as an adult some days.
Today set the stage for many years to come (we hope). The boys were off to learn new skills in an atmosphere that feels like play. They tipped over canoes, rigged sailboats, road horses, and even learned about handling nature’s call in the woods (The poop talk). Each boy made their own decision about what their challenges would be today. Many travel in the same direction as some of their cabin mates, but others venture out to find their own horizons. It sure was cool to see those proud faces head off to their first activities.
The day remained beautiful and cool. The boys tore into activities and enjoyed some free time and choice periods. I am always impressed how popular disc golf is for the kids. It is a great game for boys to get to know each other, and even enjoy time with staff at a different level. Mail was also a big hit. Don’t forget to send letters. The boys like to get mail.
Tomorrow is going to be another big day! Stay tuned for Chill Night and our first cabin overnights of the session.