What a Week
August 5, 2016 by Woody Noland
It is hard to believe that our first “work” week of camp is coming to a close already! These guys have now been living the camp life for five days and you can see a difference in how easily they negotiate the grounds, the dining hall, and the cabin routine of brushing teeth, showering, and meeting every night (not easy in the space of one hour). The speed of the day is picking up as well with campers running from place to place, having a plan ahead of time for the choice periods of the day, and having self-imposed schedules of meeting times/locations with groups of friends for a round of disk golf or an assault on the Rock-It down at swimming. It is great to see this crew of young ones coming into their own here and beginning to have a hand in creating the experience they would like to have.
With three full days of activity instruction under their belts, there were loads of campers ready to head out of camp and put new skills to the test. A group of hikers summoned the fortitude to leave camp for a full day even when the morning dawned misty and cool. They crushed a large breakfast and hopped into the van for a short mountain cruise to DuPont State Forest with lunch and full water bottles in tow. With stream crossings, rhododendron tunnels, and some beautiful waterfall glimpses, the boys had all kinds of stuff to check out. A quick lunch kept mind and body together, but after a whole day of solid hiking in mountainous terrain, the van returned with some seriously hungry guys. Tonight’s dinner of rolls, lasagna, corn, broccoli, salad, and ice cream sundaes(!) proved no match.
As hikers were cruising in the deep forests, canoers sent two separate groups to the French Broad for a taste of introductory whitewater near the headwaters of the river. After much practice on our lake where the only obstacle is created by a stiff breeze, the chance to see how a canoe responds to a river current is an exciting (and challenging) event. Partners learn the importance of communication and a plan created before peeling out of a calm eddy as the river does not stop pushing once you are engaged. Both groups came back singing loudly to pop music on the radio and feeling fairly saucy about themselves after two smooth trips down the section.
Another group of campers also got out of camp, but this time on foot as they joined a Nature with Nick trip out onto some of the many miles of trail on camp property. The mist in the woods made the trip even more of an adventure with the campers feeling like they had moved WAY out of camp and had the mountain totally to themselves. I think all of the guys came back with a new and healthy respect for how many different mushrooms, insects, tree species, and birds surround us here at camp, often without our knowing!
In camp activities continued to buzz with archers and riflemen continuing to fine tune their aim, fishermen discovering the deeper coves along the shore, and eager tennis players participating in an afternoon clinic aimed at honing some particular skills. Swimmers, sailors, and paddleboarders all were enjoying the water in the warm afternoon, while mountain bikers were hitting trails and horseback riders were nearly all trotting!
Thanks for checking in this evening and have a great start to your weekend. Please enjoy all of the pictures and we will see you back here tomorrow.