Thank You Mini Men!
July 14, 2017 by Woody Noland
Today dawned beautifully with a warm breeze and clear skies that promised more heat to come. It was in many ways a typical day at camp, with trips heading out early after a fortifying breakfast of sausage biscuits, gravy, grits, fruit, and the ever-present ranks of cereal.
Canoers had a big day on Section 3 of the Chattooga which had them negotiating some seriously technical rapids while also paddling many miles. Climbers were pumped to be on the North Side of Cedar Rock where they were hoping to some quiet routes to enjoy in some shade. Hikers hunted for blueberries and enjoyed big mountain views from the top of Sam Knob. Mountain bikers cruised some lesser used trails in Dupont in the afternoon, hitting some heavily forested sections to combat the sun. In camp, Connestee tackled the ropes course with shrieks of fun/fear echoing out of the gym. Pottery made their way to the cabin field with hunks of clay for some nature-focused inspiration, and sailors embraced the wind to go whipping about the lake.
All in all, a very normal day with a few notable exceptions. There were some conclusions to some rather special events happening at the same time. For the majority of campers here this was the close of our second week, which had some campers realizing the speed at which life is moving here at High Rocks. Several cabin groups are prepared to focus their meeting tonight on the big goals each camper has, and what steps they have already taken in meeting those marks. The enthusiasm throughout the day for everything from ice cream for dessert, to particularly passionate performances in tonight’s Air Band event was noticeably louder and it felt as if campers are already squeezing every bit of fun from their time here.
For one group of very tired/stinky guys, this was a definite conclusion to an impressive undertaking. Our Ellicott Rock/Foothills Trail 5 Day trip returned after a very enjoyable, very physically demanding excursion. The stories told so far have included finding delicious berries, having amazing food packed for the trip, encountering little rain, and feeling extremely proud of the miles they covered, included a 16 mile day on Tuesday. Having a shared experience like that creates a strong bond amongst those involved, and most of the return van ride was full of stories, chatter, and inside jokes. There was a neat moment though when one camper asked for the group to enjoy the final minutes of the ride in silence, and so they came into camp savoring their last bits of time together before reintegrating into the larger camp community.
Another big conclusion happened for our group of Mini campers today as they finished their final full day at camp and prepared for departure tomorrow. There is always excitement at the prospect of seeing families soon, showing off their camp, their activities, and their friends. This was amplified by a fun treasure hunt with a theme of Lucky Charms to finish off their last evening activity for this year. There was also some sadness as these young guys contemplate leaving this place that has become a home over the two weeks. Horses received final goodbye pats, projects were collected, and trunks were packed. There were also goodbyes said to Four Week friends, camper and counselors, and there will be a noticeable hole tomorrow when these campers leave us as they have certainly made an impact! During a brief closing evaluation filled out by each camper we received comments like ” Camp is a 10 out of 10, except the last day which is a 1 cause I am leaving” and “Every cabin should have its own camp dog” were touching and fun to read. We are excited for the reunion fun tomorrow, the stories that will be told, and hopefully to see these campers back after another year.
Please enjoy the pictures from today. We will see some of you here with us in the morning, and for the rest, same time tomorrow evening!