Upper Senior Challenge
July 23, 2017 by Don Gentle
This Sunday morning could have been the most leisure morning yet. It was a quiet morning as we let the boys slowly roll up to breakfast almost anytime they wanted. We enjoyed some of those scratch-made cinnamon rolls from Nate and a few cartoons while the boys enjoyed breakfast in their jammies. I even saw a couple of bathrobes out there! By 10 AM we all headed back for cabin clean-up, and then down to the lake for our morning service. Will Johnson and a couple of the staff shared the story of the Lorax and some good thoughts about making the most out of our world.
We wrapped up the morning with a number of choice activities. The only requirement is that the boys had to take in the beauty of the day by being outside. Many of the guys felt like the lake was their primary destination to beat the heat. Again, many boys took the quiet morning to relax by the lake or in the shade either just hanging out, reading a book, or playing a few rounds of disc golf. I will say, most of camp was on the lake.
This afternoon brought about a number of age-group activities that included the waterslide, canoeing, capture the flag, and the mud pit. The main event, however, was the annual “Upper Senior Challenge!” It is always a highly anticipated event for our oldest group of campers. The event is similar to an adventure race and it is put together very much like ‘The Amazing Race.” Teams have to move from place to place performing tasks and challenges. Each clue takes them to another part of camp where they have to read and communicate the challenge appropriately to the other team members. Most all of the challenges are activities some of the guys have been doing for years at camp. Teams are divided up by cabin groups and only the oldest “upper-senior” group competes. Activities included a lot of running, target sports, mountain biking, climbing, canoeing, the rope swing, swimming, tennis, soccer, and fire building. It was truly a challenge for these boys. They all had a great time and cheered on each other throughout the event. It is one of my favorite Sunday events in camp. I really enjoy seeing these boys, some of who have been here since they were seven, show their mastery and skills they have learned through their years of camp at High Rocks.
My favorite part of the whole day was campfire. I always enjoy this time for all of us to get together, sing some songs, and listen to a story. Sumner Williams, one of the founders’ grandchildren, told a great story about Perseus. The best part was how he explained the “Hero’s Journey” while telling the story. The hero’s journey typically has three parts; a separation, trials, adventures, and victory; finally a return to his life a changed person. Sumner did a great job of weaving our life here at camp as a hero’s journey. We all have our separation, mostly from home and our family. The boys then have several experiences, trials, and adventures. Some of these are hard. Sometimes, they slay the dragon. Finally, they return home until their next adventures. It is only after they return home they realize that something has changed. They are not quite sure what it is, but life will not be the same. The circle continues when they head out for more adventure and more dragons to slay… What a great lesson for the last week of camp.
We are looking for more adventure ahead this week! Until the next encounter…