Sunday -Friends and MUD
August 5, 2018 by Don Gentle
So Sunday’s at camp are always a little different. We like to slow down a bit, think about the week we just completed, and ponder on the week ahead. This morning was definitely that kind of morning. There was a little rush to my day because I had to be sure to prep the mud field for our late morning arrival. The sun was coming up and there was a nice cool feel to the mountain air. Just about perfect! The perfection was added when I made my way to the dining hall to find the team rolling out scratch-made cinnamon rolls. While there were some still being rolled out, there were others just out of the oven! I was so excited! I felt like a schoolboy looking through the window at a Krispy Kreme shop. If you’re from the Southeast you already know. The Wall of Glaze… This is the term my friends and I came up with in regards to the fountain of glaze that rolls over the doughnuts as they come out of the fryer in a Krispy Kreme shop. While we didn’t have the wall of glaze, the icing was poured right out of a gallon pitcher over the cinnamon rolls! It was lovely! A perfect match for my hot morning coffee. Of course, the boys loved them and we had plenty of other sides like eggs, grits, cereal, and the fresh fruit bar.
After breakfast, Zoob led a wonderful service down by the lake. The focus on today’s message was on making friends. What it means to be a good friend and even some skills on friendship. She even used several examples so that all the age groups would understand. Camp High Rocks is a great place to learn how to make friends. With the fantastic mentors to lead the way, the boys are learning new skills in no time. I think it is also important to put it right out there with the boys. I have compiled a little list of some of the skills here that Zoob presented this morning. Stick these in your pocket for later when the boys come home. Why not spread the learning and joy to everyone!
- Smile -It lets people know you might be fun and approachable. It’s right there with standing up straight and making eye contact.
- Ask Questions -It shows you care and are interested in others.
- Invite and Join -Be inclusive and include yourself with what others are doing. For a friendship to begin, someone has to take action.
- Find the right tribe. -Look for others that share some of your interests, ideas, and joy.
- Share -About yourself, Your things. Again, like everything in the world, it takes practice. Sharing shows interest and that you care.
- Enjoy Friends’ Victories -This will enhance every relationship and make it stronger. It’s not an easy one for boys…
- Try to resolve your problems together -You do not always have to run to an adult to fix it. See if you can work it out. These are lifelong skills that will be used everywhere.
- Show empathy and practice kindness. These are also muscles we need to build. You only build them with use.
Zoob did a great job of using our dog, Barley (the lovable golden you see in pictures) as a way to explain some of the friendship skills. “How do you know Barley is interested in hanging out with you? What does Barley do to tell you he’s excited to see you?” Of course, hands went up all over with all sorts of way Barley shows his friendship. It was a great lesson that we all can learn from and use.
The end of the morning took us back into a flurry of excitement. I enjoyed the age-group games that the boys were playing. There is nothing that excites the boys more than a good game of capture the flag, or even our own made-up game of “canoe fill-ups.” There were a few other field games in the process as well, but I didn’t quite make it that far to see their plans. I did enjoy the march to the mud pit. I think boys and mud are right up there with boys and projectiles. The two go hand in hand. It is truly fantastic to see the transition that happens when these boys approach the march through the pit. Some boys are fine with one pass. Several take a little bit to warm up to the idea. Still, others are not content until they have made several passes. I made a pass in the pit myself today. It is quite enjoyable. It always makes for incredible pictures. I’m pretty sure this would be a tough one to pull off at home.
Our afternoon was filled with the annual carnival. An event that allows the boys to play some traditional games of skill, bounce in the bounce house, face painting, coffee sack races, or even drop your counselor in the dunk tank. After a couple hours of the carnival fun, we sent the boys back to showers and clean clothes. For dinner tonight, we enjoyed a fantastic cookout on the lawn complete with hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and all the fixins.
Tonight at campfire we handed out our five-year backpack to a few guys that made it this year. It was a great moment to show the boys how you can make High Rocks a new place and start where you left off the next year. We enjoyed singing some quieter song than we sing at assembly. We also enjoyed a great rendition of Gilgamesh told by one of our head staff. Gilgamesh is believed to be one of the oldest pieces of literature ever. Jeff used a lot of humor and did a great job of keeping the boys engaged. They really enjoyed it.
We wrapped up with some thoughts about the upcoming five days remaining, shared a thought that was then passed to another, and sang taps. We quietly descended to our cabins for the evening ready for the week ahead.
Itis going to be a great week!