Community Minded

This Tuesday was a beautiful morning with clear skies, a light breeze, and a loud-n-proud wake up bell to start the day. For our 4 Weekers, that morning energy is an expected part of the day and if the typical yelling does not occur they are not shy in asking what happened. For our brand new crew of Mini II campers, this was their first morning waking up at camp and it provided a fun jumpstart to their day!

With a spread of cinnamon toast, eggs, sausage, hashbrowns, and fresh fruits, the camp crew was, as always, well fed and content heading into assembly. Some noisy motion songs took care of the last few sleepy heads in the crowd and the day was at full speed.

This third week sees a cool blend of recently arrived guys, and campers who have been here engaging in activities at full speed. The 4 Weekers have goals and they are getting after them. They know the program inside and out at this point, which allows them the opportunity to think outside of themselves (at times) and become aware of a bigger picture. They are doing a really neat job of showing the Mini campers what camp can be as you advance skills, are comfortable being away from home, and take advantage of all of the additional opportunities at camp. For our young guys, seeing these older boys doing camp so successfully turns them near-immediately into role models for this experience which is something we talk to our 4 Weekers about frequently. To then have those same guys take the time to chat with them, point them in the right direction, or listen to a story is beyond cool and makes camp feel more welcoming to boot.

That kind of mindset is not limited to the 4 Week campers. Today I got to see a returning Mini II camper happily taking time this afternoon to walk a first year Mini fellow through the game of disc golf. As you can imagine, each hole was well above par and the experienced camper kept a consistent stream of encouragements and “Don’t worry about it” going as they played around the course. No worries about getting slowed down, no problems with errant throws, just a pretty afternoon being spent with a friend in a fun way. Other campers were volunteering to show brand new boys where their morning activities were located. Not only as a fun way to show their expertise, but clearly able to think about how that could feel for the new man on the scene. I even heard several guys hearkening back to their first summer (sometimes all the way back to just last year), how they felt early on, and wanting to be there for others in that same situation.

As the vibes were good in camp, out of camp was busy with a fair number of advanced trips. Our climbers were in the midst of their 3 day trip and having a blast. Our canoers headed for the Nantahala river for a long, cold day in faster, splashier water. Hikers headed out for an overnight up at Black Balsam, high up on the Blue Ridge Parkway and with stunning views in all directions. Our mountain bikers took a fast moving trip of experienced riders to Dupont and covered some serious miles of trail, loving the cool morning and dry conditions!

As I type this, the noises in camp are now the residential kind. Excitements and card games emanating from cabins while everyone works through their shower rotations, brushes teeth, holds cabin meetings, and settles in for a well-deserved rest. I hope you at home also are beginning to do the same, enjoy the day’s pictures, the highlight video below, and we will see you back here tomorrow!

Good night,


Today’s Pictures