Real Place, Real Importance

The weather was near perfect up here with temperatures at just around 80 degrees for the hot part of the day. There was a light breeze with mostly to partly cloudy skies.  Western North Carolina was meant for summer camp! We are also situated right at 3000 feet, which gives us even a little more advantage than just Brevard. I’m sure some of my low country families cannot even understand what this feels like in the summer.  Sure, we get some rain. It rains most days this time of year.  It keeps the lake clean, the grass green, cools us off in the afternoon, AND it typically rains for about an hour. Why do you think rest hour is positioned so perfectly? We had some on and off sprinkles and then some showers are moving in tonight.  It’s wonderful and it’s real…

I really enjoyed one of the High Rocks modern classics down at rock climbing. Crate stacking is an acrobatic feat that requires the climber to ascend and stack milk crates as he slowly adds one at a time without letting them tip over. Of course, they are on belay and roped in with plenty of guys cheering them on. It requires a lot of balance and poise. Some boys were able to get as many as 12 crates. An impressive feat. The pictures tell a lot of the story here.

Hiking enjoyed some car camping days.  Picture a drive-in campground and you probably have the idea.  Lawn games, music, a hillbilly hot tub (pick-up filled with water), and smores around the fire. Add a little music, and it was just nice to be around each other. 

I spent some time out and about camp helping out with various tasks, and picking up lost and found, trash. I even cleaned out the pavilion. It gives me a little “fly on the wall” perspective sometimes.  The staff doesn’t notice you out there and the campers like to see what you are up to doing.  These boys really are having a great time. It still tickles me how boys try to get your attention.  Of course, I get a lot of “Hey, Don” as I walk about. That’s the “look at me,” do you know my name” phrase. But some guys just use a lot of questions. I usually take to the question with a grain of salt and just say “How is your day going?” or “Tell me what the best thing is about this activity?”  Really, they just want to hang out and feel like they have a connection. When you give them a little of your time, the strange questions go away, and they start thinking a little about the conversation.  Kids are funny, AND when they are asking the random question, they don’t really want an answer per se. They just think you are cool and want to hang out. the boys want to know you think they are cool too. 

In my other life, I am a board member of our local Boys and Girls Club. A fantastic non-profit in our local community that works hard for kids that need it most. I have been on the board for several years. and have served in many positions including President/Chair.  I find it to be my other children’s ministry. When I was board chair, I ended nearly every meeting with “It’s all about the kids.”  Well, it really is all about the kids!  Days like today keep me focused on the mission and the needs of the campers. It’s all about the kids!

Have a great night. We certainly are!

Don Gentle

Today’s Pictures