Those Brave Camp Moments

Tuesday dawned cool and cloudy for a rather slow start to a very busy day. After the sheer enthusiasm and energy spent yesterday celebrating the 4th, it seemed quite reasonable to see sleepy guys staggering to breakfast. A meal of eggs, cream of wheat, sausages, and blueberry bread got things moving a little quicker down to assembly where the band always gets the excitement stoked and the singing echoing around camp.

With the confidence that comes with experience, campers flooded in all directions from assembly and began a day focused on goals, projects, trips, and more. One really cool camp moment happened early on the ropes course with Hillside, our youngest group, taking their turn. On the lower course, one young man arrived at the point where he could not bring himself to continue out of (quite reasonable) fear as he balanced on a single, slippery wire. Our counselors responded quickly and he was brought down off the course. As you can imagine, this camper was relieved, embarrassed, and a little worked up. After a moment with a couple of counselors, his cabinmates called him back into the group and were doing an excellent job of including and encouraging him. Not twenty minutes later, the camper had made it to the top of the tower (twice the original height) and went off the zipline to boot! Lots of cheers sounded for that impressively brave moment and his grin was rather huge for the rest of the morning.

Elsewhere in camp, archery and riflery are seeing campers advance through the ranks steadily with a quiet focus not seen in many other activity areas. When I go down to visit, it is natural to speak in a hushed voice as the atmosphere is respectfully cognizant of the need for no sudden distractions. Crafts had campers finishing the painting of rockets and pottery was focused on some rather fantastical monsterous beasts. I was introduced to a mix of a spider and dragon, or a spidragon I was told. Sailors were on the water quickly with campers rigging their boats like experienced hands now and fishermen trolled the waters rather productively with the morning cloudiness.

That cloud cover broke by midday and the day quickly got warm from there. A lunch of chicken wraps, chips and hummus, peaches, and more settled camp into a rather calm rest hour time before charging out for a busy second half of the activity day as well. 

As this was going on, there were also trips heading in many directions. Early in the morning, a group of paddlers headed for the Nantahala river and had a big day on frothy, cold water. Lots of fun, some humbling moments, and some tired guys returned this evening with stories and no small amount of pride. Climbing took a trip to the High Rocks and enjoyed the dry afternoon in shade while scaling some massive boulders. Swimming ran a tubing trip all afternoon on the French Broad stocked full of our Mini I campers. The mountain bikers got to Dupont before the typical daily rush of forest-goers and got a sweet run on Ridgeline, a first for many of the campers on the trip. Hikers dropped a group off for a 3 day trip, starting from lower Pisgah and heading for Mt. Pisgah. Those guys are going to know how high they’ve climbed!

This evening, our Upper Senior group started this session’s Chill night events by eating an early dinner and then heading off for Sliding Rock followed by Dolly’s ice cream. The next two nights will see our Mini campers doing the same. Dinner consisted of beef pot pie, rice, brussel sprouts, rolls, and rice krispy treats. It was the perfect last boost of energy for evening dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, and a rather ridiculous bingo game replete with counselor commentary and Taylor Swift in the background.

Another good day, with campers excited (!) for shower time and the chance to relax back in their cabins. These guys work hard during the day and certainly have gained an appreciate for the cabin time and bonding that the evenings bring. I hope you enjoy the day’s pictures, and last week’s highlight video below. 

See you here tomorrow,

Woody Noland

Today’s Pictures