What a Blast
July 19, 2022 by Woody Noland
In this last week of the session, days begin in both a sleepy and expert fashion. The morning was clear and gorgeous, allowing for the bell ring to carry clear across camp with the responding cheers by the anticipating campers.
Our paddlers heading to Section 3 of the Chattooga were the ringers this morning, dragging themselves from their beds early for a long run on a stunning and challenging section of river. Sleepy they were, but also excited for the trip ahead and moving with an efficiency that only comes with weeks of practice doing just this sort of thing.
The paddlers had eaten and left camp by the time some guys were rolling into the dining hall for breakfast, followed shortly by an all-day mountain biking group doing an advanced ride into Pisgah. The trails in Pisgah tend to be more difficult and our riders can now verify that fact with steep descents, big rocks, and some gnarly, slippery root sections. All went well with the expected popped tube or two as part of the process, with some very tired guys returning to camp rather proud of themselves for their successes. Climbers also ventured off to Pisgah for a day on the South Side of Looking Glass. Lots of sunny clear weather made for some wonderful climbing for the guys, and some big views as they popped out above the tree lines! Hikers returned to camp today from an overnight in Panthertown. Stories of good food and swimming holes made it sound like they enjoyed the trip immensely.
In camp, the heat is on to finish goals and feel like every bit of the session has been wrung dry of all its worth. Let me be clear that this heat is self-applied by campers, looking to make that last achievement before heading home for the year. Archery and riflery both have campers putting in extra time where possible to change position or distance as they march through the ranks. Paddlers on the lake are committing some serious sweat equity into the gates course, working hard to earn their way into decked boats. Climbers have a particular route in mind that would make the end of the session feel even more accomplished, and have done a really good job communicating that to the counselors who are encouraging them in that direction.
Tonight, Age Group 2 headed out for their Chill Night of fun and freezing. Half of our Upper Seniors also ate an early dinner and went golfing at the par 3 course just across the highway from camp. It was great to see collared shirts and an air of class moving in that direction. Age Group 1 happily engaged in Strangers in the Alps on camp fire hill, mostly with a ton of running and screaming. Age Group 3 had quite a battle in canoe fill-ups while Age Group 4 was having a blast on the tennis courts, a favorite spot. The other half of the Upper Senior crew, while waiting for their turn at golf tomorrow, chose to spend their night caroling all of camp. They grabbed song books, a music stand, and literally marched across the full length and breadth of camp, loudly singing their way through the book. They included all the other age groups, counselors on time off, the office, and our nurses in the health center. It was classic camp fun done well by the big guys.
Another one of the really cool moments of the day was happening on the activity field with Crafts doing Launch Day. There were a variety of rockets out there, some small and fast with pretty easy recovery ranges and some a bit bigger that also packed parachutes. Some of the parachuted options were also taking eggs up as “payloads” to test the impact it would have on range and whether or not it could return the egg to the ground without (too many) ill effects. There were other rockets that were loaded with a more powerful engine capable of a stronger flight. Campers choosing that option were warned ahead of time that this may make recovery much more difficult. Knowing this up front, some persevered and sure enough there were launches where no observer was able to see quite when the return flight began. I think I may be finding cool rocket surprises out on winter walks through the property this year! May you guys enjoy the evening’s pictures and the video highlights below as well. We will see you back here tomorrow!
P.S. Look at those faces!