End of the “Work Week”
July 28, 2023 by Woody Noland
Our “work week” closed out today with a morning that was clear and already promising of some summer heat to come. Now, heat for us here on the mountain top may top out in the mid-80’s, but the morning was noticeable nonetheless.
Yet the bell rang and the bustle began, with cabins getting cleaned and eager young folks showing up in droves at the dining hall. After breaking their fast on andouille sausage, scrambled eggs, oatmeal, cereals, fruits, yogurts and more, the crowd streamed down to morning assembly to sing loudly. Loud enough to have songs like Dunderbeck clearly audible on the other side of camp.
Then the day began in earnest. Our canoers sent a group to the French Broad to get that first taste of whitewater in their canoes. It is always a bit startling after learning on a lake to then be in a body of water that has its own agenda! Hikers took a crew into Pisgah for a full day hike centering on Looking Glass and some big views of the low Pisgah forest and high peaks. Climbers also took two separate trips to the High Rocks for the first real taste of rock. The boys enjoy the challenge of trying to discern holds on a rock face rather than have it be color-coded with holds on the tower. Is it frustrating at times? Of course, and that is part of why they look so satisfied marching back into camp!
Activities in camp were going at full speed as well this morning. Campers clearly know the routine now and are fine tuning their way across camp. They know exactly how long it takes to get from one activity to another, or to deviate from their route just long enough to grab a snack in the dining hall. Now, this is certainly not to say that everyone is on time everywhere. There are a lot of distractions out there in camp as well. The trap of a mud puddle, a new bug or mushroom, or sometimes just a quick throw of a golf disc with a friend can throw the best laid plans askew. Then the crackle of a radio call and some counselor encouragement gets things back on the rails and locomoting once more!
In pottery, campers were glazing pieces in preparation for firing them in the kiln to take home. Some guys had made mugs or bowls, while others had spent some quality focused time on really cool action figures.
Canoers and sailors alike were working across the whole lake today. For sailors, the breeze only makes things easier and the guys are enjoying their growing comfort with the boats. For canoers, that same breeze adds a layer of difficulty to moving about the lake, or arriving at a specified location. While it is good practice for whitewater in a way, there was some muttering about how the wind was interfering with their intentions.
Fishermen were having a good time of it with fish being willing to offer themselves up to the hook in exchange for some of the tasty baits the guys were using. Horseback riders were also making good use of the morning with work in the ring and lots of “wish horse” requests as campers decide on a favorite steed.
As is typical here, with the build up of heat all morning comes the release of a thunderstorm in early afternoon to cool things off and slow things down. Today’s dose did just that, rather delightfully, and saw activities pivot to alternative locations, alternative programming, or just carry on at full speed. Canoers and swimmers are clearly not bothered a whit by rain and were out there doing the thing.
Soccer set up a neat scrimmage game and had their boys out in the rain loving life. There were multiple goals, lots of dynamic rules, and plenty of energy on the pitch. Biscuit also heard the fun and came running to investigate. It did not take long for her to join the game and become the most aggressive defender of the ball out there!
The day began winding down with Choice Period offerings being enjoyed on the courts, field, gym, and lake. Connestee, Hillside, and Flattop all headed out for their cabin overnights tonight. Age Group 3 was on their Chill Night and arrived not long ago with a ice cream induced ruckus after sliding repeatedly into freezing water. Then camp began to fall quiet rather quickly through shower time and getting set for bed. A wicked sunset and a healthy population of fireflies set the scene to welcome in the weekend properly.
I hope you all are enjoying your Fridays as much as we are here at High Rocks. Have fun looking through the pictures this evening and we will see you back here tomorrow!