Five Days To Go?
July 17, 2023 by Don Gentle
The Canadian wildfire smoke created a little haze that created a cool effect as the sun came up this morning. It was quite a delight. Today we were back out on trips and enjoying the fruits of their labor over these last few weeks. The boys are working hard and having a blast. Climbing, paddling, and mountain biking has trips out today. In camp, the boys are enjoying their activities and time together. We even had a “float day” for the boys around 5:00 pm. Some program staff ran around camp making up root beer, coke, and Cheerwine floats for the boys. It was a big hit and a welcome cool-off. I enjoyed the sunrise this morning.
Some parents feel like four weeks of camp is too long. If you ask any of the boys in our month-long session, they will just as soon stay for five. The four weeks add a lot to a camper’s opportunity. Not only do they enjoy all the fun and excitement of camp, but their skills also progress to levels that equal some of our staff. The level of trips that happen in four weeks is incredible! It gives the boys an opportunity to take a five-day backpacking trip, and then turn around the next week and go on a two-day mountain biking trip. It’s impressive to watch a camper score a 45 in archery (five arrows) at FORTY YARDS! Or like some of the whitewater pictures; young men learning to enjoy class III whitewater in a tandem canoe. It’s important to remember that these boys are not just being “guided” like a tourist through these activities. The boys learn not just to climb, but to be a climber. They not only learn what it means to belay a friend up the rock but also trust a friend to do the same. High Rocks is far from an amusement park. It is a real experience that prepares them for today’s world.
I don’t want to confuse anyone. Some of these boys have worked several summers to get to this level of skill. I would say that is precisely what makes the reward even more enjoyable. The life skills of learning what it takes to master a skill reach far beyond the trees here at camp. And I haven’t even touched on the lasting friendships and independence they have learned over these last few weeks. I am so thankful for every one of the four-week parents that already understand everything I have mentioned above. Camp is so important in the development of young men!
Not to fret. Two weeks is still a great place to be! Our Mini II boys had a huge day! The Hillside boys had a morning on the ropes course. Tomorrow Connestee will get their chance. Tonight Lakeside and Foxhollow of the Mini II men headed out for the last “Chill Night” of the session. They will enjoy a night at the world-famous Sliding Rock with water coming down at about 65 degrees! A chilly event. As if that was not enough, the boys will then head to the locally famous Dolly’s Dairy Bar to finish up the chilling event with a little ice cream. It is one of our favorite evening events that the boys always look forward to attending. Hillside and Connestee will get to do that tomorrow night.
Have a Great Night!