Just Horsing Around

It was notable this morning, walking to the dining hall for an early meeting. The day was already warm (low 70’s) and the sky clear, which indicated a day approaching mountain hot, with the chance of a thunderstorm as the heat builds throughout the morning.

Breakfast was busy with trips eating early as per usual and the rest of camp moving a little sleepily through the dining hall today. Assembly saw a good bit more pep once the music started. Some Flaming Lips and Taylor Swift seemed to really jumpstart the crowd and camp was rocking once more.

The canoers were first out of camp today with a Nantahala trip gone before most made it to breakfast. It sounds like their trip was great, lots of people, lots of cold water, lots of fun. It was certainly a tired looking crew that made it back to camp this evening, and one that was very excited for dinner. 

A Cedar Rock climbing trip also spent the day out of camp, though they found themselves ducking and dodging storms for the second half of the day. As always, days like that turn into more of a forest adventure rather than just a climbing focus. Age Group 4 guys stepped out of their morning activities for a spin on the ropes course. And our hikers spent the day in Pisgah as well, though focused on some swimming/sliding at Whaleback Falls.

That early promise of heat rang true, as did the attendant thunderstorm. As camp enjoyed a lunch of tomato basil soup, fancy grilled cheeses, and various veggie sides the dining hall was lashed with a strong storm which wrapped up just at the end of the meal. Then a rest hour spent in much cooler conditions before the afternoon commenced.

In camp, activities were cranking along at full speed with all of our campers feeling quite comfortable in the routine and focused on accomplishing goals. With one week left for all, it suddenly feels like the clock is beginning to tick down and you can sense the increase in urgency with the campers’ focus on that next step. That same increase comes, oddly, with a relaxed and casual vibe around camp as these long summer days are soaked up for all they are worth. Parts of the day may be spent trying to top out on the advanced wall of the tower, canter on a horse, or rank up in shooting sports. With this can come stress and frustration as a guy wants to accomplish something and finds it hard to do so. Parts of the same day may see a group of friends flopped under a shade tree with some time to kill before lunch, just chatting and enjoying being with each other. It is a special time in camp, one earned through a shared sense of hard work and fun, challenges and comfort. 

The last week tends to fly by and the end of camp will be here before we know it. Heading into this weekend though, the days will still feel long and somewhat shielded from what comes next after camp. I expect the pictures will continue to show campers working, but also letting themselves be in the moment, be with friends, and be those inner goofy guys they enjoy being in a place like this. 

Please enjoy, and we will see you back tomorrow.

Woody Noland

Today’s Pictures