July 12, 2023 by Don Gentle
Another Waikiki Wednesday was upon us. Many of the boys broke out their favorite Hawaiian-style shirts and took part in the fun! Our Mini II boys were tearing it up in their second full day of activities. It was a beautiful day. We enjoyed the slightly cooler weather and sun throughout the day!
First Time Parents, the first letters from the Mini II campers should be arriving home soon. Some of you may find the first letter could talk about some homesickness. My guess is that they are over it by now. As we mentioned in most of our information, it is an important part of growing up. Don’t forget that an encouraging letter focusing on their achievements is the best tool. Again, I feel like these boys are really rolling in camp right now. I just wanted to set you up for success. Please let me know if you have any concerns.
Many of the four-week guys are in what I call “The Grit” of the camp session. It’s that time during the session when they have a pretty good sense of everything and know exactly what they want. They are also working hard at several goals and activities at the same time. They have this sort of winded, rough, grizzled look about them. Their hair has taken on a new shape of its own. Mostly, because it is about time for a haircut. Their clothes are clean, but they keep trying to wear that same favorite shirt like it’s an important piece of armor. Their shoes have seen more mileage than the rest of the year combined, and they do not usually dry all the way, so they are also looking a little rough. You think they care??? They are certainly all that, they are also having a blast hoping it will never end! The general thought is that we can rest AFTER camp.
Speaking of busy, the thrre-day climb was on day two today up in Linville. The paddlers took off for the Nantahala River. Hikers went up to the highest points of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Mountain bikers took a trip over to Dupont Forest. More of the same for tomorrow. We will also see the senior age group (Overlook and Pinnacle) all head out for an afternoon rafting trip.
Age Group 3 (Flattop and Chalet) took off for their Chill Night this evening. They will enjoy an evening of fun at the world-famous Sliding Rock and then head to Dolly’s for some ice cream before heading back to camp this evening.
Our Mini II guys headed out for their cabin overnight experience. The boys will spend the night out in one of five open-air shelters on our property. While it is only a short hike out to the shelter, just getting a group of boys from Hillside to all move in one direction can be hard enough. Imagine adding a pack, some group gear, a couple of water bottles, and other essential items. This can add a lot to the process even before we even start working in a positive direction.
It’s the little things that make you chuckle. A little four-foot guy with a three-foot pillow sticking out of the pack and a little stuffed animal staring right at you. These are important items! You hear phrases like “my pack is full,” or “I don’t have any room” when asked to carry group gear. Of course, it is! Little Teddy is chillin’ with the pillow in a sleeping bag that isn’t quite stuffed in there all the way, and you have to bring your pillow!?! It will be quite an adventure!
They will make pita pizzas, smores, and play some games around the fire. They may not sleep a lot and the small insulated pad that separates them from the wood floor is not quite the bed of luxury. No matter, the stories will be flying out like crazy in the morning about how it was hard and also super fun. It will be an exciting event had by all! This is the same “girt” we talked about for the four-week boys. They will certainly feel like the cabin is a bed of luxury tomorrow night. I can’t wait to hear the stories!
Have a great night!