Wildlife Wednesday

After a day like yesterday, with such extravagant displays of patriotic enthusiasms from dawn to dusk, it was no surprise that this morning began on a quieter note… It could hardly have done otherwise, but begin it did with biscuits, sausage, eggs, grits, fruits, and a comfort in restored routine.

Though a calm day by camp standards, it still included groups meeting up early for a hearty breakfast before venturing forth for some adventures. Our mountain bikers took the short hop over to Dupont, and why not when you have a network of world class trails just next door. The weather was just about perfect with cloud cover keeping things cool, but not wet. A group of our Lakeside and Foxhollow Mini I guys headed up high for a ropes course experience. From most corners in camp you knew campers were up there and enjoying themselves. Sound carries quite well from the top of the tower, especially that much of it!

Canoers were already loaded and ready to bolt from the preparations on the evening before, somehow sandwiched between activities and fireworks. They enjoyed a run on the Green river, with slightly fewer tubers thronging the waters than the day before. A group of climbers also took off for a full day spent at Melrose Mountain. The weather held pretty nicely for them, though it is a bit warmer than up here at camp! We also had a group of hikers pack up for an overnight trip to Panthertown Valley. They left in high spirits, talking waterfalls and tasty campfire foods. I look forward to hearing how the trip went on their return tomorrow afternoon.

In camp, the noise and bustle returned without too much effort on the campers’ part. There certainly is a relaxed swagger that our guys have now, and a sense of ownership about the place and the experience. While certainly benefitting from nudges in the right direction at times, they know what to do, how to do it, and how to grab a snack on the way. Sailors and paddleboarders both were out on the lake and enjoying the warm afternoon with frequent splashes into the water. Canoers and kayakers were doing much same as they worked on the gates course or practiced their roles. 

With the somewhat cloudy skies and health population of insects about, the fish were biting satisfactorily. Our fishermen were a little surprised that the fish were not more shell-shocked after the concussive display of fireworks from the evening before. They proved quite resilient, especially when a live worm was thrown in every now and again. Our bikers in camp were loving the trails as well, with some neat shots of the guys on Shrimper’s Delight. If you look closely at some you will see a daredevil of a turtle hanging out on one of the berm turns to catch some sunshine. 

Horseback riders also took advantage of the nice weather to head out of the riding rings and onto camp’s trail networks. It always feels very real as a rider when it is just you and your horse with the thousand acres of woods and pastures around you. On a mission of my own this morning I came to a trail intersection at precisely the same time as a group of riders and a group of bikers. It was neat to watch the trail etiquette of both groups as they communicated and then allowed the bikers through first as the riders waited. Skills to be practiced at camp and then taken to the greater outdoor world. Climbers were having a blast at the tower with some personal goals being met on the inside walls as certain routes were climbed for an individual’s first time. All climbing productivity came to a halt for a bit though as a large black snake passed through the area, prompting lots of requests for photos staged in front of said snake.

This evening was Age Group 2’s opportunity at Chill Night and off they went with some serious excitement. The prospect of cold water and colder ice cream had them singing loudly down the road as the vans headed off.

And that was today. Camp is once again quiet as I finish up typing this. Some well-earned rest is clearly the move right now before another busy day comes bright and early. Enjoy the evening’s pictures and we will see you back tomorrow!

Woody Noland

Today’s Pictures