August 1, 2023 by Woody Noland
This morning was quite the mountain treat as the sun dawned in clear skies. It was cool! The lows last night dipped into the 50’s, making that extra blanket feel so cozy in a bunk bed. You could tell camp was enjoying it because the place was dead quiet before the bell, even in the youngest cabins.
Cozy or not, when that breakfast bell rings the hordes answer. And answer they did as they bellied up to french toast sticks, bacon, eggs, fruits, and cereals. Then assembly did its merry thing and off into a camp day we went.
Trips were the first push to get that early jump. Canoers pushed off after an early breakfast bound for the Green river for a full day trip in whitewater a step above what the campers have seen so far. Hiking took a fun group over to Panthertown for a six mile hike complete with a swim at the base of a waterfall. The guys made it back just before dinner looking a little weary and like a lot of woodsy fun had happened. Climbers took two different crews up to the High Rocks for more time on real rock and mountain biking had a trip spend the morning in Dupont.
With four days left in camp, activities were moving apace as campers are working towards completing projects and goals. Climbers on the tower have acquired a familiarity with the tower and now know the routes they want to attain before the end of camp. It is neat to hear campers swapping advice and tips back and forth about routes, or even particular moves that prove challenging. Mountain biking also saw some guys leveling up to riding Shrimper’s Delight, a trail purpose-made for biking that throws a series of moves/turns at our riders, requiring knowledge and control to negotiate successfully.
Archery and Riflery had switch day yesterday where guys, if they choose, can move from shootings rifles to bows, or the opposite. Lots of guys do take the opportunity in this session since they are curious about both. Some stayed with their first choice as they were experiencing success, moving up in a rank, and wanted to continue their progress. Some archers recently moved to shooting 15 yards instead of 10, and I believe every one of those opted to remain on the archery side!
That same sort of ownership and decision making is happening around camp at this stage of the session. Campers are becoming comfortable advocating for things they would like to accomplish or a new activity they would like to try. The ability to choose different challenges in camp is really appealing for a young guy who may not always experience that kind of control. It certainly presents important moments for a camper where he can make a brave choice, face down nerves, or achieve a new opportunity unlocked by hard work. At times as these guys practice this skill, it also means that they may not be ready to make that brave choice, or need further assistance from counselors in better understanding what is on offer. It feels good seeing these boys begin to realize that agency for themselves.
Speaking of choices, campers had one to opt into the mud pit this afternoon before dinner and quite the crowd went charging out there. The muddy tracks leading out of the pit, into the lake, and then the (slightly) less muddy prints back into camp were evidence of the fun had, and potentially of the work waiting in morning chores tomorrow!
Please enjoy the pictures from today. We will see you back here on Wednesday with yet more!
Have a good night,