The Simple Joys!

Dear Parents & Friends,

The simple joys of camp abound here today from the photos I’ve been looking at.  I must confess that I’ve been with the Mountainside paddlers all day until just after 8:00 tonight.  More about that later.  What could be simpler than jump rope on the Green.  How often to you see children jumping rope at home in a neighborhood.  Playing in the Hillside Creek is an evening activity that is open every single night for after supper activities.  Children make dams, they lift rocks to hunt for critters or just chat while the cold water rushes around their feet.  And how about a game of tag football.  Nothing could be better than a little razzle dazzle good ole American football.  Some hoops were also played in the sports arena.  Knockout is a popular game here at camp and whenever there is free time you’ll find children playing that game more than anything else.  Counselors play along with campers and I love it when campers eliminate counselors, which happens quite often.  Shots are made from the foul line and if you miss you have a chance to redeem yourself with a quick layup before the person behinds you sinks their foul shot.  You play with two balls and it’s fast paced.  You’ll also notice an international game called Mulky which Andy brought us from New Zealand.  It’s kind of like bowling but not really and requires some good throwing/rolling skills as well as adding numbers to 50 to keep score.  Folks in the Pot Shop are winding down and getting ready for glazing and the final touches on pottery before it’s fired in the kiln.  Can’t wait to see all those wonderful creations.

The Mill captured some interest today as the campers turned corn crib corn into corn meal and grits.  We’ve also been milling whole wheat flower that someone donated to our local bread of life.  So far this summer our campers have ground over 400 lbs of flour.  That’s a feat worth mentioning.   Fishing at the Mill brought out the determined fisher-men & women to tempt the last remaining trout out of the pond.  The ones that remain are the smart ones that have resisted the hook all summer long.  Somewhere out there in the depths of the Mill Pond lives Ringo the gigantic trout that no one can seem to snag.  He’s bigger than a small battleship as one camper put it and smart from four years of fish school or is that the School of Fish.  At any rate, Ringo dwells in hearts and minds of all those campers with a hankering to bend a little bamboo, test a little line and tempt him with an array of bait.  Whoever lands him may make the cover of Field and Stream.   Good luck gang, you’ve got two days of camp left.

Can you believe that, only two days are left.  This week has flown but not as much as those who were zipping on the Zip Line at the Lake.  Hot, humid weather makes one want to swim and just make a life of hanging at the Lake and Pool.  We swam a good bit today on the river trip to cool off and refresh ourselves from the heat and wearing a PFD and helmet.  Phenomenal group from Mountainside on the river today as we paddled the Tuckasegee River near Dillsboro, NC.  It’s a dam release river so water can be low or high depending on the release.  We hit it just right today combined with a little runoff from an overnight rain.  Everyone had a chance to warm up just before we entered the gorge after the railroad bridge.  Our first rapid was Railroad where kids were trying to surf the wave which is also a hole.  Most everyone tried their luck and we had a couple of boats go over but nothing to worry about with a large calm pool at the bottom of the rapid.  Other rapids followed including Moonshot, Double Drop, Surprise Eddy and others.  We had a great trip and hats off to the kids who really gave it their all.  I’m uploading some pics as I write so you should see those tomorrow or tonight if you’re a night owl.  Nicko and Will jumped in solo boats later in the day and paddled Double Drop in solo canoes.  They really pushed themselves without our prodding and wanted to really achieve out there.  Great group of kids and super staff that worked with them today.  All is well at camp and stay tuned!