Australia Day! Ozzie, Ozzie, Ozzie!

Dear Parents & Friends,

Today was Australia Day at camp and I felt like we were there because of the heat.  Actually it is winter there now. The temps were hovering around 90 degrees in parts of camp today.  The good news is that most everyone stayed either cool in the shade or in the pool or lake.  Even our Riversiders stayed wet on their river trip as they spent their first day on the Tuckaseegee River.

Each week on Tuesday we celebrate our diversity in the form of International Day, among our staff and campers. Today was our first International Day and all day long starting before breakfast, we learned about the country down under.  The “Bloke’s and Sheila’s” did a great job of educating us to the customs, history and also the food from that part of the world.  Lunch today was a Barbie outdoors or Barbecue in our country and tonight we had meat pie and lots of vegetables and a chocolate dessert.

Having our International staff really adds to the program.  There’s the obvious with their accents interesting idioms that we sometimes scratch our heads about until we dig a bit further.  The Aussies have a lot of these and tonight we learned many of them.  You’ll have to quiz your children when they come home.  Camp has the advantage of bringing celebrities in just for a cameo role at campfire.  That happens a good bit on nights like tonight.  Steven Irwin stopped by to identify some rare and endangered species that were scattered through our crowd in the Lodge tonight.  Of course many campers don’t know Steve since he joined the heavenly hosts of animals several years ago.  Still they enjoyed his antics and of course, wouldn’t you know it, a croc just happened by that he had to tackle and tame.

Speaking of animals we captured a baby snapping turtle in the shallow water of the lake today.   This one was the size of a large hand and wasn’t really able to escape.  We have him or her in an aquarium for a day and then we’ll release it down at the river.  There’s a nest located on our dam at camp that was dug this Spring and we’ve been watching the nest to see if they might hatch.  Compared to Australia, we don’t have that many dangerous and deadly animals.  It’s always good to teach campers to respect the critters of nature and know that even a small snapping turtle should be taken seriously.  That even goes for our animals at the farm as well as our horses.

As we ended our Aussie campfire tonight one theme rang through and that was “no worries mate”. In other words, we’re having a great time and while we don’t wish you were here, I wish you could see through some sort of portal the fun and learning that is going on at camp.  And we’re making new friends and building relationships along the way.  So stay tuned for more to come in the days ahead.