Special Day and Wild Westing It!

Dear Parents & Friends,

What a great day here at camp.  It was special day here and the theme was “The Wild West” We took on the pioneer spirit and did a lot heading into the sunset.  Even though not all activities fit the theme there was a choice of what to do and when you wanted to do it.  Everyone got a chance to do something relaxing or strenuous whatever your choice.  Several groups took on the Tri-trail Challenge which was going to the Wall Property, then to The Rock and finally to Connestee Falls.  All three are hard to complete in a two hour period of time.  There were all kinds of themed hikes today that gave the children a chance to see many parts of camp that are not always possible to get to.  There was a hike to “The Rock” which is near the top of property.  The view is fantastic and even on a hazy day like today one can see for miles.  We could pick out Cedar Rock (which is where Mountainside and Riverside sometimes climb), Pilot Mountain (where Mountainside Hikers may go on their adventure), Mt. Pisgah, Black Balsam and Devils Courthouse.  There was a bees nest on the way but we only had a couple of stings.  When you have hot weather at camp and you hike like we do, you’re bound to run into bees at some point.  We carry epi-kits on all our trips and all staff are trained in how and when to use them if there is more than a local allergic reaction.

The most fun was visiting the other side of The Rock to check out the ant lion nests.  If you’ve never seen ant lions there are pretty neat.  They build small conical holes in the sand and wait for an unsuspecting insect to wander by and fall down the sides of hole and wham, they’re toast.  The ant lions which remind me of those sand fleas which you find at the southern beaches are a good bit smaller but they have big pincher jaws up front to grab their victim.  Several years ago one of our camp doctors found a perfect arrowhead while we were up there looking at the ant lions.

There were river trips down the mighty French Broad today and the Tubers took full advantage of the hot weather to tube our 3 miles back to the camp property.  Four trips in all went out over the course of the day.  There were many activities that only lasted 30 minutes like line dancing in the Lodge.  This was a good cool down inside our breezy lodge.  Campers of all ages and sizes were found dancing with Jordan and her crew.  Pioneer crafts were also popular during the heat of day.  We did have a thundershower just before rest hour today to water the garden and the grass.

Mountainside begins their training days tomorrow and will be going out in 4 different directions to begin prep work for their adventures.  Adventure sell was tonight and the campers choose their adventures and found out shortly after what they would be focusing on in the next few days of camp.  Riverside will leave in the morning for their paddling component and will be going to the Green for their first river.  It’s a good way to begin and hopefully they’ll progress quickly and be able to hit some bigger water as the week goes on.  I got to spend time today with Wildwood on the ropes course and hope to show you some video from that time.

We held our Sunday Service this evening after dinner and the theme was Gratitude.  I talked about how thankful I was for “time”.  Time at camp is precious and it goes so quickly, as does time with friends and relatives and those special times when times come to an end way before we’re ready for it to.  Life is a busy enterprise.  It seems there are always more things to do, places to go, and people to meet.  Sometimes the fast pace threatens to rob us of the quietness that we need.  When we’re in the car , stop signs and other signs warning us to slow down are reminders that to be safe we can’t have our foot on the accelerator all the time. We need those kinds of reminders in all parts of our lives.  So…..  find some time, some quiet time and put up a stop sign at the intersection of your busy life.  Find a place to be alone (hard for a camper), maybe your bunk at bedtime or if you wake up early.   Turn off the distractions that keep you from hearing God’s voice and let him refresh your heart and mind with the strength to live life well.  Camp is that place where life is lived well.  Stay well and stay tuned!