The Simple Joys of Camp

Dear Families and Friends,

As our first full day of A session comes to an end, I’m reflecting on the day we’ve enjoyed as a camp community. We often say at camp that the days feel long but the weeks feel short and this day is no exception. It’s amazing how many incredible activities and adventures we are able to pack into a single day!

We started the morning with some rain showers, which have been much appreciated by our forest and farm after many dry weeks. The rain cleared for most of the morning, giving our Riversiders a dry send off as they rose for an early breakfast to depart on their Climbing Adventure in Foster Falls, TN. This is the first of three four-day trips they will experience over the next three weeks. Our main campers enjoyed some delicious homemade biscuits among other things for breakfast which fueled them for their first day of morning Discoveries. As showers came and went throughout the day, the activities continued and there were sounds of laughter from all over camp, something we as staff have been looking forward to since the start of staff training. Whether it was SUPS on the lake, archery on the field, or weaving at Shady Grove, there was a pervasive sense of joy felt all over camp. While our Main Campers were busy with Discoveries and sign up activities, Mountainsiders were spending the morning and afternoon trying out two mini-adventures activities. Each Mountainsider will choose 4 of the 5 adventure activities to sample (rock climbing, mountain biking, white water canoeing, backpacking, and earth skills). After sampling, each Mountainside camper will choose one activity to experience more in depth later this session — more on those adventures later in the week!

After lunch we gathered as a community for our Sunday Service, which we have as a chance to reflect on the day, our experiences, and the gifts that camp brings. Today our theme was Simple Joys, giving us a chance to reflect on the amount of joy camp can bring in the midst of simplicity. Even as the rain came and went during the afternoon activities, and plans changed, there were hundreds of small moments to appreciate: the laughter of those playing games on the Pavilion, a camper feeding a calf for the first time, or even the sound of rain on a tin roof. We’re so lucky to be in place that connects us with nature and brings out the simplest of joys of childhood for us all. Even now as I write this, I can hear the music from the lodge as half our main campers join in for mountain dancing and the sound of cheers as the other half plays Bingo in the Dining Hall. There are moments of celebration everywhere!

This has been an incredible start to the summer and we are so grateful that you all have shared your wonderful children with us. I hope you all enjoy the simple joys in your life back home and know that we are certainly doing the same here at camp.