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Skilled Staff? a closer look at how skilled.

night climb stallings









The activities we offer at Merri-Mac and Timberlake are exceptional. Therefore, when we begin to hire for the summer we look for exceptionally skilled individuals. We know finding the best staff is important so that our campers have the quality experience they need to succeed in personal growth and adventure.

We want athletes, who play at the college level; gymnasts, who compete for their school’s club or team; backpackers, who are certified and go out into the wilderness every weekend; potters, who are studying the art of pottery; horseback riders, who show and jump on their college team. You get the picture! So, let’s look at some of our staff that are making their activity at camp a lifestyle during the year.

Timberlake and Merri-Mac climbing instructors Petey G., Sydney B., and Maddy M. are going out almost every weekend, really any chance they can, to climb. Not only are they climbing in their area, the mountains of Western North Carolina, these skilled climbers are also taking trips to places like Red River Gorge in Kentucky and T-Wall (the Tennessee Wall) in Chattanooga, TN. They’re also hoping to head to Indian Creek in Moab, Utah in the spring.

Maddy M.

climbing maddy mudd

Petey G. 
petey guillard close up

Sydney B. and Maddy M. at Red River Gorge

sydney and maddy

Sydney B. at Ship Rock

sydney b climbing 2

Merri-Mac staff bouldering 

sydney bouldering

bouldering maddy

Sydney B. and Maddy M.

sydney blume

maddy mudd over hang

Maddy M. loves to climb! 

maddy m fun

Petey G. crack climbing at Red River Gorge. 

petey crack climbing

Summer staff are not the only one’s taking climbing trips, our year round staff Adam, Ryan and Noah recently went ice climbing at Sam’s Knob. Needless to say, the Merri-Mac and Timberlake climbing program is trained and taught by professionals.

Black Mountain Expeditions’ Director Ryan ice climbing.

ryan ice climbing

ryan, brock, adam ice climbingRyan (BME Director), Adam (Merri-Mac and Timberlake Director) and Brock taking a quick break from their ice climb.

The Merri-Mac and Timberlake paddling program is phenomenal, and our paddling staff is no exception. During the staff reunion over Christmas, five of our kayakers paddled section 9 on the French Broad River, despite the cold winter morning and even colder river rapids they were to face.

Elizabeth P., cabin area director and head of Kayaking for the summer, first learned to kayak at camp on Lake Doris. Now, Elizabeth is the Kayaking Key Staff for the Outing Club at W&L, and she teaches their Kayaking Roll class. She hopes to eventually take her class out on the James and Maury rivers.

Dakota R. will be joining our Trip Staff team for his first summer at camp, but this is by no means his first experience paddling. He grew up in the area around camp, and currently spends his time going down Class 5 rivers. Dakota will be teaching our campers the techniques to maneuver down the very Class 3 rivers he knows so well.

Dakota R.

dakota kayak

dakota kayaking glory

Elizabeth P. teaching W&L students how to roll.

ep teaching 2

ep teaching 3

Mary Grace B. invested in a new kayak. She named her kayak Elsa and is excited for Lake Doris to meet her!

Elsa MGB kayak 2

Mary Page B., Dakota R., Hank B., Kelli Ann T., Ethan T. (not pictured), and Mary Grace B. brave the icy weather to paddle section 9, during staff reunion.

paddlers joy!

The Mountain Bike program at camp is fairly new for Timberlake and this summer will be Merri-Mac’s 1st summer. We recently hired two cyclists, who compete on the Milligan Cycling team Andrew and Hannah. These two are constantly racing and, it seems, always standing on podiums qualifying in their major races.

Joe B. attends Covenant College and is our veteran Mountain Biker for Timberlake. Joe continues to impress us by using any free time he can to hit the trails on Lookout Mountain.

Andrew S., Head of Mountain Biking (Andrew will join the Milligan Cycling coaching staff in Fall 2015) 

racing stallings

In hopes to work her way towards professional cycling, Hannah S. will participate in at least 6 races across the southeast and in California this June. 2nd Session she will join Andrew and Joe teaching Mountain Biking to our Merri-Mac and Timberlake campers.

hannah racing
One of the many mountain bike routes on Lookout Mountain, where Joe B. spends his time. 
Joe boyd MTN biking

race face

What a great picture to end on! We’re confident that Andrew S. has a lot to teach our campers about the epic sport of Mountain Biking.

We can only imagine what this summer will teach our campers and staff. But, we can guarantee it will be an adventurous summer guided by quality camp staff.

If you’d like your son and his father to experience some adventure, during the year, check out what we’re offering in May! –


written by Intern: Sadie Roebuck

*first picture on post: Andrew S. during a night climb 

Why Send Your Son To Christian Camp

In your search for the perfect summer camp you might wonder why you would send your son to a Christian camp. If you’re a Christian parent who believes that we are called to do all things to the glory of God, then sending your son to a summer camp that emphasizes and supports your beliefs might be the best choice. Kids today are bombarded with alternative thinking, and the summer is a great time to rebuild and strengthen Christian values and ideas. You can wonder why you would send your child to Christian camp until you realize by visiting one, and talking to the counselors and directors, how different an experience it is. Camp Timberlake in North Carolina is a safe and comfortable sleep away summer camp, that is encouraging, challenging and rewarding as it will help to teach your son independence and build his self confidence over the summer. It’s so important for boys to have the opportunity to foster Christian friendships with kids their age who share the same faith.

All of our camp counselors are chosen to serve in Christian leadership. They must have a high view of Scripture and a strong understanding of grace and the gospel. Our chapel and devotion times are very important, but much more important is the Christian leadership demonstrated by our counselors. Children come to Camp Timberlake Christian Summer Camp for Boys to have fun. If you believe the happiest environment is one in which the love of Jesus Christ is displayed by the staff and experienced by everyone then you might decide a Christian Summer Camp is the way to go. We offer exciting activities, camp traditions, opportunities to meet new friends, and time to enjoy the great outdoors, so your son can learn about himself and grow in his walk with God.

To find out more about our Christian camp for boys in North Carolina, please call us at (828) 669-8766.

Clark Beckham’s Audition with American Idol

So he made it, people! Harry Connick Jr. came down hard on him at one point but he got the ticket to the next round. Let’s keep giving Clark our Camp Timberlake support! Proud of our guy. Don’t forget to tune into Fox and vote as the next round gets closer.

Camp Timberlake Counselor Clark Beckham makes American Idol


These are exciting times for our Camp Timberlake family!  We have a budding rock legend in our midst with one of our counselors (and proud Iroquois), Clark Beckham.  He is competing to advance in American Idol’s top 24, in Nashville.  We are so proud of him and are thrilled that he is finally in the spotlight.  Clark is a fantastic person with amazing talent!
Make sure to tune into Fox Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8/7 central.   We are hearing early reports that Clark’s segment before the judges will be on tonight’s episode!  Tune in with us this evening to watch American Idol and don’t forget to vote for him when that time comes.  Let’s show Clark Beckham our camp support!

Seminoles on a mission!




Timberlake has been blessed with a lot of great men over the years, and it is always exciting to watch them leave camp to go and make a powerful impact on the world.  One such man is former camper, Seminole Chief, Little Chief, CIT, counselor, and Program Director, John Menendez.  He is working with Amigo’s for Christ down in Nicaragua as a missionary.  One of the biggest goals of his work is supplying poverty stricken areas with clean water and leading teams from the states into these places that need help.  Above is a photo of three proud Seminoles on one of these mission trips (Ken Menendez, John, Peter Dade, and Steven “Sporty” Menendez).  We are proud of John and the work that he is doing down there!  To see more on Amigos for Christ you can visit this link.

Timberlake counselors are all about some football

This week we have had some interesting connections between our beloved Timberlake counselors and the sport of football.  Here is just one of them:


You always know that Charlie Richards is going to be where the action is and this time he is taking selfies with Tim Tebow.  Charlie and his selfies!  Two great guys taking pictures.

The next example is a news report about Kansas University’s football program with a commentary by our own, Danny Nick, about the surprise firing of Charlie Weis after their weekend loss to the University of Texas.

Well done, Danny.

Director Dan

This Moment is Full


Two nights ago, I rode my bike to Adam and Ann’s, our Merri-Mac Directors, home to pick up my lost phone. Misplacing my phone turned out to be the best mistake I made this week. Ann and I chatted, snacking on homemade cookie dough. She poured me a glass of water. I felt a little sweatier and out of breathe than I wanted to let on. “How’s life as an intern? This week been good?” I felt loved.

While leaning on my bike at the fencing pavilion, my neighbors Daniel and Anne, Merri-Mac Assistant Director, invited me in for some supper. “We’re leaving tomorrow so feel free to sleep in our home, eat our food and watch our Netflix.” Eating on tasty baked chicken and the best sautéed squash and zucinni, I felt revived as rest washed over me.

On my walk home, I stopped to visit with my newest neighbors, Dan and Annie Singletary, Timberlake Directors, where I ate second supper. I munched on chips and guacamole from Olay’s, a local favorite in Black Mountain, listening to friends and family of the Singletary’s offer help and company as they transition into the move. When I left I heard, “Come back tomorrow. Anytime really!” I felt apart of their family. I felt sincerely welcome.

I was full on more than just food as a friend and I rode the camp golf cart back to the Big House. We reminisced about the past summer. I felt nostalgic, full on the past and present moments I experienced at camp.

Not many 25 year olds are fortunate enough to transition into a community like the one I became apart of this fall. Life right out of college, and even a few years down the road, can feel meaningless, even lonely. And yet here am I. A very clear product of God’s grace and the good gifts He promises. I’m blessed to be living at camp, surrounded by people who care for and love those they work with.


What’s my job exactly? “Camp Intern.” I schedule Adam and Dan’s home shows, help Ryan with BME retreats, recruit staff, and, sometimes, even carpool. I love it. There’s nothing I love more than to be the support staff who helps her friends make camp what it is: a wonderful place for kids to grow and learn. In turn they support and wrap their arms around me. No matter if I accidentally bought two plane tickets to Costa Rica, or backed the camp van into a tree, or was late picking their son up from soccer practice. This gracious acceptance for my weaknesses and faith in my strengths keeps me going when the days are long, and the computer screen gets fuzzy.

When I’m asked how’s your job? I often respond with “Let me tell you who I work with.” Those who direct Merri-Mac, Timberlake and Black Mountain Expeditions are not just in the business of promoting kids. They are in the business of promoting people, like me. I know I’m profoundly blessed to work with individuals who deeply care about providing a safe adventurous place for children.Those of you who’ve worked at camp know what I’m talking about. It’s one of the reasons why working at camp is my favorite job.

Interested in working at Camp? Come experience the love here at this camp. Come work at a place where you can safely learn about yourself alongside your campers. Come work with people whose greatest joy is to equip others. Humble people, who live out their faith daily, run this place. It’s inspiring. It’s life giving. It’s wholly fulfilling.

This season of my life could be spent in a less meaningful, less service-oriented, less fresh air and less outdoor environment, but I get to spend it here, dwelling in this place, with these people, for this moment.

And this moment is full.


written by Intern: Sadie Roebuck 


The men of Camp Timberlake awoke this beautiful Tuesday morning eager to take on another great day. Today started with a wonderful breakfast of egg casserole, coffee cake, and sausage, and as the meal wound down, everyone was getting ready to head on out to the morning yell when Director Dan grabbed the microphone and exclaimed, “ANNNND NOW!” Campers looked around in shock and confusion as Counselor Chris donned the red helmet and started to sprint around the dining hall. See this practice is normally reserved for the end of dinner to announce the evening activity. But this was breakfast! What could this mean?! Well, everyone’s questions were quickly answered when Chris yelled “TRIBEAPALOOZA!!!!”

Tribeapalooza is unlike any other day here at camp. Instead of normal activities and periods, campers compete all day in a series of heated tribal competitions that can have a huge impact on the winner of the banner. Everyone was super fired up after the announcement and then hustled out to the morning yell, where each boy got even more hyped up with Counselor Rusty’s impassioned speech that urged the young men to seize this wonderful opportunity. Once the campers were about to burst of excitement, it was time for chapel whereCounselor Danny gave a great message about how Jesus loves us even through our inadequacies. Once chapel was over, it was time for a crowd favorite, THE SOCK WAR! The Seminoles and Iroquois engaged in three intense rounds of sprinting around trees and chucking socks at one another until, finally, the Seminoles emerged victorious. Nico L. really stepped up his game to lead the ‘Noles to a much needed win. After sock war, the boys headed up to an even more fun activity…. PACKING TRUNKS!! (If only).                                                        Once trunks were packed up, everyone was treated to a great lunch of pepperoni and cheese pizza. As the campers and counselors started to clean up the tables, the lunch fun was just beginning. First, the boys were introduced to the mother of all pocket knives, THE TIMBER TOOL! The Timber Tool is just about the coolest thing there is if you are a young boy. It’s got two blades, some pliers, a can opener, a mini-saw, multiple screw drivers, and the crowd favorite, a pointy thing! The crowd erupted at the revealing of the famous pointy thing, with some shirts being ripped off in all the excitement. This Timber Tool is available to kids who early enroll online by Friday at midnight (shameless plug). After the Timber Tool announcement, it was time for another momentous declaration, the winner of the two-week-long cabin cleanup competition. Everyone knew it was close, but nobody could have guessed the final outcome. When the dust settled, the two youngest cabins, Tomahawk and Little Piney tied for the championship crown, setting off a celebration that had to be seen to be believed! (The younger the kids are, the better they clean cabins. Who knew?) Those two cabins will enjoy a pizza party tonight to reward all their hard work!

Once those two cabins of boys had calmed down, Counselor Peter put on the red helmet and announced “TRIBAL TOURNAMENTS!!” as the next camp-wide activity that would take place after rest hour and free time. After everyone (except the younger cabins) enjoyed a relaxing hour of rest, campers ran down to free time, which was followed by the aforementioned tribal tournaments. The tribal tournaments consisted of a 5-on-5 basketball tournament, a climbing completion, an archery tournament, and a swim relay. The action was fierce all over camp. In the basketball game, Chet L, Tim M, Grant T, Paul W and Andres D led the Seminoles to the win. Over at the climbing tower, Clay J, Daniel Y, Nico L, Randolph P, and Ben A all competed hard, but again, the Seminoles won the day. The Iroquois had better luck at the archery range where some sharp-shooting led the ‘Quois to the win, but the Seminoles, led by Alexander Z, channeled their inner Olympic swimmer to take first place in the relay.                                                                                        After the tournaments had finished, it was time for a spectacular dinner of sweet and sour chicken, followed by Counselor Will throwing on the helmet and ultimately screaming out, “IT’S THE FINAL CAMPFIRE!” The clever play on words evoked the camp to start humming the words to “The Final Countdown” until it was time to leave the dining hall and head up to the ceremony. The Final Campfire is the culmination of the Little Chief system here at camp, during which many campers are recognized for their outstanding achievements at camp over the last month. The greatest honor anyone can receive is, of course, the honor of Little Chief. Today, three worthy young men received the honor, Bailey M, Mike P, and George H. These three men have truly gone above and beyond the call of duty throughout their many years as a camper, and they were greeted by a standing ovation upon the announcement of the award. After many boys had earned promotions and commendations, the whole camp joined together to sing the Camp Hymn for the final time, eliciting several outpourings of emotion from campers and counselors who have poured their heart and soul into this truly life-changing place. It was an extremely touching moment for all involved and one that no one will soon forget. Once the ceremony was over, it was off to the giant water balloon war known as commando, which the boys are playing as I type! I know I speak for all the counselors when I say it has been an honor serving your sons this session and we cannot wait to greet you all upon your arrival either tomorrow or Thursday! See you soon!


Brandon Chase

Little Piney Counselor


Finishing Well

Here at Camp Timberlake, we don’t do mediocrity. Mediocrity is not in our vocabulary. This morning your boys woke up in an exceptional place. They woke up in a cabin with exceptional counselors. They experienced exceptional teaching in adventure sports and activities. They were encouraged to excel, encouraged to reject passivity, encouraged to watch out for their friends. Exceptional is expected at Camp Timberlake. And we’re excited to share with you some of the highlights from the day.


Counselor Brandon got our morning started off right with an exceptionally rousing morning yell in which he challenged the boys to make this day a day which they would long remember. He challenged them to shake off the temptation to coast to the finish line; instead, we were exhorted to take full advantage of our time at Camp Timberlake to make this day, this glorious day in these mystic mountains, the best day of our lives thus far. And that is exactly what we set out to do.


The boys raced to chapel where they were led in worship by the dynamic combination of counselors Josiah and Andrew. After belting out the last few notes of the camp hymn, we were fortunate enough to hear from Adam about how God is the one who provides for us and how He is the only one who can satisfy our deepest desires.

After chapel, many of our future NASA engineers headed to Rocketry to put the finishing touches on their rockets because the last rocket launch of the summer was scheduled for free time today. Based on the appearance of this latest batch of rockets, I’d be willing to bet that a couple of them made it into orbit this afternoon. Elsewhere at camp, wrestlers polished many of their more advanced moves and enjoyed several exciting games of three musketeers where they employed the techniques that they have learned this summer. Others headed to Camp Craft where they were able to partake in another camp favorite, the low ropes course with a side of s’mores. No better way to cap off a summer of backpacking and team building than with sticky fingers and full stomachs.


Spirits were high at lunch today as palates were titillated with the fine delicacies of mini corn dogs and mac & cheese. Nothing like a little protein complemented by complex carbs to keep the boys going strong. And of course, the chocolate chip cookies for dessert were greeted with unanimous approval. After the tables were cleared, our friendly cabin area director, Rusty W, announced the cabin cleanup scores. Little Piney and Tomahawk waited with bated breath as Rusty approached the end of his countdown, hoping that there would be some separation in the race for the pizza party. Tomahawk prevailed for the second day in a row, but their slim margin of victory has left the race dead even between the two youngest cabins. May the best cabin (Little Piney) win!


Knowing that camp is unfortunately drawing to a close, the boys were very eager to finish rest time and earn bars in their favorite activities this afternoon. Paul W and Roth W were both able to achieve a silver bar in Team Sports by displaying a dazzling array of athletic feats involving frisbees, footballs, and foot-speed. Just above the action on Spencer’s Green, Max M, Roth W, Alex A, and Jonah P all earned bronze bars in wrestling. After a successful rocket launch, Nico L, Andy L, and Alex S received their gold bars in rocketry.


Activities resumed this afternoon with campers aspiring for glory at the waterfront. Some kayakers played an intense game of kayak polo while Thomas M, Frederik E, Tim M, Paul W, and Ethan H completed the requirements for their bronze bar. Brian S also displayed proficiency in a number of more advanced techniques to earn his silver bar. The open boaters were equally ambitious, and Malcom R and Geoffrey M got their bronze in canoeing. The swimmers were across the pond, painting a beautiful masterpiece with their masterful strokes on the water. Jake H and Randolph P earned silver, and Alex A and Scott S both met the required times for their gold bars, the first golds awarded in swimming this year! I know that was a whirlwind of accomplishments, but that is just a taste of the kind of growth we have experienced this summer.


As the day comes to a close at Camp Timberlake, your boys are being challenged in an epic game of Battleball (camp’s version of dodgeball). One of our most popular post-dinner activities at camp, Battleball is a game skill, wits, and calm under pressure. Every cabin cheers on their own, and the competition is a veritable dogfight. Every boy has a chance at glory – it is not always the strong that win.


We will try to report back to you tomorrow on the outcome of Battleball, but for now, know that your boys continue to grow alongside their best friends, building relationships that will last a lifetime. And we remind you unabashedly that Camp Timberlake is the best place on earth. Thank you for sharing your boys with us and letting them grow and mature in our camp community.

One day at a time.



Andrew Renshaw



Waking this morning reminded me of the chilly fall days that are so often loved by those who are residents of Western North Carolina. With the crispness in the air and the bugle ringing to wake us from our deep slumber, campers and counselors rose from their bed ready for a delicious breakfast.

As we rolled into the dining hall we were welcomed by the fragrance of French toast and sausage complimented by a full grits bar.  If you have ever had grits you know it is a delicious meal, but if you have ever had it on a day with a slight chill in the air you realize the love for warm food.  It warms you deep to your chest.  The food was filling and satisfying making us ready for the many activities the day offered.

Today during chapel we were offered again a chance to lift our voices to God in praise with songs and to hear a word brought by our very own Charlie R. a counselor for Big Piney.  He told us of his climbing adventures and related them to the Lord taking care for us in many situations and Him being “the way, the truth, and the life” found in John 14:6.  I can’t imagine a better way to start my day then worshiping God, and this is something we at camp put into practice every day in chapel as well as in the way we conduct our cabin.

One way we show our worship for God is in our cleanliness.  Each cabin goes to great efforts in the morning to clean their cabin to make it spotless for the day.  This is an ongoing process we do daily and will eventually end in a cabin being rewarded with a pizza party.

As activities commenced the weather bolstered spirits. After a warm summer, the chill in the air brought smiles to campers’ faces and allowed them to play harder.  Some activities such as Kayaking worked on skills such as braces and rolls to help them in the river, while activities like backpacking worked on skills that will help them in becoming better friends.  Backpacking did our low ropes course.  Low ropes are a set of obstacles that campers must work as a group to complete.  These skills will help them become better at communicating and problem solving.

In other activities campers worked on their bars.  Tyler J. and Ben P. earned their bronze in air soft, while camper Enrique D. worked hard to earn his silver in the activity.  Other campers such as George H. and Frederik E. were rewarded for their efforts in riflery with silver.  Colby F. pushed hard in riflery to obtain his gold bar and his efforts came to fruition today.

Not only did campers work hard on bars, but some decided to brave the cold for a trip of a lifetime.  They went with Josiah B. and Cody F. on a canoeing trip on the Tuckaseege River.  This is a fun trip for anyone wanting to put their skills to test on white water.  Mike P., Emiliano G., Malcom, and Scott S.  all went on this trip and returned with smiles on their face (after a quick nap on the ride back I am sure).

After the first half of the day, campers enjoyed one of my favorite meals at camp: meatball subs.  As I chow down on a sub, I wondered if this meal could get any better, and I was bewildered by the fact that it could.  We finished our meal with a nice glass of milk and warm chocolate chip cookies.  With food on our stomachs we continued with our lunchtime routine: announcements.  These announcements varied from the news that the Iroquois won stealing skins (last nights evening activity) to the wonderful news that the camp store would be open for campers to purchase camp gear and clothing.  But the greatest news of all was who won cabin clean up: LITTLE SLATY (my cabin).  It was a pleasant surprise for us.

Thirty minutes of rest progressed to free time and trading post.  During this time some campers chose to partake in a fencing tournament.  This tournament was a great success because it allowed the opportunity for Kennon S. and Tim M. to earn their gold.  There was a great showing for the match between campers who used their skills to do their best.

With the days chill still in the air, activities such as Team sports allowed campers like Brian S. to perfect his ultimate Frisbee skills.  Fencing allowed Michael B. and Ben P.  to earn their bronze.  Climbing used its time to open our new tower where we climbed, bouldered (at the new boulder), and even worked on rappelling skills. It was a fun filled day.

As I am writing this Iroquois and Seminoles are battling in an epic relay called Juggernaut.  This tournament allows campers to test their skills in each activity from climbing to mountain biking.  The competition is in the air, but the weather is perfect for it.

I hope this article finds you well and gives you another small glimpse into life here at Timberlake.

God bless,

David Parker

Little Slaty Counselor and Climbing Instructor