Yelling is the main form of communication at Camp Timberlake. Campers use it to express excitement, victory, and brotherhood. Most counselors cry out after the bugle, “Wake up boys, it’s another great day at Camp Timberlake!” After breakfast, Counselor Rusty led the campers in the morning yell to rally and encourage the boys for the exciting day ahead.
The men of Timberlake do have a soft side, however. After the morning yell, the boys went to chapel to worship and engage in a lesson taught by Timberlake’s “friendly neighborhood director” Dan. Maintaining their focus from chapel, the campers went to clean their cabins before leaving for their activities.
The campers excelled in the activities today. In Wrestling, Wilson J mastered the double A takedown. Cody C excelled in match play during fencing. In kayaking, Cameron S learned how to roll. This alone would be impressive, however, he pushed himself even further to learn to hand-roll, and incredibly difficult skill. During archery, Hammy M and Keagan K shot bull’s eyes, moving them closer to their bronze bars. Tyler S earned his silver bar in paintball, giving him a valuable mark towards the Little Chief promotion. Bryce K impressed counselor Davis, the pottery instructor, by throwing a beautiful pot on his first try. As impressed as the counselors are with these boys’ accomplishments, they have ceased being surprised. Today was just another day in which these campers have achieved great things.
Several trips went out today. There were kayaking, rafting, and water-skiing trips today. The kayaking trip went to section nine of the French Broad and consisted of Hank B, Jack E, Harrison C, Henry M, and Wes H. Henry M and Wes H completed their first combat rolls. The entire group had great surfing practice at the Sandy Bottom Rapid. These campers were finally able to use the skills they have worked so hard learning in their kayaking class.
In between the boys morning and afternoon activities they found time to eat lunch and yell some more. After the meal, counselor Rusty announced the cabin-cleanup scores. But he could never do so without a good drum-roll and yell first. So preceding each score the boys gave a drum-roll and if their cabin received a good score, yelled triumphantly. At Timberlake, cabin cleanup is more than mere hygiene; it is a competition for cabin pride. The cabins clean vigorously so that they might become cabin-cleanup champions.
After lunch came what everyone at camp calls the best time, rest time. Rest time gives the boys a chance to unwind and recharge after an exhausting morning. The first ten minutes are purely dedicated to rest, no reading, writing, or drawing. This is difficult for our energetic campers, however it gives them the energy needed to have fun in their afternoon and evening activities. For the next twenty minutes, the boys read and write.
Free time is one of the campers’ favorite times of the day. They are allowed to use free time however they wish. They can work on bars in their activities if they are feeling industrious. Or they can get some trading post and play thunderball if they are feeling more laid back. Today we had something truly unique; as Tyler S caught a smallmouth bass in Lake Doris. Also, several campers went to archery to shoot for their silver bars. None completed the requirements, however all made significant progress. Campers striving towards all bars went to rocketry to put the finishing touches on their rockets.
Dinner tonight was another time for yelling. All of Tucker Inn erupted as Counselor Matt raised his arms to announce the evening activities. The shouts grew louder as the announcement grew closer. Finally, he screamed at the top of his lungs “Little Chief!” The campers yelled out of joy, jumped, and chanted “yes”
The tribal leaders met the campers at the archery range to lead them to the archery range for the Little Chief ceremony. In the ceremony, campers who have excelled in their leadership and commitment to camp are honored. Campers who have shown leadership in their cabin receive commendations from their peers or counselors. These campers leave a handprint on the standard at the council ring symbolizing how they have “left their mark at camp”. Campers who receive marks through commendations, bars, or electives earn promotions towards little chief. When a camper receives a promotion, his counselors come to congratulate him then yell, to celebrate and tell the world of his accomplishment. Afterwards, the boys went down to Mackie’s green for a 70-foot slip ‘n slide and a shaving cream war.
The night ended as always. The boys ran into the cabin excited but exhausted from a fun today, had devotion, and went to sleep.