After the madness of yesterday’s Cowboy Joe festivities, Timberlake campers
woke up this morning expecting a typical Wednesday at camp filled with their regular Wednesday activities. Everything seemed normal at first; everyone woke up at the regular time and enjoyed a great breakfast of sausage, biscuits, and giant hash browns that put even McDonalds’ to shame. And all the campers were getting ready to head outside for the morning yell when something crazy happened; Director Dan grabbed the microphone and simply said “Annnnnd Now.” The crazy thing is, those words are always reserved for the end of dinnertime, and when Dan utters that phrase, a member of the program staff will throw on a red helmet, whip the crowd into a frenzy and announce the evening activity. Only today, it happened in the morning.
Campers and counselors alike looked around wildly, half confused, half excited, as Counselor Matt donned the red helmet, ran around the room, and ultimately screamed, “TRIBEAPALOOZA!!!!” The dining hall erupted into loud cheers and screams and another crazy day at Camp Timberlake had begun. Tribeapalooza is a day where camp forgoes the normal daily activities and instead hosts three different camp-wide tribal competitions. This is a day where the banner, the ultimate prize of camp, can be won or lost. After the surprise announcement, campers headed to chapel, followed by cabin cleanup, and then it was time for the first activity of the day, the sock war. Sock war is very similar to capture the flag, except instead of tagging an opposing player to get them out, players peg each other with socks, and it is glorious. Five intense games were played with the Seminole tribe appearing to have the upper hand. Ben B, Jacob A, and Josh H all played pivotal roles in the Seminoles nabbing the Iroquois’ flag time and time again. Cooper D, Quinn M, Will A, and the rest of the Iroquois all made valiant attempts to thwart the Seminole charges, but their efforts went largely in vain as the ‘Noles claimed victory in the day’s first competition.
After sock war, it was time for a great lunch of mini corn dogs. An eating contest broke out at the Little Piney table and when it was all said and done, Alex S had eaten 15 mini corn dogs, narrowly edging out Herbert D’s inspiring 14. Following lunch, the schedule got even more interesting. First, the campers headed back for an hour of rest time as opposed to the usual 30 minutes. The announcement of a longer time to rest was met by loud cheers from the counselors, but mainly greeted by grumbles from most of the campers. (They’ll learn soon enough!) After the spectacular rest, campers had about 45 minutes of free time to enjoy some Trading Post goodies and some chill-time with their friends. Also going on during rest time was a 3vs3 soccer tournament that featured the team of Diego D, James B, and Herbert D taking first place.
After free time, campers had an hour to earn their final bars of the session. Everyone rushed to his favorite activity, eager to finish up that bar achievement he has been working so hard on. Many campers finished their bar requirements, including Wes H becoming the first camper of the summer to earn a gold bar in soccer and Josef M earning the first gold rocketry bar of the session. After everyone had knocked out their bars, it was time for the second competition of the day, Stealing Skins. This game featured three teams, the Seminoles, the Iroquois, and the counselors. The counselors were vastly outnumbered, and a shrewd collusion between Iroquois chief Quinn M. and Seminole chief Will C. allowed the two camper tribes to overrun the counselor base time and again, grabbing the leather skins and rushing them back to their own bases. This game was much closer, although the rumors after the contest were that the Seminoles had pulled out another one.
After the game, campers dinned on some chicken alfredo, and then it was time for the best part of the day, the final campfire. All the campers gathered at the archery range and made the long procession up to the ceremony, where many campers were honored with camper and counselor commendations, rank promotions, and special honors. The most prestigious honor at the ceremony is the honor of “Little Chief.” Little Chief is the single greatest accomplishment a camper can earn at Camp Timberlake. The achievement comes through an enormous investment in the camp over many years, and the dedication and commitment to go above and beyond what is expected of a camper. The three men to earn the award tonight were Will C, David G, and Tyler S. The new Little Chiefs were given a much-deserved standing ovation, and then all the campers shook every counselors hand in a touching display of love from counselor to camper. The night ended with everyone, arm in arm around the fire, belting out the famous camp hymn. The singing of the hymn resulted in several emotional outpourings from campers and counselors who have poured their heart and soul into this wonderful and life-changing place.
Following the ceremony, it was off to the final activity of the night, commando. Commando is essentially a giant water balloon war and was a great way to end the night before campers headed back to their cabins to pack up their trunks. That’s all I have for you today! The entire staff is greatly looking forward to greeting the parents as all of you travel to pick up your children in the next couple of days. See you all soon!