The sun arose on this chilly North Carolina morning, shrouded in clouds and the slow and steady drop of rain. The precipitation could have dampened the spirits of camp Timberlake, but the men arose nevertheless and went forth excited to take on another day of adventure.
After a delicious breakfast of eggs and bacon, the guys walked over to the chapel, sang along to the classics “Blessed Be Your Name” and “How Great Thou Art”, and then heard a good message from Adam Boyd. He spoke on the grace of God, and how we should not feel that we must try harder in order to earn it, or that we have failed in our attempts so far. Campers and counselors alike were heartened as they left, ready and able to take on the impending rain.
As most of the campers went back to their cabins in order to do cabin cleanup, a large group of campers left in vans to go on a rafting trip down the Nantahala River. The rest of camp cleaned, donned their raincoats again, and went to their first activity.
In activities today, many campers achieved some new and exciting things. Next to the camp craft hut, Parker C. earned his bronze in the backpacking activity, while the rest of the class learned many new knots and the 7 rules of Leave no Trace. Inside the Mike, away from the rain, Nico L. climbed the daunting overhang that stands as a challenge to many a climber. Jackson S. won the paintball shooting competition that went on in the woods.
Lunch approached, the rain still falling, the spirits of the men still indomitable. Everyone was treated to some pita pockets with Greek chicken as well as some warm and gooey M&M cookies. After everyone had eaten, it was announced that the cabin of Big Slaty had, yet again, won cabin cleanup with a perfect score of 10. It was also noted, to thunderous applause, that the Iroquois tribe had won in last night’s evening activity, Inferno.
The camp moved into rest time, where the falling rain was in fact a blessing to all of the sleeping campers who snoozed in the cool of the day. Some campers continued to sleep as free time commenced, but a few souls braved the rain to go to trading post and get some candy. Meanwhile, a group of counselors and campers met in the Mike to do what they like to call Timberlake fitness. It is a tough circuit style workout, challenging both the old and the young who are intense enough to work at it. Dripping with sweat and the victory of a challenge defeated, the men went back to their cabins and hung out for a while, just long enough to get dry and spend some time talking with friends, playing card games, or reading a book. Then it was time again to go out to their activities.
The kayak class got into the water to battle it out in some kayak water polo. Not far away, Elliot B. and Joe V. worked hard on their silver bars in swimming, and Ty M. and Charles J. worked diligently on their bronze bars. All swam with enthusiasm through the pouring rain. Also on the lake, both John S. and Brian S. came very close to completing their kayak rolls, and Bailey M. came close to his off-side kayak roll. Away from the rain, pottery classes started learning how to throw on the wheels. Daniel Y. especially showed lots of talent, making a difficult bowl on his first try. Guitar classes today were filled with lots of talent, with William K. and Eric H. making a lot of progress on learning their bar chords.
Dinner commenced as the weary but victorious rafters came back from a tough day on the Nantahala, treated on their return with a delicious meal of sweet and sour chicken and rice. The campers went from dinner on to the Little Chief ceremony. Here, among solemn silence and the entirety of the camp, campers were recognized for their commendations by their peers as well as their campers. They were also all recognized if any of them had achieved a rank advancement, a great honor that signifies hard work both in activities as well as service and humility among their cabin. From there, everyone retreated to the dining hall to play the new game of Minute to Win It. This involved many wild and ridiculous games that campers participated in as the rest of their tribe cheered them on. The winner, unbeknownst as the camp goes to bed tonight, will be revealed tomorrow at lunch.
The men then went back to their cabins, either to shower and go to bed, or continue on with another fun activity that their counselors revealed to them upon returning. Looking back on the day, mud and rain could have stopped the fun quite easily. Bad weather may halt or slow the rest of the world, but here at Camp Timberlake the fun and adventure is neither stopped nor slowed by it. As everyone dries off tonight and goes to bed, we all look forward to what tomorrow will bring.
Guitar and Pottery Instructor