There are days at Camp Timberlake when the shimmer of Lake Doris in the morning light ignites an ancient love in the heart of boys and men for all things outdoors and beautiful. There are days at Camp Timberlake when our staff and campers are so entranced by nature, so captured by the palpable glory of the blue sky and mountains, so intent on straining that last full measure of joy from each waking moment with friends and brothers, that the outside world, the humming hive of busyness and traffic and electronic distraction, is drowned in wonder and play. There are days at camp when we wake up invigorated and go to sleep satisfied.
Today was one of those days at Camp Timberlake.
Today, from the first pitch of reveille to the last chime of taps, your boys grew in character and excellence. Today, the young men of Camp Timberlake took one small step toward manhood and one giant leap toward uncommon maturity. Every intricate detail of this Friday at Camp Timberlake was orchestrated for a common purpose: growth through friends and adventure.
We are proud of our staff, we are proud of camp, and we are proud of the impact that camp has had on your boys in the past 24 hours. There simply is no better place on the seven continents for young men to spend their summer than Camp Timberlake.
I do not have the time or space to expound on the vast array of accomplishments, growth, and leadership that we have seen in your boys today. Believe me, I wish I did. But let me invite you instead to share in a few snapshots.
This morning the eggs, sausage, and hashbrowns were spot on. The kitchen has been incredible this summer. Then Ryan “Rusty” Walden, our resident William Wallace, led the boys in a raucous morning yell. Legend has it that on a clear day the morning yell at Camp Timberlake can be heard in eastern Tennessee.
For the morning and afternoon, our heroic staff instructed the campers in everything from fencing to climbing. In swimming, Alex A. impressed the swimming staff with his stroke and speed, earning his bronze and silver bars. Earning two bars in one activity in one day is notable. Jake H. and Randolph P. also made good progress toward their silver bars in swimming. Watch out, Phelps.
Up on the Spencer’s Green, the team sports action was hot. Ultimate Frisbees and football were the sports of choice today, and a number of campers earned their bronze bars. In climbing, Dash V. made excellent progress toward his silver bar, dashing up the climbing wall under the supervision of Andrew M. and David P., our instructors. Tim M. worked on his roll in kayaking and others prepared for a trip to the Tuckaseegee River on Sunday.
At Camp Timberlake, we also give your boys the opportunity to work with weapons in a safe environment. Needless to say, boys particularly enjoy activities involving weaponry. During free time today there was an archery tournament won respectfully by Colby F., reportedly in training for follow-on work in Sherwood Forest. In airsoft, Enrique D. and Grant T. earned their bronze bars.
This evening, after dinner, we took a moment to step back and recognize our young men who have made progress toward Little Chief. We gathered as brothers around a campfire, sharing a solemn, sacred time of reflection on our mutual and individual growth as men and as a community. I wish you could see the pride on the boys’ faces as they receive commendations for their leadership, hear Director Dan’s encouragement toward excellence, and feel a firm pat on their shoulder from their counselors.
As the night winds down, so does this snippet from a day in the life of Camp Timberlake. The younger cabins are sleeping, resting up for another full day tomorrow. The older cabins are fellowshipping around s’mores and board games, etching memories that will last a lifetime.
We can’t wait to see what your boys will do tomorrow. We can’t wait to see what they will do next year. And we can’t wait to see what your boys will do in a decade, when the seeds of confidence and character planted by a summer at Camp Timberlake will come into full bloom, when the boys we see today have become strong, courageous, and humble men who care deeply for their families, work diligently in their vocational callings, stand up for justice in their communities, and establish a living legacy of passion for life tempered by wisdom.
One day at a time.
from all of us at Camp Timberlake –
Cabin Area Director