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What day is it?

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Day Number… Oh never mind, I have lost count.

I wake up, and push the New Zealand, see-through, flag to the side as all the girls of Blue Heaven greet me, “good morning Becca!” They all scream at me in excitement. Another counselor from Comet invites herself into our cabin, “why do you look like a mummy?” she asks me, laughing, and I drag my heavy legs to the bathroom. When did waking up become such a challenge?

“She doesn’t do mornings…” one of my campers explains, and lets out a laugh it’s day number two with them, and they already know me very well. Campers wait in line to use the sinks, and the toilets to prepare for their second day of camp. It’s another day with new activities.

“What are you teaching today?” One of them asks me with a wide smile on their face, and enthusiasm in their eyes.

“I am actually officer of the day,” I say, in a monotone voice. I realize that I sound mean, and I try to add a smile. It’s morning, and I am a camp counselor, I have to be pleasant.

“What’s that?” She asks, her eyes wide.

“That means I get to walk around and take pictures of you guys in your activities, and then write an article about everything that happens at camp.”

“Oh that’s cool! What are you going to write about?”

I wrinkle my eyebrows; I have already done this twice… what is a new way that I can spice it up? “I think I’m going to write it in story form.” She nods, and we continue to prepare for the hot day of camp ahead of us.

As I watch the girls do their chores, answer questions, some dance around the cabin to “Shut Up and Dance,” and really any other song that comes on. This is another typical morning in Blue Heaven, and many other cabins. Others listen as I tell stories, and jokes about nursery rhymes that we grow up listening to, and they end up in a fit of laughter. I love making them laugh. They know that I am awake when I start making jokes.

As we walk to breakfast, the rocks are not scared to make themselves comfortable in all of our chacos, and stab us in the feet over, and over, and over again. We stop many times to kick the rocks out, and as I am sitting at the breakfast table next to one of the girls, Mary Elizabeth G. (M.E.), I look at her with a grin. All of the girls know that it brings me so much joy to make it all the way through the announcements song, so they wait to watch my face when we get interrupted in the middle of it by a “be quiet!”

“What are the odds that we will make it through the announcement’s song today?” I ask her. What are the odds is a fun game that all the girls love to play, especially with their counselors, most of the time I refuse to play. They ask me why, and I explain that first session the odds were from 1-100 on whether or not I would drink from the “killed” pitcher. It contained some sort of tomato soup, milk, back-washed water and a couple other mysterious liquids. If we said the same number, then I had to drink it, if the numbers we chose added up to 100, she would have to drink it.

My thought process was this, “I can’t chose 50 because that’s too obvious and easily added up to 100, besides if she said 50, we would both have to drink from it. So I’ll choose forty. Forty is a solid number.” But as I was reading her lips, she said four, and I stopped at the “four” part of forty, and quickly realized what that meant.

“No!” I declared, but Rachel D. insisted, and so had the rest of the Sunny Siders who had watched it happen. So after a few failed attempts, to plug my nose and just take a sip, they poured me a glass of water for the moment after I took a sip.  That is why I never play the famous “what are the odds,” and all of my girls know that.

But I am willing to gamble whether or not we will make it through the announcement’s song today. Mary Elizabeth G.  (M.E.) looks at me and says, “one through ten.” I nod and on a count down of three, two, one, we both yell “eight!”

“Yes!” I yell, and shoot my hands into the air. Although after a couple of songs, that woke us up, made us jump on the benches in excitement, and get a few good laughs, we sit down for the announcements song.  Mary Elizabeth G. and I look at each other, this is the moment of truth, whether or not we make it through the song. I can feel it, we will!

“Beeeee Quiet!”

“No!” I yell and bow my head in defeat, as the song was not over.

“Hey!” The rest of Tucker Inn yells, and I look at the grin on everyone’s face at my disappointment.

“Best two out of three,” Mary Elizabeth G. says, and we shake on it. At the very end of the announcements the speaker yells, “Blue Heaven is sweeping, staff put your benches up, and ladies go to chapel!” So the girls grab the brooms, and we turn up the tunes. Aubrey W. grabs my hand half way through as we skip around the dining hall dancing, and spinning around as the sweeping is coming to an end. Eventually we walk up to chapel to hear a story from Davie B.

We find some seats in the back, and listen to her story about her first year as a counselor, and how she got lost on the way up to the shelter. The trip was terrible for the girls, and they hated that they were lost, and tired and getting sprayed in the eyes with bug spray. Eventually they made their way to the shelter, and right as the last girl made it to cover, it started raining.

“It could have been a hundred times worse, and it would have been an even more miserable time had we been soaked, but God provided the shelter. He will protect you and keep you safe.” She says from the front, and I can’t help but think that it is a good reminder to my girls and I that as we are in our last two weeks of camp, when we go back to school and all go our separate ways, that God will still protect us, love us and care for us.

As the girls stand up to leave chapel, there is an announcement. “It is tribal volleyball tonight! So go to your tribe meetings for tryouts!”

“Becca, do we have to go?” The girls of Blue Heaven ask me, and I say yes, nodding my head. They groan and walk away, and all the campers leave to go try out for the opportunity to defend their tribe later tonight.

After tryouts the girls head off to their activities, and I find a nice working camera to start taking pictures of them, and their activities. From class to class, all around camp, there are safety talks, and first timers in the water. The gymnastics crew goes over basics, and when I make my way in there, I introduce myself, “I’m Becca, I was born and raised in Ohio. I go to school in Michigan though, at Eastern Michigan University! I am a proud Choctaw, and I am also a Blue Heaven counselor.” I wave to my girls, “this is my first year at camp, but I have been doing gymnastics for fourteen years… ish, and I have been coaching for six years.” They all wave at me, and I take a couple pictures of them before I wave goodbye and head to other parts of camp.

Down by Lake Doris, four-week kayakers are learning rolls, and help each other out when they can’t get back over while doing rolls. They pose for pictures, and the morning sun rises and slowly gets hotter and hotter.

I make my way to puppy camp, a place that I find really relaxing to be. As I open up the gate, the girls are playing game to pick their partners and which puppy they will be with while at camp. Dillon, one of the dogs, pulls on my shirt that is hanging pretty low. I push him off of me, but he’s a dog, so he see’s it as a game and keeps trying by tugging on my shirt. The girls feed them snacks, while giving them commands to sit, and lay down. “You know, at my school during exams, they will bring in puppies for us to play with at the science complex.” I tell one of the campers.

“Why?” she asks.

“It’s supposed to help reduce stress.” I say, and I smile, and I find it to be true. I went last semester when I was extremely stressed, and the puppies helped a lot. So I completely understand why everyone loves puppy camp!

Down in cooking (and in the air conditioning) I find that they are making cookies, and I even get the chance to taste one. I close my eyes, and take in the sweet taste of the amazing cookies that the campers had made in the first period. They are becoming experts!

At one o’clock, the lunch bell chimes, and we all pile into the dining hall for Taco’s in a bag. A big time favorite around Merri-Mac, by the time I reach my table in the back corner, all the bags of Frito’s are already divided among the girls, and someone is ready to go get them refilled.

We sing, and we pray, and I am off to go get them some meat. We talk about random things, as we do everyday, and we find ourselves always laughing uncontrollably. Typically at something embarrassing that they just caught me doing. That is when an announcement is made, “tonight for evening activity, the theme is super heroes!”

One of my campers, Claire H. looks at me, “Becca, can I use your superman costume!?” She yells, and I nod in excitement. I had just told them yesterday about this costume and that I wanted to be able to wear it, but they knew that I would be missing evening activity tonight so it was up for grabs. The announcements song comes, and I look at Mary Elizabeth G. and point, “this is it!” I yell.

“Beeeeee Quiet!” Someone announces and once again I drop my head in defeat.

“Hey!” Tucker Inn screams back.

“Dinner!” I say, pointing to everyone. “I can feel it, dinner we will get through the announcements song at dinner.” After lunch, we sweep, and once again I am dancing with the girls, finding myself really enjoying my time with them. They sing, It’s a hard knock life, as if we are torturing them by making them sweep, sing and dance at the same time. Don’t let them fool you, they actually enjoy sweeping.

Together, we make our climb up senior hill. We get to the top and we are all out of breath, “all summer… and this hill doesn’t get better.” I say between breaths.

The girls laugh, “you would think that it would!” They head to the cabin, and we tell them to climb in their beds because it is rest hour.

“But it doesn’t. It actually gets worse.” It’s the truth, but it’s good exercise. Yesterday I had gone to trading post with them, and we sat in the cabin afterwards and played a game that had us answer questions about camp, and we told stories about experiences at home, or our embarrassing moments.

I find guitar and archery, learning new skills, and going over safety rules. Fencing has some fun, learning the basics, and once again the kitchen is up and running.

By the time dinner rolls around, the girls are once again hungry, everyone is dressed in their super hero outfits, and I find that Claire H. has found my superman dress and is wearing it as a cape. I’m glad to see that it’s getting some use. Once again the announcements song is in full swing, and this time we are getting further than we had all day. I raise my eyebrows looking at Mary Elizabeth G.

“Look!” I yell, pointing at her from across the table, “over the ridge, it’s Becky’s giraffe! Blub blub blub! Spill mop girl, come. Water is power. Squirrel whirl, it’s gonna be wild. How wild? So wild!?” We yell and slam on the table. “Lick a friend, absolutely I do! Bang a rang, sip on that, boom roasted! We love ya’ll, we love ya’ll. Leave your sassy boots at the door, getcha some!”

“Beeeee Quiet!”

“No!” I yell. Mary Elizabeth G. smiles, “tomorrow is the day!” I say and she shakes her head at me, laughing.

The girls head off to Volleyball and I write this story.

Many days have similar layouts, the girl’s travel to different activities, learn different things, and go over safety talks. Adam B. always tells us, as staff, that 4,000 things have to go right in order to have a normal day of camp, and it is incredibly true. However, everyday, even though I have lost count of the number of days that we have been at camp, everyday as been a “normal,” day so far. We always have really great days, with different conversations, and I get the pleasure of doing my girls hair in the mornings, and helping them overcome homesickness. I get to tell them about my own embarrassing moments, which… one typically happens once a week so there is plenty of material to keep them laughing. They laugh, and they tell me their stories as well. They tell me about their families, many of which I sadly will never get to meet. They tell me when they overcome a fear, or get a new skill, and some of the girls I get to have in my gymnastics class, so I get the pleasure of helping them do those things as well.

Tonight, I will continue to read to my girls once lights are out. We are finishing up the book of Matthew, and the plot is thickening! The girls really enjoy it, and I love reading to them. As I will turn out my flashlight once I finish whatever chapter I end on, I will once again thank God for the experiences that I get with these girls.

And as far as the parents back home reading this… your girl may not have been mentioned, but I can guarantee, similar things are happening on a daily basis. Your girls are laughing; your girls are learning, and growing. They have relaxing classes, and they are helping each other out. They are probably making bets with their counselors as well, maybe not something as silly as making it through the announcements song, but things like… “if you get a ten on cabin inspection, you can push me in the lake!”

Jokes are being told, fun is being had, and above all, we are all learning and growing. That is the best part about camp, so thank you for giving us your girls for a couple of weeks so we can love them too, and grow with them and learn with them.

God bless you and keep you!

-Becca Garber

 

What About Next Summer?

During my first year at camp I made my parents proud.  They were proud of my independence.  They were proud that I could be a camper, which meant I could be almost anything (they knew this because they knew a lot about camps!).
The second summer I made my counselors proud.  They were proud because I learned to wrestle.  They were proud because I had stopped being afraid and had discovered a couple things I was good at doing.  They were proud because they were responsible for many of those changes.
My third summer at camp I made myself proud.  I was proud because I learned I could do much more than succeed at camp.  At camp I could practice being a better person than I could be anywhere else, and by my third summer I could see myself becoming that person for real.
My fourth summer my father bought a girls camp, and I was 12, and I thought camp could never be anything more to me than it had already been.  So I chose to work at Merri-Mac rather than return to my camp.  It was a bad decision.  I know this because every day I work with campers and staff who have been with us for ten and more years and I see something in them that fills the gap between being a great child and an exceptional young man or woman.
These are campers who make their parents proud, these are CIT’s that make their counselors proud, these are counselors who make themselves proud, and these are young people that I envy and admire.
Our goal is to make each summer the best of every camper’s life, and sometimes we come pretty close.   This is our goal but it is not our purpose, because it is not each summer that we are most interested in.  It is every summer, put together, that is our best tool in making children into exceptional young people.  I hope your camper will be able to join us for many summers to come.

Adam Boyd

 

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The Best Place To Be

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Camp is my favorite place to be. The Blue Ridge Mountains that surround Merri-Mac provide incredible comfort and adventure. The sun peaks over the ridge each morning and I am immediately filled with joy at the prospect of the day ahead. Today was no exception. Today marked the first day of camp for many girls here, it began with singing and syrup and pancakes in the Tucker Inn. After breakfast, everyone followed the winding path past the barn, up and above the lake to the Chapel. We all joined in song and fellowship and heard from Director Adam Boyd a message about God’s character and heart towards us all.

Flowing from Chapel with joy in their hearts, the girls headed to the tribe meetings where they learned new songs and forged new friendships. After a few minutes of free time, waiting in anticipation for the day ahead, activities finally began. In backpacking, everyone learned about the principles of leaving no trace when camping. Over at the barn, girls began cantering and jumping their horses. Up at Lake Doris, campers learned the different parts of the canoe paddle and boat, began canoeing, got in kayaks, and worked on rolls, dives, and strokes. There were lots of smiles and splashes at the dock today.

At the traverse wall, campers began working on their bars and learning to anchor knots. Mountain biking class got on their bikes for the first time and raced one another back and forth across Spencer’s green. Sweet guitar chords echoed across Sr. Hill from Little Dipper porch as guitar class strummed and plucked away. Trading post is always a highlight of the day for everyone. Right after rest hour everyone bounded down the hill with the sweet prospect of candy on the horizon. The hour following was full of sweet conversation and sweet treats. The day wrapped up with a spirited game of sock war, we all are eagerly anticipating to hear which tribe won tomorrow!

Davie Boone

Proud Seminole

SunnySide Counselor

Welcome to 3B!

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Dear Parents,

Welcome to camp!  Merri-Mac started this session with a beautiful opening day. The sun was shining, the breeze was perfect and there were many happy faces. Ann and I enjoyed talking with so many of our parents as you checked your girls in.

After a year of planning we officially started this session with a swim test, deemed “Discover Doris”, followed by a delicious dinner of pot roast and potatoes, and ending with cabin songs.  It’s always fun to see the girls sing as part of their new cabin each year – and Comet did an especially great job tonight.  Those girls are excited to be on the hill.  That said, it’s pretty clear that the big excitement is coming tomorrow when they sing their tribe songs for the first time in a year.

Later several cabins were seen sneaking out with their staff for their own special cabin initiations.  There are lots of girls becoming Merri-Mac insiders tonight.

Tonight during initiation we had many smiling faces joining their respective tribes tonight.

Seminoles: Julia C, Loy H, Olivia R, Merrit G, Zoe K, Eleanor T, Julia S, Turner C, Sarah P, Lucy B, Tallulah B, Anna D, Laura L, Emma D, Kate S, Matilde V, Maeve H, Fiona S, Lia Rose H, Paris C, and Sarah R.

Choctaw: Elizabeth P, Esmeralda S, Ava W, Aubrey W, Mary Emma W, Olivia W, Daley C, Caroline D, Emma M, Blake D, Anna R, Margaret B, Shea S, Margaret C, Giovanna P, Emma C, Alexa S, Annabel R, Maria B, Ella T, Carolena S, Molly M, Isabella D, Alyssa S, and Bailey Z.

Iroquois: Jolie F, Kate S, Adair S, Callie S, Savannah S, Marion M, Mia S, EJ S, Vivian F, Sara Byrd S, Carolyn J, Lillian Jane L, Caroline C, Amy W, Erin W, Allie J, Ellie K, Maggie S, Mira S, Catherine J, Lauren D, Adeline G, Nora Q, Dargan M, Rose R, and Isabela F.

I wanted to end by thanking you again for sharing your daughters with us; we have a great group of girls and we are proud of each of them. We also have some very exciting days lined up and we’ll keep you posted each day.

Great Camping!

Adam Boyd

What is White Feather?

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What is White Feather?

Each week Merri-Mac gathers by divisions: legends are read, awards are given and handprints are left on standards.  We do this because we think it is important to recognize growth in our campers, and equally important that they recognize it in themselves. It is important because we are made to live life together, to be challenged, grow and succeed, and to engage our world.  These things are always best learned in families, but we believe they are next best learned at camp.  We also believe that the things that happen at camp help girls grow and so we have designed our White Feather program to lay breadcrumbs on the trail for growth at camp.

As part of White Feather girls accumulate “marks” based on activity achievements, elective challenges (solo backpacking trips, running Tomahawk Trail, building a three match fire, etc.) and cabin leadership.  Each mark takes them a step closer to their next “promotion” toward the highest rank of White Feather.  With each mark and each promotion girls receive pins and necklaces, which we encourage them to keep on their camp pennant.  The result is that through their years girls will build a record of their camp accomplishments.

White Feather Awards:

Ground hog: Bennett B., Spencer C., Caroline W., Kopelyn C., Mary Kate F.

Badger: Spencer C.

Arrow: Grace C, Amelia L., Mayah M., Sienna N., Emma P., Riley V., Erin I., Katherine L., Megan N., Sophia N., Annabeth T., Emily W.

Crazy Creek: Rebecca M., Celia S., Isabella S., Martha P., Anna Katherine W.

Long Bow: Grace K., Allie S.

Running Deer: Caroline H., Cole M., Ryan S., Glory W., Grayson L., Grace R., Molly W.

Red Tail: Caroline C., Kathryn G., Katherine H., Abby K., Brigitte N., Ramey S., Virginia C., Lila H., Holly H., Katherine M., Hayden W.

Junior Feather: Grace C.

Camper Commendations:

Avery C., Bailey H., Indi P., Caroline W., Elizabeth W., Julia B., Adrianna B., Clarissa S., Grace C., Annabeth T., Erin I., Lilly H., Meg M., Rebecca M., Janie H., Carly G., Ivy C., Mary Elizabeth G., Allie S., Lizzie H., Savannah L., Maggie D., Glory W., Maddie N., Molly P., Sienna N., Anna Katherine W., Addie O., Riley E., Ryan W., Gracie R., Ramey S., Brigette N., Lila H., Molly W., Grace C., Savannah S., Julia C., Ashley W., Stewart W., Madeline S., Kate C., Caroline M., Morgan G., Vanessa D., Zena D.

 

Counselor Commendations:

Bennet B., Mary Kate F., Lucy B., Kopelyn C., Avarie A., Sylvia B., Lola H., Coco M., Summer W., Sophia N., Mayah M., Katie K., Ansleigh S., Rebecca M., Megan N., Ivy C., Isabella S., Martha P., Kate A., Isabel K., Mckinley L., Marilou C., Anna Katherine W., Mattie G., Libba M., Jaden M., Heather C., Sofie H., Eleanor P., Grace H., Jane B., Caroline H., Savanna S., Sydney H., Julia S., Caroline C., Madeline C., Margaret P., Elizabeth W., Juliette A., Ellie P.

 

Electives:

Hailey F., Mary Katherine F., Kathryn G., Virginia C., Molly W., Rush L., Emily K., Bailey S.

 

In the end the most important part of Merri-Mac Council comes after the ceremony is over.  During cabin time during those evenings the counselors will go to each camper to describe the gifts and abilities that they have noticed in her. They also take a few minutes to pray for her. This is where a girl who may never earn a White Feather Promotion, or a Gold Bar, or be elected to a tribal office, can be told about her own unique gifts and contribution to her camp family.

– Adam

 

See Ya Next Summer

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Merri-Mac woke up this morning to a heavy mist in the air, which quickly disappeared just after breakfast. The sun shined bright and the day turned out to be one of the hottest all session. Breakfast this morning was eaten as fast as it was served while all the girls chatted about Amelia G.’s “Elf” themed Princess Party the night before. Some may think it strange to celebrate Christmas in the middle of the summer but here at Camp Merri-Mac it’s just as normal as brushing your teeth or wearing your tribe jersey to evening activity.

 

Chapel was given by Adam B. who taught a lesson on the 10 commandments. It was a bittersweet morning as tomorrow many of our campers will leave and not return until camp next summer.

 

Despite the lingering thought of going home, activities were in full swing with happy campers everywhere. The riding class made their way around the ring, stopping to smile for several pictures of course. In pottery, campers were working with the clay using their imaginations to be as creative as possible. DIY crafters were diligently finishing their projects, many of which were cross-stitching’s.  In cooking the girls whipped up some, may I say, delicious chocolate chip muffins – a perfect warm and gooey food for the last day of class. They even made homemade smoothies full of strawberries and yogurt, mmm.

 

During lunch girls enjoyed spending time with their best ‘camp’ friends while chowing down on some delicious food prepared by our awesome kitchen staff. After the trays were cleared the campers sang some of their favorite tribe songs to get pumped up for tonight’s evening activity – counselor hunt! This is when all the counselors hide around property hoping to not be found by the campers. If they are found, they get pushed in the lake! What the campers don’t know is that we love Lake Doris so it’s just as fun for us as it is for them!

 

Rest hour was both quiet and busy with girls packing trunks in preparation for Session 3A closing tomorrow. We do our very best to make sure every trunk is packed neatly and with every one of our campers belongings inside. This is a special time for some last minute bonding between cabin counselors and campers.

 

In the afternoon, the Backpacking class took a trip to the High Ropes course where campers, old and new, faced their fears and kissed the tree all the way at the top and across the course. At the lake girls enjoyed free swim and especially the Blob! In drama campers played games led by some of the older girls and guitar played sweet melodies that filled senior hill. In PAWS, each one of our dogs received a bath so that they will be nice and clean for the opening day of Session 3B. Our puppies sure have enjoyed these campers! The girls in Archery practiced shooting and talked about how they have improved over the summer. Something we take very seriously here at camp is helping girls excel and achieve their goals during their time here with us.

 

Dinner was the traditional closing day meal, bar-b-que, slaw, fried okra, baked beans and strawberry shortcake. The dining hall was full of smiles and happy girls ready to run all over camp to hunt down their favorite counselor.

 

The bugles will ring tonight at the same time they do every night, however this night is special. Tonight our girls will spend their last night of the summer with the best friends they have made and as they drift off to sleep they will be comforted by the often heard, frequently said phrase “see you next summer”.

 

Morgan Collette

Director of Puppy Camp

Proud Iroquois

Princess Party Day

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At the sound of reveille this morning, girls were springing out of bed to get a jump on the day. Why? It’s arguably one of the best days of camp; princess party. A few days back, all of the cabins voted for a princess who would get to play a role in Amelia’s skit for the night. These girls slaved away all day, memorizing lines and choreography to ensure a smooth performance tonight. After we got the cabins all clean, we headed to Tucker Inn for an even bigger surprise; BAKED OATMEAL. The girls who have been here before were all starting to wonder if it even existed anymore, and this morning, we got our answer. What a wonderful way to start the day!

Chapel was absolutely wonderful with the sound of our voices alone. No instruments were to be heard all over camp as we sang “Pharaoh, Pharaoh,” and “How He Loves Us.” Caitlyn Conyers gave us a great message on the question “What does God require of us?” She pulled from Jeremiah 29:13, which tells us that all He requires is that we seek Him out daily. We all mulled this over as we headed to our activities. Over in Archery, Bailey S was working towards her silver bar, pulling back about seventy pounds of resistance on her bow. Sarah Kate E was also very determined to get her silver in riflery! The paws class was also having a great day, frolicking in the sun despite the heat. On the lower side of the hill, in knitting, the girls were keeping cool on the Patti-O. There were several headbands in the works. As soon as the cooking kitchen door opened, the sweet aroma of cherry and chocolate chip muffins wafted out, tantalizing many of those sitting just outside. To top it off, they also made smoothies to wash the muffins down with.

Lunch was a true blessing, comprised of both mini corn dogs, mac & cheese, and tribal switch day. At lunch, we sing the songs of our tribes, but today, we sang songs from other tribes, replacing words to make them our own. Rest time was accompanied by some much needed rain, for it had become almost too hot to bear. Luckily, it slacked off just in time for free period. Trading post was crazy busy as per usual, but there were a significant number of campers who decided that naps were higher on the priority list than candy.

It was a very peaceful afternoon in fitness today, where they were doing yoga to the sound of the second rainstorm. Pottery seemed fairly placid as well, as girls were finishing up their pots before time to leave. Preparations for closing have started, and as the girls chanted earlier, “we’re not leaving!” O, that camp could last forever. After fourth period, the girls were able to put on their best dresses for the princess party. They came down to dinner looking so very beautiful, ready to bask in the glow of all of Amelia’s hard work. We’re ready to close out the day with an evening devotional, and do it all again tomorrow in a million different ways. That’s all folks!

Counselor Taryn

#Camp Is Great

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Another great day at Merri-Mac to add to the books
Every girl displayed a grin and very joyful looks
A camp favorite for breakfast; yes, circle eggs
“Can I please have seconds?” each camper begs
Then off to chapel where “Who is Jesus?” was learned
Followed by tribal trash pickup, so the banner can be earned
An hour of free time spent playing in the creek
What a way to enjoy session 3A’s final week
A bugle rings for class to start and each girl must run
Off to fencing, guitar, or canoeing in the sun
In gymnastics everyone worked on their stretching
And in lacrosse there were many balls to be fetching
In fitness, the class ran several laps
Yes, they are tired and will be asleep before taps
Pottery shaped and molded their clay
Cooking was thrilled for chicken taco day
Backpacking roasted s’mores on the fire
And a scrimmage in soccer came down to the wire
Taco in a bag is what was devoured for lunch
Adding in toppings with fritos and making a crunch
Princess party practice took place to rehearse the play
Tomorrow we will find out the theme and honor CIT Amelia Gay!
Reading and writing was done during rest hour
Followed by trading post with treats sweet and sour
This afternoon was spent in more classes
Growth through friends and adventure was achieved by the masses
Kayaking practiced and perfected their rolls
Archery hit bullseyes and exceeded their goals
Swimming worked hard to improve their four strokes
Rifelry saved targets to mail home to their folks
Tonights evening activity; my favorite for sure
The Great Escape: a scavenger hunt all tribes must endure
The winning tribe is the first to ring the bell
Followed by cheering and a victory yell
Another day at Merri-Mac gone and away
But back up on Wednesday for more chances to play
Whats in store for tomorrow? Its a surprise; we must wait
Just one more reason of why #campisgreat

From this Haven
Anna Moon
Tweedle Doe Counselor (Best cabin)
Volleyball Instructor (Best activity)
Proud Choctaw (Best tribe)

A Monday of the Merri Kind

 

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To close yesterday’s beautiful Day of Rest here at Camp Merri-Mac, we enjoyed a Sunday Vespers service. We laughed at hilarious skits the counselors put on and The Black Mountain Oysters (a world—er, camp—famous band made up of Merri-Mac and Timberlake staff members) played worship songs and popular songs, such as Riptide and Shut Up & Dance With Me. Then, counselor Becca shared about God’s unconditional acceptance of His children. It was truly the perfect Sunday to conclude our first week of the session and it provided the rest we need for another fun-packed week at camp.

This Monday morning, campers made their way down to the Tucker Inn to find a delicious surprise: pancakes for breakfast! After enjoying the syrupy goodness, we filled the chapel and sang Star of the Morning, Amazing Love, and Let My Light Shine (which, as a matter of fact, was stuck in my head all day). Then, Adam spoke about a Wynton Marsalis concert. He’s a hero, a prodigy, in the jazz world. One song in particular at this show was especially magical, but right at the height of the song’s magic, as eyes gleamed at Marsalis in amazed enchantment, a cell phone rang. Eyes pierced the phone’s owner like daggers. Oh, the shame this man must have felt! One critic wrote on a napkin, “magic ruined.” Marsalis, however, to the crowd’s astonishment, paused and then imitated the ringtone, and then began to improvise with the tune, eventually beautifully weaving it back into the original song. He was a master at his art, able to take something deemed ruined and make it beautiful. Jesus, in the same way, takes us for who we are, in our brokenness, and makes us beautiful. Adam concluded with Ephesians 4: 22-24, in which Paul writes about taking off the old self and putting on “the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Activities today were packed with fun, learning, friends, and adventure! In Cooking, campers made chicken tacos, complete with guacamole and homemade tortillas. In Climbing, campers learned about different climbing gear (including cams, nuts, and carabiners) and practiced traversing technique. Many campers practiced their T-rescues and rolls in Kayaking as they enjoyed Lake Doris on this hot day. Backpacking classes learned techniques for lighting fires, including which types of wood should be used (never rhododendron), types of kindling, and how to get sap from trees. Campers in Horseback Riding classes rode around camp. Fitness classes did abs workouts as they jammed to some Taylor Swift tunes.

At lunch today, we ate the ever-anticipated Stromboli. But, there were a few tables of campers absent at the meal – Where were the Sunnysiders? Well, while their fellow campers enjoyed a hot, action-packed day at camp, they embarked on the Sunnyside Trip, a long-lasting Merri-Mac tradition. This morning, these girls hiked to Max Patch, a bald mountain peak about an hour and a half from camp, where they played games like Spikeball and Frisbee and had a picnic. They returned to camp this afternoon and got all dolled-up for a night out. Tonight, they are enjoying a dinner at a hibachi restaurant and going bowling.

Meanwhile, this evening at camp, it’s Cabin Night! The Tweedle cabins have a Free Swim at Lake Doris followed by a campfire and s’mores. Stardust is camping out at The Shelter, which is located on camp property a mile up the Tomahawk Trail. Milky Way is eating their fill of s’mores at the Teepee campfire. Comet campers are getting their creative juices flowing as they write and perform skits in the drama room. Blue Heaven found the perfect cure to this hot North Carolina day: the slip ‘n’ slide on Mackey’s Green! Little Dipper is enjoying an evening by the pool at The Boyd’s. Big Dipper is playing games and camping out at the Mark at Spencer’s Green. Moonmist is enjoying a big game of Laser Tag. Rainbow is cooking something up in the Merri-Mac Kitchen. The Dreams cabins are having a pancake second dinner in The Tucker Inn (lucky girls—pancakes twice in one day? It doesn’t get much better than that).

Tonight, as some girls will fall asleep in sleeping bags under the stars and others in their cozy cabins, I remember the camp psalm:

The Lord watches over you—

The Lord is your shade at your right hand;

The sun will not harm you by day,

Nor the moon by night.

                                    (Psalm 121: 5-6, NIV)

 

Goodnight, Merri-Mac family!

Maddy Mudd

Seminole, Big Dipper Counselor & Rock Climbing Instructor

Sunday, Sunday

 

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It was a lovely Sunday here at Merri-Mac. With the sun shining down and girls in white the day couldn’t have started better. After sleeping in the girls went down to the Tucker Inn to enjoy a breakfast of cinnamon rolls. Today’s chapel was given by our wonderful director Adam B. The message came in story form. He told the girls about two brothers, the elder a wise and kind man and the younger a foolish, rough man. The elder brother spent his life wisely and to the good of others, keeping nothing for himself. A wild existence is what the younger brother kept. Years had past and the two brothers had traveled very different paths and were reaping the results. The younger had fallen in with the wrong crowd and had committed many crimes to keep his life style. The elder brother was the owner of a small, but well to do, printing company. One night the elder brother heard a small, exhausted knock at his door. His younger brother had killed a man and had no where to turn. The older brother into his house, cleaned him up and put him to bed. When the police came looking for the younger brother, they found the older in his clothes. The older brother had made himself to look like his younger brother. The police could tell no difference and took him away. The older brother received his younger brother’s punishment. But before his punishment took place he wrote a small note, ” I have died your death for you, now you live my life for me.” The entire story was to illustrate how Jesus has taken our punishment and how we should live for him.

After chapel concluded to girls went off to enjoy their free-time and friends. Many cabins, such as Tweedle-Dee and SunSpot, decided to put on a spa-day with hair-does and nail-painting. Several activities, such as basket ball, fencing, and back-packing were open so campers could work on their bars. In guitar the girls worked on a Mumford and Sons song, while in tennis they were working on serves and game play. One of the Intermediate cabins, Comet, went on a cabin trip to Catawba Falls. All of camp was ecstatic about today’s lunch, which consisted of fried chicken, green beans and mashed potatoes.  After a hour long rest period the girls went off to have free-swim in Lake Doris. Many of the campers not only enjoyed the “Blob”, but also the water-slide. In Pottery today the young ladies were able to finish their pieces before they were put into the kiln to be fired. Tonight for dinner the girls had a cook-out with burgers, hot-dogs, potato salad, and cookies. Now they are all headed for Vespers, a long-standing camp tradition.

 

Counselor Caroline