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Dear Parents,

 

Welcome to camp!  Merri-Mac started this session with a wonderful opening day.  Ann and I especially enjoyed talking with so many of our parents as you checked your girls in.

 

After a year of planning we officially started first session with a swim test, followed by dinner and singing.  Sunnyside did a wonderful job leading the cabin songs, but it was clear that the real tension is building for tomorrow’s first tribal cheers.  But before that happens, we had to elect our new tribal officers:

 

After dinner we went up the mountain for the initiation.

 

The new Merri-Mac Seminoles are:

Alexandra Di Paolo

Julia Donaghy

Camille Lassiter

Mary Jane Lassiter

Molly Tuttle

Reese Ziegler

Kathryn Carey

Grace Miller

Morgan Healy

Virginia Donaghy

Molly Frye

Bella Cantrell

Maria Ugarte

Anne Cunningham

Fernanda Gonzalez-Alcocer

 

The new Merri-Mac Iroquois are:

Spencer Cobbs

Davies Summerlin

Cameron Flathers

Morgan Smith

Caroline Perez

Bella Tesoriere

Jessica Gargaro

Avery Moyer

Sarah Hollowell

Katherine Miller

Lauryn Kumpe

Mariah Kumpe

Kennedi Green

Hannah Pierce

Olivia Bledsoe

Sydney Raymond

Millie Saydiowski

Christina Johnson

Gabriela Notzen

Hannah Miller

Libby Morgan

Lexie Johnson

Jennifer Chartier

Anna Grace Austin

Mary Sanford Austin

 

The new Merri-Mac Choctaws are:

Amelia Murphy

Caroline Fowlkes

Lindsey Bergelin

Ashley L. Pitts

Tallulah Segrave

Addie Furr

Jayne Beth Martin

Cate Lemmon

Avarie Adams

Bennett Phillips

Katie Bergelin

Maddie Lemmon

Maddy Phillips

Kate Wilson

Alyssa Daniels

 

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

 

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

 

Great Camping!

Adam Boyd

 

A Very Merri-Mac Thursday

Thursday, July 24th began with the sound of the morning bugle and the smell of pancakes wafting up senior hill. Morning songs included a practice round of Friendship Circle tunes, and a few tears were shed in anticipation of the soon-to-be end of summer. The girls quickly fell into their mourning routines, however, and another day at Merri-Mac was quickly underway. The young ladies in knitting class put finishing touches on scarves and headbands, while the girls of DIY crafts added final embellishments to decoupage journals. Up on the tennis courts, Marquesa C. led the first period class as a requirement for earning a gold bar, and nestled on Little Dipper’s front porch, guitar class celebrated as Morgan G. successfully completed a bronze bar achievement.
Lunch brought the Merri-Mac-ers a happy surprise. An old favorite for returning campers and a new love for first-year girls, stromboli was a marked success in the dining hall. Filled-to-the-brim on the delicious Italian food, the girls tumbled gratefully into bunks and beds for a relaxing rest hour, followed by a rush to the Trading Post for a sweet treat.
Later that afternoon, the ladies in cooking class displayed their culinary talents by creating personal pizzas from fresh ingredients. The soccer class enjoyed a special treat, free swimming in Lake Doris. The girls in drama class enjoyed utilizing their skills of character development in several fun games, including the classic “Party Guest”, where you never know who’s coming to dinner!
Speaking of dinner, grilled chicken and potato au gratin completed the menu. And the ice cream sandwiches were not to be forgotten!
The evening culminated with a White Feather Ceremony, where a gold bar in archery was awarded to Millie M., a gold bar in backpacking went to Maddie M., and Amelia G. received a silver bar in basketball. A silver bar in competitive swimming went to Sophie S., and a silver bar in dance was achieved by Scout L. Maggie D., Scout L., and Mimi M. earned silver bars in fencing, and Anna M. achieved a silver bar in guitar. Gymnastic silver bars were awarded to Claire R. and Sydney H. In riding Grace R., Margaret R., Virginia C., Maggie G., Juliette A., and Claire L. earned silver bars, and Maggie G., Juliette A., and Taylor U. achieved gold bars. In swimming Olivia T., Cole M., Mattie G., Anna Caitlyn A., Anna M., and Isabella S. earned their silver bars, and Emma M. and Olivia T. achieved gold bars. Julia B., Wynne W., and Kate T. achieved silver bars in tennis, and Alice M. and Katherine M. received gold bars. Various bronze bars, commendations, and electives were also awarded.
Immediately following White Feather, the girls participated in a camp-favorite – Sock War! Each tribe battled bravely, contending for spirit points as well as the winning score. But as soon as the game was over, Tweedle Dee, Blue Heaven, and Sunspot girls raced to Tucker Inn to enjoy cabin cakes, the spoils of their victory as cleanest cabins.
As the hour of taps approached, sleepy Merri-Mac-ers nestled down between sheets and under blankets, cuddling pillows and stuffed friends alike, as counselors read bed time stories and prayed blessings over each girl, thanking God for a wonderful, very Merri-Mac Thursday.
Stephanie Graybill | Blue Heaven | Choctaw

Camp freezes over!

The day is finally here! The cabin princesses have been selected from each cabin. And have kept the secret of the theme of tonight’s princess party. All week they have been attending secret play rehearsals during rest hour to practice lines and dances. And after a week of dodging questions from curious campers and staff the camp filed into the mike for the princess party and the theme is finally revealed. It’s Disney’s FROZEN!

The build up to tonight would have been unbearable if it wasn’t such a great day at camp. In climbing the girls were at the lower tower and the grotto for the majority of the day but made a trip to the lake to practice placing gear in the rocks that surround the lake. In pottery they put the finishing touches on their mugs and whistles and glazed all their projects so they could go into the kiln before its time for our two week campers to go home. In lacrosse today they practiced mirroring and ran some really fun drills to practice the fundamentals of the sport. Volleyball today learned how to spike. In PAWs they worked on changing the dogs from walking with harnesses to walking with collars. In riding today they took laps around camp practicing proper technique. Camp craft today went to new heights today as they took they girls up on the high ropes course. In cooking they made their own personal pizzas. Fencing today spent the whole day sparing. In kayaking they worked on their rolls and t-rescues. In fitness they spent the day finding their center doing yoga. And because the mike was occupied all day with the princesses decorating for the party gymnastic had a fun day free swimming in the lake.

After the whole day of build up it was finally time for the princess party! The girls all looked so beautiful dressed up for Anabell’s princess party. The mike looked like a winter wonderland as the room was covered in snow flakes and painted of ice castles covered the walls. As they filled up the mike they began singing the princess song as Anabell made her grand entrance into the mike with her escort Patio. Anabell took her seat on stage and the play began. Our head of swimming Madi played the lead role of Elsa and she was paired with our first session princess who stepped in for another princess party as Ana. The play had us all rolling over with laughter as they changed the lines of the movie to incorporate camp jokes. These jokes ranged from how strong the Choctaw spirit is to the excitement over the Rockmont dance. As the play came to a close and the actresses took their bows the crowd chanted for an encore. The song “Classic” by MKTO blasted through the speakers as the cast jumped into a synchronized dance that was a surprise not only for the crowd but also for the princess. It brought the crowd to their feet as we all joined in for the final chorus. As the girls filed out of the mike even more surprises awaited them. They are received a t shirt that said “Anabell’s Princess Party” on it and a goody bag full of cake pops and snowflake cookies. After taking cabin pictures the girls ran down to the boat house where an ice cream truck was waiting for them. Anabell’s princess party was a hit and a great way to end another amazing day at camp.

Abby Murray

Milky Way Counselor

Welcome Back Sunshine!

The skies cleared for an incredible day at Camp Merri-Mac! From hazy clouds to blue skies, the spirit of Merri-Mac lifted tremendously and the energy in activities was incomparable! So many girls achieved bars in several activities.

The morning started chilly, but campers got up, got ready for the day, and began their daily chores, trying to achieve that “10” for a cabin score that seemed impossible. Breakfast brought smiles with some of the fluffiest camp biscuits ever. The kitchen staff was in high spirits as it was the Head of the Kitchen Monica’s birthday! The entire camp brought her out during lunch to sing happy birthday to her. After breakfast, there was the usual stampede to Chapel to get the best seat. The message was by counselor Christy, where she talked about craving lemonade, and trying to replace it with Crystal Light and Sweet Tea. She explained that she was not satisfied until she finally had the lemonade and how this parallels our desire for Christ.

After Chapel, the girls had a bit of free time before heading off to activities. Cooking made Mac & Cheese from scratch (it was delicious) and knitting worked on their headbands. Across the way in pottery, girls began glazing their mugs and upstairs in DIY crafts, they modge-podged journals using magazines. Backpacking had the opportunity to go to the low ropes course, practicing solo success and group work. Volleyball class worked on serving, specifically to get their bronze. Horse Back Riding practiced their jumping techniques and went on a trail ride!

After their first two classes, the girls headed to lunch where they had everyone’s favorite: Taco in a Bag! For those who don’t know, Taco in a Bag consists of a bag of Fritos (the taco shell), taco meat, salsa, and the usual toppings. Girls can either pour the Fritos onto their plate or they can put everything inside of the bag, shake it up, and then pour it out! Desert was rice crispy treats, and then everyone headed to their cabins for thirty minutes of rest, giving them time to sleep and write letters home. The bugle rang for trading post and girls sprinted to get in line first for candy. Once all the mayhem ended, third and fourth periods began!

At the Upper Tower, girls worked on climbing the tower, as it is one step closer to achieving their bronze in climbing. Next to the tower, girls also had to opportunity to climb a new route on the Boulder. At Puppy camp, girls learned the difference between walking the dogs with harnesses and different collars. Tennis worked on serves and played Queens of the Court. At gymnastics, girls loved the chance to work on the trampoline, learning several different jumps and flips. In riflery, Celia S. got her bronze, and in archery, girls practiced getting a bull’s-eye by aiming for a balloon taped to the center of the target. Margaret P. received her bronze and Millie M. received her gold, which is very difficult to achieve, and takes a lot of work and patience. Guitar serenaded the camp while learning Pompeii and Counting Stars while Hollis B. got her bronze. On the dock, swimming dominated in bars! Isabel K., Sophia S., and Cole M. all received their silver while Emma M. and Olivia T. received their gold! In diving, Janie C. earned her bronze after performing a standing back dive by herself! Kayaking worked on rolls, one of the more advanced steps in the class.

As you can see, classes were a huge success today! After they were finished however, the fun did not stop there. At dinner, girls sang the favorite “We were’s!” This is where girls get to stand up and sing the songs of the cabins they were once in! The older cabins love being able to sing the songs they once sang years ago! Counselors were also able to sing their add-ons to the Sunnyside and CIT songs. After the singing was done, the evening festivities began. Counselors were dressed in black and painted up, hoping not to be found during COUNSELOR HUNT. Once found, the camper who found them pushed them in the lake in front of everyone. At this point, they discover how many points they are worth to the tribe, positive OR negative! Let’s hope everyone found a good hiding spot!

Another amazing day at camp come and gone and the girls will go to sleep tonight with smiles on their faces, excited for the next day. Thank you for sharing your incredible girls with us this summer! They are such a blessing at this camp!

Good night Camp Merri-Mac!

Counselor Amelia Kisling

12 years returning
Tweedle Doe Counselor
Kayaking instructor
Seminoles Best Tribe!

 

A Glorious Merri-Mac Monday!

 It was a beautiful day today at Merri-Mac. The girls all woke up feeling well rested after their peaceful Sunday. Everyone happily began their chores, except for our oldest girls in Cloud 9, Sundrop, and Sunnyside, who were surprised by finding out their long awaited Sunnyside trip was today! These lucky girls would be in for a day of surprised including a trip to Gravitopia (an indoor trampoline park) and going out to dinner. Our Sunnyside girls were missed today at camp!
  For the rest of the cabins, it was a breakfast of circle eggs, sausage, and biscuits. After the delicious meal, everyone listened to a message at chapel from Adam about living our lives for Jesus. Thankfully, the rain held off for our activities today! In cooking, the girls made pigs in a blanket and mac and cheese. In knitting, the girls were perfecting their headbands and scarves of a variety of colors. In DIY crafts, everyone worked on homemade journals with cut out pictures glued on. The girls in PAWS were lucky enough to take the precious pups on a scenic walk around camp. In backpacking, the girls hit the ropes course and played games such as Simon Says while attempting to keep their balance.
   In basketball, the girls played a game in order to perfect their layups. Archery worked on technique by popping balloons places on targets. Wherever you go around camp, girls are sure to be having fun and learning new skills.
    After a yummy lunch of pizza and cookies (a camp favorite), we discovered the wonder of Saturday night’s Smugglers and Spies was the CHOCTAW tribe. We also discovered that tonight’s evening activity is CABIN NIGHT! This means every cabin has something special planned for the evening. Some cabins are making s’mores, having spa nights, or having dance parties. It’s even rumored that our oldest cabins are sneaking out for a special raid..but Shh! It’s a secret! It’s been a beautiful Monday at camp. Thank you so much for sharing your girls with us this summer!
From this Haven,

 

Anna Moon

Tweedle Dum Counselor

What does our web site have to do with our philosophy of camping?

 

Each fall we begin our search for two staff members with computer skills and love for camp that is required to manage our on line articles and photos.  We also hire an extra counselor so that we can pull a different girl out of her activities and cabin each day.  Her job is then to become our camp photographer and journalist.  She begins after our morning staff meeting taking pictures and notes of the day’s events and usually ends her day sometime after taps writing an article to be posted later that night.  Amazingly, all of this does nothing to change your daughter’s camp experience, in fact, that is the point!

Instead we want to give our parents a one-way window into their daughters’ summer.  As parents Ann and I want to know everything that happens with our own camper, but as camp directors we also know how important it is for her to develop a healthy sense of independence.  With this in mind we have developed Merri-Mac’s web site as a way to sneak a glimpse of her camp experience without changing that experience at all.

Chances are that you will find your camper in the photos, but the purpose of the site is not to show individuals, it is to tell the story of camp.  We want our parents to see everything that happens at camp.  We want you to know what the Field Day’s tribal cheers sound like.  We want you to become caught up in the plot of Stardust raiding Milky Way.  We want you to know share the adventure of Tweedle Dum raiding the kitchen.  We want this because these are the things that are making your campers smile and sing and lose their voices laughing and cheering!

Each morning before breakfast I sneak into my office to flip through the most current pictures.  My children’s pictures are not always there, but each morning I learn something about camp that I never knew.   The reason we have a website is because we want our parents to fall in love with camp the same way our girls do, so let us know how we’re doing.  Let us know what parts of camp you would like to see and we’ll make every effort to show it.

 

Great Camping!

Adam

Camp Merri-Mac: Rain or Shine, Camp is still a Good Time

Merri-Mac girls have fun rain or shine. I began today’s journey throughout camp in pottery. There, campers were finishing up their ocarinas and then learned how to throw. I saw the coolest cat ocarina made by Olivia D. I then walked to backpacking and found campers learning how to tie knots. They were also singing some pretty rad songs that they had written about the Leave No Trace principles. I passed the barn as they were painting the horse named Mad Eye Moody. He got many colorful handprints as decoration for the day. We had many brave souls in Lake Doris kayaking, canoeing, and swimming. They were definitely building character out there on the lake today! I got to be the judge for several handstand competitions when I stopped by gymnastics. Scout L. and Clarissa S. were frequent winners.

I heard a lot of beautiful music coming from guitar class. Annie L. was learning one of my favorites, Pompeii by Bastille. Drama class had a bunch of fun energy flowing with girls acting like business women, dogs, and hairstylists. Not quite sure what was going on in there, but I liked it and I definitely wanted to join. Climbing class used the grotto today in order to practice their bouldering skills. They also learned a lot about climbing equipment necessary for the sport.

In the kitchen, campers were making cinnamon twists. There were a lot of scarves being knitted on the Patti-o.

Campers ended the day by playing Smugglers and Spies, an evening activity where campers try to smuggle their secret messages to their home base without being caught by spies from other tribes. Tomorrow we will sleep in until 8 o’clock (praise!) and relax for the day, reflecting on the week and rejuvenating for another one.

OH, and we had s’more pockets after lunch… so you know it was a good day.

Sleep tightly, Merri-Mac families!

Tibby

Director of CITs

Memories Amidst the Rainfall

The sun is setting amidst the drizzle on another day here at Camp Merri-Mac! And what a joyful day it has been, full of friendship and fun—the rain can’t stop an exuberant day at camp. After a peaceful morning awaking from the pitter-patter of raindrops and breakfasting on biscuits, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and bacon, Camp Director Adam Boyd spoke in chapel about relying on Christ, pulling verses from Colossians and 2 Corinthians. Sweet voices filled the camp as everyone sang songs such as “In Christ Alone.” A little bit of free time prepared the girls for their days’ activities, and then they were off! In Volleyball, Alex K. and others learned about volleyball as a game and how to serve. Over in Pottery, counselors guided the girls in throwing on the wheel to make mugs and bowls—Jarrett B. and Lucy B. especially enjoyed that! The barn was still busy as campers, such as Kate A., learned the parts of the horse and how to groom, and, as the rain tapered off in the afternoon, some rode in the ring.

A lunch of Greek pitas and homemade chips, topped off with M&M cookies, filled hungry bellies, and a much-needed and much-appreciated rest time refreshed spirits. After eating, tribal songs are sung, and today was “Tribal Song Switch Day,” which means Choctaw campers sing songs normally denoted to the Seminoles, and so on. This is always fun for everyone! Some girls wandered down to the Trading Post for a taste of carbonation and sugar right before third activities began. In Kayaking, Lila H. and Katherine H., among others, braved the rain and practiced their hip snaps and T-rescues, wherein one kayaker can help another resurface. Swimmers got to blob each other on the green-and-white pillow in the middle of the lake, and squeals of excitement and surprise echoed all around camp.

On the Patti-O, Knitting classes were enjoying a cozy fire and good conversation amongst their needling. Many girls participated in a knitting tournament this morning! To earn a mark towards the award of White Feather, campers can organize tournaments. Taylor T. organized this one, and the winners were Kaitlin P., Ashlynn T., and Aynsley R! In Archery, Candler C. got a bullseye! Climbing classes met indoors today on the “overhang” rock wall in the Mike and the Grotto, a bouldering site at camp. Campers Kristie G.and Shay A. belayed other climbing campers—a very impressive skill to know!

After a stop by the cooking kitchen to taste the delicious twisted cinnamon rolls and egg cups, I reflected on the past day at camp. Even though the weather encouraged dampened spirits, not one camper nor counselor submitted, keeping energy and enthusiasm all day long to tonight’s evening activity of neon-themed “Battleball” (Dodgeball)! Before Battleball, we held our weekly White Feather ceremony. White Feather promotions are earned by completing bars in activities, accepting camper and counselor commendations within cabins, and achieving electives such as running the trail! Here is a list of the promotions, signified by necklaces with varied bead colors, earned this evening:

 

Tumbleweed

Penelope M.

Catherine M. Sophia N.

McKenna N.

Elizabeth W.

Emerson S.

Caroline L.

Margaret J.

Lucy B.

Berkeley Y.

Elizabeth S.

Sahara N.

Elizabeth M.

India S.

Anne Marie S.

Ava L.

Kate C.

 

Groundhog

Grace C.

Sophie T.

Lexi F.

Adrianna B.

Caroline S.

 

Badger

Gabby W.

 

Arrow

Alexandria W.

Jordan C.

Annie L.

Maddie N.

Claire J.

Grace K.

Molly P.

Celia S.

Hollis B.

Marilou C.

Jaden M.

Grace R.

Mary Louise J.

Anna M.

Remy S.

Isabelle S.

 

Crazy Creek

Lizzie h.

Allie S.

 

Long Bow

Heather C.

Kathryn G.

 

Running Deer

Alexis L.

Margaret V.

Grace C.

Allison Y.

Emily K.

Allie W.

Chloe M.

Hanna S.

Ashley W.

Anne D.

Margaret P.

Emily P.

Shay A.

 

Red Tail

Caroline B.

Emily K.

Rush L.

Marquesa C.

 

A huge congratulations to all of these girls—White Feather is such a great honor and representation of joy and investment in camp and all it has to offer. I want to thank you for allowing us to form relationships with your loved ones, for entrusting them to us for two or four weeks. Your daughters and granddaughters are making incredible memories they would not be able to make anywhere else, and they anticipate eagerly the moment they are able to share them with you.

 

Good evening,

 

Maddy Mallory

Spirited Seminole

Dreams Begin Counselor

Guitar Instructor

University of Virginia ‘17

Bright sunshiny days!

This week has seen cool mornings and breezy afternoons, offering everyone at Camp Merri-Mac a break from the heat of the summer. The morning bugle echoed out over the crisp valley at 7 am this morning, marking the start of another great day at camp. After each camper made their beds and tidied their cabins, they all headed down to Tucker Inn to get some French toast sticks! After eating their fill, everyone made their way above the lake to the chapel, shining bright in the morning sun. Worship included singing You Are Holy and Blessed Be Your Name; as well as wonderful message from Big Dipper Counselor Lauren B, focusing on Colossians 1:13-14. Shortly after each Iroquois, Seminole and Choctaw had attended and departed their various tribal meetings; first period was in full swing. In riding class, girls were jumping horses. Down by the backpacking hut, campers created fun skits in order to practice rules for leave no trace and camping etiquette. Outside of the kitchen on the patio, Taylor T. and Shay A. were hard at work knitting headbands. Right inside past the patio, girls were whipping up marvelous dishes of baked ziti. Over at the enchanted barn, campers finished up their slab mugs and started working on the wheels. Up the hill on Little Dipper porch, girls were strumming away to “Pompeii” and “How He Loves Us” in guitar class. In the drama room, counselor Steph G. gave a miming tutorial that left everyone speechless. Down on the sand volleyball courts, many were shuffling back and forth, working hard to learn how to correctly set. At 1:00, everyone took a break from all of their adventures to enjoy some pizza, fruit and pasta salad for lunch. After a much needed rest hour, the bell for trading post rang and the stampede of candy-craving girls thundered down the hill. Allie W. reined tether ball queen supreme as everyone enjoyed their various trading post goodies. Before they knew it, it was time for afternoon activities to begin! Tennis class practiced their backhand strokes and ended class with a fun game of jail. At the archery range, girls practiced shooting and scoring their targets. Climbing met at the traverse wall today, and Becca M. from Sunnyside cabin successfully completed the hardest route for her gold bar. Out on Lake Doris, kayakers practiced their hip snaps and soaked up some warm sun. In canoeing class, they practiced deep-water reentry and had fun with some relay races. After a packed day of activities came to a close, everyone dressed up for America Color Wars. Each girl dressed up in various shades of red, white and blue and competed in a patriotic game of sock war, topped off with a delicious ice cream party on Macky’s Green.

Yesterday marked three weeks until the end of the summer. I really cant believe how quickly the summer has blazed by us all, and I can’t imagine leaving this haven we all call Merri-Mac. Where else in the world can one girl kayak, mime, shoot a bow and arrow, walk a dog, ride a horse and bake cupcakes all in one day? But what does make Camp Merri-Mac such a special place are the friendships we all form here. Years from now, we may not be able to recall how to shoot a bulls eye every time we use a bow and arrow, but I am confident that we always be able call up our sisters that we’ve found here at camp and reminisce on our camping days and friendships true.

Sincerely,

Davie Boone

Comet Counselor

Seminole

IMG_4731

A Breezy Merri-Mac Wednesday

When the bugle sounded at 7a.m. sharp many girls were clothed in chunky sweaters and comfy socks. The high for this beautiful mountain day was 70 degrees. Despite a bad case of the shivers, we all headed down the hill for a delicious breakfast of biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, and seasoned potatoes. Once we finished eating we sang three camp songs including the forever favorite, “Rattlin Bog”. The girls all then penguin waddled over to the chapel where we began our chapel with praising our God in song. Counselor Laura M. gave a sermon on who man is. She started with a story of a man who was very wealthy. She folded a piece of paper into the various items he purchased such as a house, a plane, and a jet. At the end of the end of the story the rich man came to the realization that the only thing that could satisfy his soul was the Lord. Laura had then transformed the paper into the shape of a cross. This really captured the campers’ attention and left them thinking about what we value too much and put before God. Laura read Luke 12: 16-21 and closed us in prayer. The campers were dismissed to tribe meetings and then had a bit of free time before going to their first period classes.

        It was great to walk around campus and witness all the different activities that the girls can participate in.  I have not had the opportunity to see all the activities before and I found myself excited for the girls and all that they are learning. Camp is so alive with laughter, joy, and curiosity for all that camp has to offer. The first class I headed to was DIY crafts where campers were making wooden boards that had nails and string which came together into the shape of North Carolina with a point where Merri-Mac is located. Then I walked to dance where counselorJordan was teaching girls the five basic positions of ballet. Many of these girls were eager to show off what they had learned and wanted to be in many pictures. In riflery and archery, girls continued to practice hitting targets. It was great to see young women stepping out of their comfort zones and being so eager about learning traditional male sports. I then went to backpacking where the girls were practicing different hand signals for the rules of backpacking. Many of these young ladies will have the opportunity to practice these signals when they go on overnight backpacking trips. I ended with attending lacrosse where  the girls were practicing throwing and catching. After all these activities, the girls had worked up an appetite for lunch. This included chicken nuggets, waffle fries (a real crowd pleaser), and salad. We had a new dessert today, pretzel sticks, that the girls were quite excited about. The meal was so loved that the campers called the kitchen staff out and thanked them in song. It was then time for a much needed rest hour. The nice breeze made for perfect napping weather. Then as per usual, the bugle prompted the regular stampede of eager campers awaiting their candy at trading post. We then had a bit of free time where one of my campers, Margaret M., gave me a guitar lesson.

        It was onto to third and fourth period. It had warmed up some so I went over to Lake Doris where girls were in swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. Many of these girls are becoming very skilled in their activity and attempting different maneuvers and tricks under the watchful eye of their instructors. As I was walking back down the hill, I passed the PAWS class which was the most entertaining activity to watch. The girls absolutely love the dogs that they are working with and swarmed for photos. The puppies made capturing photos a real challenge though. I then walked over to horseback riding. It amazed me how these young girls have the courage and ability to ride an animal five times their size with such grace and poise. Then it was time for a snack, so I went to cooking class where I watched the girls cooked baked ziti and then shared in their hard work. I know that I will be trying that recipe when I return home. Apparently the girls enjoyed it too because ever bowl was completely empty. In tennis class, the girls where learning backhand for the first time. It was great to see the excitement on a girls face when she first successfully got the ball over the net for the first time. After fourth period we had a bit of free time before it was time for dinner.

        Dinner was fiesta themed with a Mexican casserole served with chips, salsa, and sour cream. It was gone in split second so it was onto apple churros for dessert. It was a special evening for my cabin, Dreams End, because we were able to help camper Allie E. celebrate her 16th birthday. Once our bellies were filled, we sang cabin songs and it was then time…Apache race! Apache race is basically a relay race between tribes where they have to compete in different activities before they can head onto the next one. The activities included the water slide, blobbing, hitting balloons in archery, and human croquet. While the Seminole and Choctaw tribes showed great support for their fellow tribe members, Iroquois pulled in with the win. I was able to hear the Iroquois tribe songs from inside the tech office. The girls are ended this brisk, beautiful day with campfires, s’mores, and devotion. It was just another ordinary, extraordinary day at Camp Merri-Mac.

Thank you for sharing your incredible daughters with us. Sleep well and God Bless!

Keitt Panuccio

Dreams End Counselor

Proud Choctaw!