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Beautiful Wednesday

It’s always a Merri day here at camp Merri-Mac and this beautiful Wednesday was no exception! The girls woke up this morning remembering all the awesome activities they did last night for Cabin Night. Bellies were extra full as many cabins had snacks after dinner. Smores were made by Tweedles, chocolate chip blueberry pancakes made by Stardust, cupcakes decorated by Blue Heaven and even chicken fajitas made by Sundrop! Rainbow sent their girls on a scavenger hunt all over camp while the Dreams girls had a photo-shoot and free swim in Lake Doris. Music, dancing and laughter could be heard all throughout camp nearly until the last bugle. Cabin night is a favorite around here, offering a chance for the girls to bond as a cabin and have a great time with their friends as camp is coming to a close.

 

Today started with the BEST BREAKFAST EVER. Cinnamon coffee cake, baked oatmeal, bacon, grits, cereal and spiced peaches were devoured by campers everywhere creating a line for refills that could have circled the dining hall (if we didn’t have such awesome kitchen staff keeping campers moving). Breakfast ended with three silly camp songs that got every one energized and ready for the day.

A soft wind blew through the chapel today as Elizabeth E. gave a lesson on God providing us with exactly what we need even when we think we need more. Tribal meetings followed chapel after which the girls has a few minutes of free time to play tetherball, work on their bracelets and hang out in one of the many enos that cover the campground.

On the lake this morning campers practiced their rolls, swam, blobbed, canoed and even took turns going down the water slide. The water may have been a little chilly, but that never stops our girls from have a great time on Lake Doris. Puppy Camp took their dogs on a walk past the waterfront ensuring that Robb, Dillon, Motley, Gibbs and Page will be all tuckered out for rest hour. Riding also took a trail ride today giving campers a unique opportunity to view the camp on the back of a horse. Cooking whipped up some delicious omelets filled with peppers, onions, and bacon – oh my! Knitting & Pottery had a very chill day today with campers working on the finishing touches of their projects.

For lunch we had yet another camp favorite – mini corn dogs, mac n’ cheese, pears, tomato bisque, fresh bread and salad. The campers sang their loudest during tribe songs then marched up the hill to their cabins for rest hour. Once the bugle rang it was a mad dash for trading post where the girls got to snack on some of their favorite candy and play games with their friends. Allison F. and Millie M. hosted a “messy twister” tournament where girls played twister – but with paint. Everyone was covered in green, purple, blue and red handprints with smiles ear-to-ear.

Afternoon classes began at 3:30. In archery the girls got to shoot their arrows at inflated balloons attached to their targets. It was awesome to see the joy on their face when their balloon popped. In guitar, the girls played songs and said a tearful goodbye to their instructor Ari J. as this is the last day of MWF classes. Fitness was taught by two sunny-siders who enthusiastically got the girls motivated to do some rather hard moves! I stopped back by cooking at the end of 4th period to sample one of their creations for the day – monkey bread – which was delicious!

Tonight is American Color Wars where the girls will dress in red, white and blue while playing capture the flag. Patriotism can be seen throughout the camp as the girls don their most patriotic clothing. (You’ll also hear a distant chant of USA throughout the evening).

 

Happy Camping,

Morgan Collette

Puppy Camp Director

Iroquois Best Tribe

Totally Tuesday

What a beautiful day at camp Merri-Mac! We had such a fun day of role switching between the counselors and the Sunnyside and Dreams cabins yesterday, and even more fun as we celebrated everyone’s talents at the Fine Arts Night showcase, the “Merrimacademy Awards.” Counselors Sydney and Josie MC’d the event, dressing in hilarious costumes and making everyone laugh with their skits and songs. There were performances by girls of all ages: a skit written by Alex H., a few dances by the girls in Dance class, a poem read by Isabella B., and some beautiful songs sung by the girls in Chorus. Overall, it was a wonderful night, and everyone had a blast!

The Sunnyside and Dreams girls were ready to get back to their regular activities and resume their roles as campers in the morning. We started off the day right with sausage and egg biscuits and some fun songs at breakfast. We then moved on to a wonderful chapel with some Merri-Mac song classics and a talk led by Adam.

Between chapel and first period, I caught some Tweedles and their counselor hanging out in the hammocks outside their cabin–one of their favorite free time activities!

At the bugle for first period, I headed over to knitting where the girls were continuing their work on their scarves and headbands. Many of them were working diligently to finish their projects this week, and others have begun finger-knitting projects! I then stopped by cooking, where they were making delicious blueberry scones with lemon icing. They even let me try one! Yum! Next I made my way over to the Enchanted Barn to see what everyone was making in DIY crafts. I was excited to see that they were continuing to work on their collage journals, complete with magazine cutouts, lace, patterned paper, and more!

In pottery, Lila B. and Madeline H. were working hard on the wheel to earn their silver bar, and the other girls were picking out fun colors to glaze their beautiful pinch pots! I was so excited to head over to the fencing pavilion next, because Mary Clayton S. and Anna Grace S. were dueling for the first time! It was a really close match, and they both did such a great job! On guard!

In guitar, all the girls were practicing hard to learn fun songs like “Wagon Wheel” and “Riptide.” They were having so much fun helping each other along, and I saw a lot of girls helping their friends work towards their bronze bars! Mairin M. and Sang-Mi L. got their gold bars today! Congrats!

Next, I headed over to Lake Doris to see what Kayaking and diving were up to. All the kayakers were playing an intense game of paddleball—it looked so fun! The divers were working on back dives and pike dives, and Kate S. got her bronze bar today!

For lunch, we had taco in a bag—a camp favorite, for sure! We sang some fun tribe songs and found out that the evening activity would be Cabin Night! All the campers were so excited, and continued to beg their counselors to tell them what secret activities they had planned for the evening as everyone headed off to rest hour.

After all the campers rushed to Trading Post to get their favorite snacks, afternoon activities began again. The sun decided to show itself after a menacingly cloudy morning, and it turned into a gorgeous day!

Some of the afternoon highlights include: many girls earning their bronze in dance, girls working hard for bars in gymnastics, swimmers working on their backstroke over at the lake, and fun climbing activities at the Upper Tower!

Overall, it was another great day at Merri-Mac, and everyone is excited for Cabin Night! Check out Facebook for some fun pictures from the day!

 

In Him,

Katie Terrell, Proud Tweedle Dum Counselor

IBT

A Sunny & Dreamy Monday

Today at Camp Merri-Mac was a little different, because it was Staff Appreciation Day and boy, did we feel appreciated! The Sunnysiders (Sunny Side and Cloud 9) and Dreams (Dreams Begin and Dreams End) girls had the pleasure of dressing as their favorite counselors in their staff shirts and leading activities all day. The day started off with the Sunnyside and Dreams girls learning how difficult it is to wake up a cabin full of sleepy girls and making sure they finish their chores before breakfast! Watching these girls step up and lead was a very special thing to see! You should be so proud of your Sunnyside and Dreams daughters! They showed great leadership, patience, and wisdom today. It was beyond encouraging to see them beam with responsibility and confidence!

The most important meal of the day, breakfast, was pancakes with sausage, cereal, fruit, yogurt, and granola. Some of the new staff learned to appreciate the magic of a cup of coffee, as they received that perk with their new status. Chapel followed with sweet worship music. Watching the girls wrap their arms around each other’s shoulders and sing the camp’s psalm is probably my favorite part of the day. Tears are typically shed. A message followed about Romans 5:8 “ But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. We were reminded that no matter how broken we are the Lord is bigger than our sin and sees us as His precious Son.

I had the privilege of taking pictures of your sweet daughters today and captured some of the biggest smiles! The younger girls thrived being taught by the older Sunnysiders and Dreams girls. As counselors, it was a joy to see the older girls step up and lead! The energy was up all day and quite relaxing for the counselors, not going to lie. Your girls rocked it! Lunch today was Stromboli (a camp favorite) with cookies on a stick for dessert. Can’t get much better than that! Dinner was fajitas and cake for dessert. The new staff got to lead their cabins in their cabin songs and sing the staff song at dinner. It was quite entertaining.

We are all dressed up in our finest attire to attend Fine Arts Night! The red carpet is waiting for all of our talented Fine Arts such as chorus, drama, dance, and fencing to perform. It will be quite a show! Fine Arts Night is a great example of the diversity Camp Merri-Mac truly has to offer and more importantly, how many talents God’s children have been given to serve Him. 1 Peter 4:10-11 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

 

In Christ,

Courtney Billions

Dreams End Counselor

Go Vols

Telling The Story

 

 

 

 

 

 

Media Crew Getting the Shot

Media Crew Getting the Shot

There are a thousand stories that happen at camp every day, and one of them is the story of those telling the story. Each day before breakfast our media team begin planning their day. They look at the schedule to make decisions about where to film, how to distribute four cameras to counselors and then they head out to take photos themselves. Their day ends around 10:00 pm editing and posting the best moments of the day. Each of them are professionals and each of them get excited every time a parent understands camp a little better. They love camp, and they work hard to help tell the story – so thanks to Lauren Geerken, David Johnson, Phil Mollenkof, Sunday Grant and Wendy Perry for sharing so many camp stories.

– Adam

Prepare for Homesickness at Girls Summer Camp near Florida

The only downside about going away for summer camp is leaving home. As drop off day at our girls summer camp near Florida gets closer, campers may start to feel stressed and against leaving. But don’t worry, this is completely normal and can be the beginning signs of homesickness at summer camp. Every camper experience some sort of homesickness while away at summer camp and it is impossible to avoid. But here at Camp Merri-Mac, we have come up with a few tips to help you prepare yourself and your daughter for summer camp this year.

  1. Be Positive- Children are likely to feel uneasy or sad the days leading up to summer camp. Since they will be leaving home, their friends, and their family for the summer, these feelings are common and unavoidable. Try and cheer them up by reminding them of all the fun experiences they will have at summer camp this year! Talk to them about the girls summer camp activities they will get to participate in, all of the new friends they are going to make, and the memories they will come home with and remember forever. Speak positive about summer camp and don’t show your daughter that you are stressed or upset about them leaving. Remind them that summer camp will be over before they know it and they will want to go back as soon as possible!
  2. Practice- As much as you try, homesickness can’t be avoided. Instead, have your daughter spend a weekend away from home at a family member or friend’s house. This will give them a chance to practice being away from home and sleeping somewhere other than their own bed. Have them follow the schedule of what a typical day at girls summer camp would feel like. This will give them a chance to experience and get used to girls summer camp before they even leave home.
  3. Tour the Campgrounds- One of the best ways to reduce feelings of homesickness is to take a tour of the campgrounds. More often than not, campers will stress over getting lost or not knowing where the girls summer camp facilities are. By taking a tour together, this will give campers more confidence and to become more comfortable with their new surroundings.
  4. Meet the Staff- If possible; you and your daughter should meet with a member of the girls summer camp staff. Allow your daughter to ask any questions or voice any concerns. In addition, this is a great way for campers to have a friendly and familiar face on drop off day.

Still looking for the best girls summer camp near Florida for your daughter? Contact Camp Merri-Mac at 828-669-8766 to schedule a tour or for more information today!

 

Sunday News from Merri-Mac!

Today is the day that the LORD has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Today, as is done every Sunday here at Merri-Mac, all of the campers got up and put their whites on and the staff awoke and put their staff shirts on: this is a sweet tradition here at Merri-Mac and is also a great day for pictures. The girls got to sleep in an extra hour because, hey, a little extra rest never hurts, right? After this, chores began. After about 40 minutes, the cabins were in tip top shape and the ladies set out to venture through another day in an amazing place.

The first event they attended was breakfast where they ate cinnamon roles, cereal, or yogurt. They also sang sweet Sunday morning songs and then headed to the chapel for some more singing and a Bible message delivered by the girls from Milky Way. They brought a message from Daniel 6:26-27 about God and His enduring love. After this the girls set off for some free time before they headed to the activities that were offered today.

I had the privilege of  taking pictures today and even had a buddy from the Tweedles tag along with me this morning: her name is Emily, and she kindly asked the girls from Rainbow to sing their cabin song for her, and so they did so with quite a bit of enthusiasm. They really are role models for those that are younger than they are. We had morning activities and then evening activities, and between the two the girls had some good ‘ol fried chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes, and mini apple turnovers for lunch. Tweedle Doe shared some learning experiences they have had during this time. These included having learned two point on a horse, how to make a horse jump over a bucket, and that Jesus got arrested when he really didn’t do anything wrong. What great news it is to hear what some of our girls have learned over the week of camp that they have had thus far.

Today’s activities included diving, rifelry (in which Julianna R. earned her silver), an intense fencing tournament, chorus and dance (whom were preparing for liberal arts night), an enthusiastic Zumba class led by our very own Princess, Anne Dillon L., basketball (in which some girls earned their bronzes), volleyball, an outstanding climbing tournament, guitar (in which Morgan B. earned her gold in today), archery, cooking, free swim (which was so popular that we maximized the amount of girls we could hold safely in the lake), and there was even a couple of sand castles built today. A lot of the girls also played gaga ball and tether ball today as they had an afternoon to choose activities to do today.

Rest hour today was an hour long, so you may be getting some letters soon parents. We also had trading post at the beginning of free time. After free time ended, we headed to dinner, which was a cookout and we had hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon, chips, and cookies. Your children miss you and can’t wait to see you again, but they are also having a lot of fun! Now were headed to Vespers. Check out Facebook to see some funny skits later tonight!

 

Counselor Caitlin

 

Tribefest!

Reveille was heard throughout the camp this morning as campers hopped out of their beds and began their daily chores. As campers run down the hill to a breakfast of french toast and sausage, they realize that this Saturday is unlike all of the other days here at Merri-Mac. Today is tribefest. A whole day filled with tribal activities, rather then the girls normal schedule of various camp activities. After breakfast, a wonderful chapel was led by Arianna J. about how we are enough because Jesus is enough. Songs such as “let my light shine bright” and “on Jordan’s Stormy Banks.” echoed throughout the mountains.

After chapel, the day began. Tribefest begins with what we call swimfest. Girls would compete in a swimming competition for their tribe. Many girls put on their swimsuits and everyone headed down to Lake Dorris. Girls swam in a variety of events, including a life vest relay, a staff relay, and a tribal leader relay. After a loud and cheerful competition, Choctaw was declared the winner of the first tribal activity of the day. As swimfest ended, an announcement was made that tribal trash pickup had begun. Girls can get points for their tribe by wandering around camp and picking up as many pieces of trash as they can and then delivering it back to their tribal leaders.

From tribal trash pick up we all headed to the tucker inn for lunch. A delicious meal of meatball subs and pasta salad was devoured by hungry campers, followed by the chanting and stomping of tribal cheers. The girls regained all their lost energy with a one hour rest hour and then sprinted down the hill to trading post. Battle ball was the next event for the day and everyone headed to The Mike. Tribes were separated into age groups and the battle began. Two tribes played battle ball (dodgeball) at a time. Laughter and cheering was all that could be heard as the girls showed their tribal pride. After battle ball, everyone was ready for dinner and ran down to fill up on a scrumptious meal. Evening activity was a game of tribal trivia in which every girl could show her strengths throughout the variety of categories. After a long day of cheering and smiles girls headed up to  their cabins and fell asleep to the sounds of nature outside their windows and dreamt about what incredible memories lie ahead in the days to come

 

Choctaw tribe dominates

Big Dipper counselor

roll tide

Jessica Goldman

Friday Funday

This morning the sun rose to reveal another mystical day in the land of Merri-Mac. Campers sat up in the bunks as counselors pranced around, attempting to get their sleepy girls to begin their morning chores. Eventually, the cabins were spotless and campers moseyed down the hill to chow down on a yummy breakfast complete with hashbrowns, eggs, and biscuits. After chapel and free time, campers embarked on a day filled with friends and adventure in their classes. Some of those highlights included some riders jumping their horses for the first time, a super intense game of kayaking waterpolo (water polo played in kayaks), and a chili cookoff in cooking class. After dinner, all of camp gathered around the teepee to celebrate commendations and promotions earned by their fellow cabinmates and friends. This is a special time for campers and staff because it gives us an opportunity to recognize growth in our campers in a very tangible way. We are proud of all of our campers, but we are especially thankful to have the opportunity to celebrate some milestones met by our campers as they received promotions and commendations this evening.

 

Camper Commendations

 

Kate R., Louisa dB., Eliza D., Kaci M., Hillary R., Emily S., Abby S., Ruthann S., Jade B., Carly P.,  Victoria F., Idalia dB., Elyce D., Alice A., Katherine W., Kristen P., Zofia C., Anna M., Leah Cate B., Shelby C., Prentice A., Lindsay J., Edie B., Emma J., Stewart Anne M., Isabel E., Shane O’S., Hadley C., Katherine Faye N., Anna C., Betsy J., Katie M., Julia P., Lizzie B., Millie M., Anna B., Katie F., Caroline C., Juliana R., Ava F., Kate S., Ryan S., Sophia H., Emily R., Madeline H., Alex H., Merrill L.

 

Counselor Commendations

 

Lucy V., Greer H., Eva B., Amelia L., Ava B., Lucy L., Jade B., Mary R., Anna Grace S., Kate S., Betsy B., Zofia C., Natalia R., Shelby C., Ava H., Casey C., Laken T., Maddy P., Hannah W., Eleanor D., Sophie B., Rachel C., Mary Avrett B., Mary Julia G., Allison F., Mary Elizabeth B., Morgan P., Hannah K., Anna B., Katie F., Ava F., Morgan B., Bianca B., Eliza D., Ellie H., Meghan M., Isabella B., Lila B.

 

Promotions

 

Tumbleweed:

Anabel D., Katie R., Elizabeth W., Greer H., Lucie R., Pearce W., Olivia R., Maya N., Lucy V., Louisa dB., Layla M., Emily S., Avery G., Mary Clayton S.

 

Groundhog:

Amelia D., Nora B., Emily S., Ryan S., Mary Richard E.

 

Badger:

Eva B., Eliza D., Amelia L., Eliza D., Molly G., Kaci M.

 

Arrow:

Hallie B., Lucy L., Ruthann S., Sarah Caulley S., Hastings W., Audrey G., Carly P., Zofia C., Sarah W., Morgan R., Laken T., Mary R., Anna Grace S., Ashton G., Sarah R., Olivia R., Abby A., Audrey H.

 

Crazy Creek:

Tess B., Shelby C., Sydney M., Casey C., Avery F.

 

Running Deer:

Sophia H., Swayze W., Anna B., Ava F., Kate S., Emily E., Krissy S, Merrill L., Katie F., Sarah B., Betsy J.

 

Red Tail:

Sophia H., Merrill L., Isabeau C., Sarah K., Lizzie B., Emily R., Alex H., Ava F., Isabel E., Mary Elizabeth B.

 

Junior Feather

Sang-Mi L.

 

White Feather

Anna B.

 

After the White Feather ceremony, Merri-Mac divided into cabin areas for Division Night. Within the Senior Hill cabins (Sunnyside, Cloud Nine, Sundrop, Dreams Begin, Dreams End, Rainbow, Big Dipper and Moonmist), campers split up into two teams to debut a new game called Pirate Ball. The game consists of treasure hunting, fencing battles, canoe water polo and inner tube water polo in an attempt to score points for their teams. Though competition was fierce, smiles could be found on all of the “pirates’” faces. The intermediate cabins (Stardust, Milky Way, Comet, Little Dipper, and Blue Heaven) split into teams and drafted gold fish to compete in an intense series of Gold Fish Races. The girls gathered around gutters and cheered on their gold fish to the finish line. Blue Heaven’s thoroughbred gold fish took the cake in tonight’s tournament. Finally, the junior campers (Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Doe, Tweedle Dum, and Sunspot) headed to Mackey’s Green for a fun night of slip n’ sliding. Overall, division night was a hit. Laughter and joy echoed through the mountains as the girls headed with the counselors back to the cabins for showers and cabin time. With that, the campers nestled in their beds to get some necessary rest after another exciting, action packed day at camp.

 

From this Haven,

Elizabeth “EP” Powell

Cabin Area Director

Go ‘Noles

Thriving Thursday

Another beautiful day at Merri-Mac started with a delicious breakfast in the Tucker Inn followed by chapel lead by Becca V. I began my day by starting at 1st period gymnastics where girls are working diligently to earn their bronze. I made my way down to team sports. Soccer was beginning to work on basic skills and bars as well as volleyball. Backpacking treated themselves to delicious s’mores while learning how to cook over a fire. Over at Riding, beginners were learning how to walk around the ring and more advanced riders were working on bars. Over at pottery, were many girls were doing there coil pinch pots in order to earn their bronze.

Over on the Patti-O, all the girls in knitting were working on headbands and scarves. Cooking was beginning their chili cook off. Each period creates there own chili recipe and certain staff members will be judging to pick the best chili. The girls were given the items needed for chili but with no recipe so they made it all themselves. I hope it went well. Next I wandered over to fencing where I watched Audrey Goddard earn her silver. Then I went to archery where many girls picked up the bow for the first time while the others have been working on bars and shooting for years.

After this everyone was out of classes for a little bit of free time and then off to lunch. Pizza! A camp favorite for our girls was for lunch today. It was always a favorite of mine when I was a camper. Dessert was homemade rice crispy treats, and they were amazing. Third period, I started on the dock where I watched first year camper Sydney H. get her wet exit in kayaking and Morgan P. get her roll. Canoeing worked on basic skills and perfected their strokes. I visited gymnastics again where Anna C. successfully complete and ariel, which she has been working on for 3 years. I ventured to archery and then to riflery where girls were shooting and working for bars.

My last stop for the day was puppy camp. A fun, loving activity that everyone at camp has come to love. We took them for a walk and gave them treats. After Dinner, tribes divided for gold rush, an exhilarating favorite evening activity at camp where campers find gold scattered around camp. Today was an absolutely wonderful day here at Merri-Mac. We can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings… especially to find out who won gold rush!

 

Proud Seminole,

Hailey Howsare

Merri Christmas!

Merri Christmas!

The schedule today was rocked by Christmas festivities. The girls were encouraged to stay in bed till 9, but many of them were so excited that they woke up early to start the day. At 9 am Merri-Mac staff drove to the cabins playing Christmas music and passing out the Merri-Mac Christmas breakfast, which consisted of donuts and hot chocolate. Emma J. boasted that she ate four and half donuts. The girls soon got ready and finished their morning chores. Chapel started at 10:30 where they sang Christmas hymns and Adam read the story of the velveteen rabbit. Because of the late start, the girls skipped first period and proceeded to second period. Isabel E. cross-stitched the slogan “First, Last, and Always” in DIY crafts and Julia Claire A. practiced for the Fine Arts Night in chorus.

The girls then enjoyed their favorite taco in a bag lunch. During Trading Post, Stewart Anne M. held a tennis tournament and Sydney B. held a fencing tournament. Third and fourth period proceeded on schedule and then it was time for dinner. The girls enjoyed sliced chicken with dressing, mashed potatoes, and green beans with peach crisp for dessert. The Christmas festivities continued at the Christmas Party where the intermediate cabins performed individual skits. The girls were then encouraged to shower and get ready for bed, but before it was time for bed they enjoyed a firework show. And it was a Merri Christmas indeed.

With good cheer,

Counselor Micah