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CABIN NIGHT

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Today was another fun filled day at Merri-Mac! The girls awoke from their sleep and walked down the hill to a breakfast of blueberry muffins, sausage links, and scrambled eggs. Before we began eating, Ann Boyd made an exciting announcement: Today is Sunnyside Trip! Our oldest cabin of girls would be spending the entire day outside of camp going on several fun adventures. Sunnyside started their day with a surprise breakfast of Chick Fi La biscuits, pancakes, and smoothies. Then they headed out on a day hike to Max Patch for games and pictures. Tonight they are going into Asheville for a dinner at Packs Tavern with ice cream to follow! Sunnyside trip also meant that tonight would be cabin night for all of our other girls. Counselors planned surprise activities for all of their cabins to enjoy. Some cabins are having free swim at the lake, enjoying the slip ‘n slide, or playing paintball, while others are doing more relaxed activities like cookie baking or a trip to the Boyd’s house. Stay tuned for pictures!
Activities went spectacular this morning, with a particularly sunny day with an hour of rain in the afternoon. Cooking class made chicken fajitas, DIY crafts worked on intricate yarn weaving, and dance did free style lyrical dances. For lunch we enjoyed a camp favorite: Stromboli and chocolate chip cookies. Following lunch the girls had a much deserved rest hour, and some of our campers went up to the Mike for Princess Party practice! Our camp princess, CIT Mary Laci M., puts on a production every summer with a surprise theme. Each cabin has elected a girl to be their “cabin princess” and take part in the play. The party is rumored to be Wednesday night, and we can’t wait to find out what the theme is!
The girls all seemed so happy and excited about camp today, and we are just so thankful that we get to spend the summer with them. Thank you for sharing your daughters with us.

From this Haven,
Anna Moon
Dreams End Counselor

Sunday Funday

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Today was an exciting and relaxing Sunday here at camp. The day started out with revile at 8am, an hour later than normal, giving the girls a great opportunity to catch up on some sleep. Breakfast was a camp favorite meal of cinnamon rolls and assorted bagels with cream cheese. Morning Chapel this morning featured a skit and important message by the entire cabin of Moonmist. They presented an entertaining show while delivering the idea that God heals us.

During morning free time, lots of activities were taking place all around camp so that girls could pick and choose what they wanted to do. Girls in climbing classes were invited to spend their morning at the upper tower on Spencer’s Green. There they worked on their bronze, silver and gold bars by climbing the tower, climbing the boulder and by working on knots. Girls also came to fencing class to participate in a tournament and work on their bars in that class. Some campers decided to spend time with their cabinmates by playing tetherball, coloring flowers or playing Connect Four.

Lunch was a Sunday classic meal of fried chicken with mashed potatoes, gravy and garlic biscuits. The health bar featured wild rice, fish and creamy butternut squash soup. After eating their dessert of apple turnovers, campers headed up to their cabins for an extra long rest time. This hour of rest was super relaxing for campers and counselors alike, giving them time for nap taking, letter writing and book reading. After taking this much needed rest time, girls rushed down to Tray-Po with the sound of the bugle per usual.

There were lots of things going on in the afternoon during free time as well. Rush L. held an intense lacrosse tournament in order to earn her gold bar in that class. The pink team an the blue team battled it out, eventually resulting in a fun game and a victory. After the tournament was over, Tweedle campers headed to that same large field to have fun on a Slip ‘N Slide their counselors set up for them. A majority of the camp headed over to the lake at some point in the afternoon for free swim. Campers were given the opportunity to dive of the diving board, jump onto the blob and slip down the waterslide. The small cabin of Sunspot celebrated one of the girl’s birthdays by baking chocolate chip cookies in the cooking kitchen with the help of their counselors.

For dinner, girls lined up outside near the volleyball courts to receive a normal Sunday dinner of burgers of hotdogs with fries, watermelon and cookies. After a great meal, everyone moved to the chapel for the evening activity called “Vespers”. Vespers is a mix of singing fun songs and watching the counselors act in funny skits for the campers. The night ends with everyone singing chapel songs and a message from a counselor or camp director. After Vespers, all the girls headed to their cabins to do post-evening activities and to get some rest. Everyone enjoyed having such a restful Sunday, but they sure are ready to get back to their daily classes tomorrow!

Mattie Yerxa

Moonmist Counselor

Go Seminoles!

The Bright Sun Comes Up

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If you had taken a stroll through senior camp this morning, you would have heard the all-too-common phrase “get up and make your beds!” upwards of ten times! We may have gotten off to a slow start, but after a breakfast of waffles and bacon, we were ready to start the day! After singing “Let My Light Shine Bright,” “All in All,” and “Prince of Peace” in the chapel, we heard from Moonmist counselor Audrey S. that Jesus is our provider. As we mulled over the story of Jesus feeding the multitude with only seven loaves of bread, we headed off to our activities!

In Cooking this morning, Grace C. and her team conquered mini peach pies. The kitchen sure smelled delicious this morning! In pottery, Gia V. threw a new piece on the wheel and it looked flawless! In DIY craft this morning, campers learned how to weave coasters using paper plates and yarn! Basketball worked on layups and it was really awesome to watch even the smallest girls make the basket! Guitar was full of experienced campers this morning and they were all learning different songs at the same time! Among the melodies that echoed through these sacred hills were “Riptide,” “Photograph,” and “Here Comes the Sun.” Dance class had separated into groups of two and was dedicated to creating an original dance to be performed on Monday! Tennis had a busy morning with Rebecca M., Libba M., Grace D., and Ryan W. earning their bronze bars!

Lunch was a camp favorite: meatball subs and waffle fries! An odd combo, one might say, but camp is all about taking things that don’t necessarily go together in the real world and making them inseparable. When we absolutely could not eat any more, we made the dreaded climb up the hill for rest hour. Have you ever tried to climb a mountain on a full tummy? It’s not easy! After some vigorous napping and letter writing, we sprinted back down the hill for Trading Post candy! Then it was right back to activities. Hayden W. learned the sitting position in riflery, and Gia V. finished her sitting groups for her silver bar! There were no puppies to be seen near the kennels, but I later found them walking beside the lake! Swimming had a free swim day and there were many blobbing and cannonballing adventures to be seen. Paisley D. and Martha O. did not partake in the frolicking, however, and earned their bronze bars! Backpacking took a trip to the challenge course and crossed “hot lava” with nothing to aid them but a rope! Eleanor P. took initiative in organizing a safe crossing. Tonight after jambalaya, we are going to eat ice cream and have a dance party! It will be nice to have a break from tribal activities, especially since yesterday was Tribefest! We are also looking forward to the day of rest tomorrow!

Until then,

Taryn Springer

Dreams End Counselor

Tribe Festivities

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All was quiet throughout Camp 

Merri-Mac, not a camper stirred all through the night.

Reveille rang and the girls rolled out of bed with all of their might!

Cabins were cleaned, beds were made, girls became excited for another day God made

The breakfast bell rang throughout camp and bade the girls permission to feast

Circle eggs, hash browns, and biscuits round the table were passed

Until it was time to announce the activity, all day it would last!

The tables they rumbled, the  counselors they ran, when Olvey yelled out “tribe fest”, at last!

The campers they stumbled all through land

Tribe fest was upon us, a fierce competition between all the tribes

But wait! the news was not finished, there was an event to be announced

Battle ball was our first activity, the girls gave a shout of joy then to the chapel they bounced

Songs of praise were sung, words of the gospel were shared, and girls linked arms to praise our Good Father

Soon after tribe jerseys were tugged over heads and paint was slathered on faces,

Then spirited campers ran to their bases

Girls gritted their teeth in anticipation

They wound up their arms and guarded their stations, they had a look of fierce determination

Balls flew through the air, hands reached out to catch them

Girls sang tribal songs at the top of their lungs, a mood of the excitement in the air hung

After many games lost and many games won the girls lifted their heads and sauntered to lunch

Grilled cheese aroma wafted throughout tucker inn and french fries were munched

They next activity was soon to be announced, girls began to scream and shout

Counselor hunt through the afternoon would last!

Rest hour was truly an hour, so there was no time crunch

Girls hopped in their beds and shut their eyes tight, while counselors dressed in camouflage Danced in their dreams

Trading post began all too soon and Tweedles jumped out of bed, there was too much candy to Be shared to lye with their pillows pressed against their heads!

Sweets were enjoyed by the sweetest of campers until it was time for the afternoon activity,

To the Tucker Inn they scattered!

Counselors ran to secretive places, hoping campers would not see their faces

They hid in the leaf tops, behind rocks, and in many other well hidden spaces

Campers searched far and near to find all any traces

Of staff around camp.

Many girls proved successful and pointed out the camouflaged stand members

They staff were led to the dock in despair,

They would be pushed in the lake- many of their worst fear

But some counselors were sneaky- they wanted revenge!

They pulled their captors in to the lake with them!

Smiles and laughs were shared at the end of the day, until gold rush was announced- and all The girls were ready to play!

We thank all you parents for sharing your beautiful girls,

we love them, but more importantly- so does our great Lord!

Goodnight Merri-Mac, I bid you adieu!

From this Haven,

Elizabeth “Biscuit” Chandler

Live With Benton

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Woof! Reporting to you live from puppy camp! My name is Benton, and I’m the biggest dog in PAWS class. You may have seen me in camp pictures with my black collar and all my brothers and sisters.

Anyway, enough about me; let me tell you about what I saw happening around camp on my morning walk today! When the first period girls came to class today, I was greeted with lots of smiles and belly rubs. I overheard them talking about their yummy breakfast that consisted of baked oatmeal and coffee cake. Unfortunately, they didn’t bring me any leftovers and I got the same ole kibble. I’m not complaining though because I know that it is making me healthy and strong.

Since I am a big dog now, I got to wear my new harness leash! The girls strapped it on and we went on our walk. As we left the puppy camp gates, I could hear faint cheers and the shots from riflery in the distance. It sounded like fun, but the girls lead me in the other direction, down the gravel path. We passed by the lake where I saw the kayakers, divers, canoers, and swimmers. The puppy camp instructors allowed us to sniff around a little bit and take a quick water break. I watched Heather C. get her roll in kayaking class, and I saw Jillian F. get her silver in swimming!

After my break, I walked passed horseback riding class, where I saw the advanced riders learning to jump. It looked like a good time, but I decided to keep my distance. Plus, I could smell something delicious coming from the cooking kitchen and I decided to walk that way. The girls wouldn’t let me go into the kitchen, but we did get to stop and visit knitting class! At knitting, I was able to peek through the kitchen window and saw that the class was making lettuce wraps and fried rice. I wanted to stay longer, but I had new places to explore and new people to meet!

We walked up the hill and stopped to take another break at archery. Today in archery, Lauren F. got two bullseyes! After some water, I was starting to get tired, and the beautiful music from guitar class was rocking me to sleep. We walked back to puppy camp and I was ready for a nap and some lunch. While I eat my kibble…again, the girls got to have Pitas for lunch! Finally, it was time for rest hour and both the campers and I got some much needed rest! I was woken up by the third period PAWS class and it was time for another walk. This class is one of my favorites because it is filled with some of the youngest campers, and they have lots of energy to play with me! My new friend Sam D. walked me down the hill and towards the chapel. We stopped to sniff around at YOGA class and I helped demonstrate what a real downward dog stretch looks like.

Next, we walked passed the cabins and straight to tennis. All of my brothers and sisters love to play with tennis balls, I did everyone a favor and picked one up to bring back to PAWS class. We continued on our way past the volleyball court and the soccer field where the girls were working on their passing. The soccer class was especially happy to see us, so they let us come play with them on Macky’s Green for a few minutes. From the green I could see Sabina S. all the way at the top of the climbing tower!

I was starting to get thirsty again so we headed to the creek where we saw the backpacking class filtering the creek water into clean drinking water. They were even nice enough to share with us! Then it was time to head back to puppy camp and wait for the fourth period girls. When they arrived, I was given a warm bath that turned into a water fight.

I had so much fun today with all of my friends. Now the girls are off to eat burrito casserole for dinner. I heard that tonight’s evening activity is color wars, a game that is very similar to capture the flag. Until then, I will be waiting to see which lucky cabin gets to come read me a bedtime story and put me to sleep.

Yours truly,

Benton

 

Olivia Wiggins

Rainbow Counselor

A Merri Day at Camp

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The sun peaked its light over the mountains as the morning bugle rang through camp. It was time to rise and shine. The girls swept the cabin, cleaned the bathrooms, and tidied up there spaces before heading to breakfast. The meal was blessed with the girls singing the Doxology. This mornings delicious foods were eggs, potatoes, and biscuits with sausage gravy. As we finished up Merri-Mac songs at the end of breakfast the girls ran to Chapel to hear from Adam. We learned today from Adam about his old wrestling days that all tide back to be a lesson about Gods grace.

First period bell rang and the girls were eager to starts todays activities. In DIY the girls were making collages for their journals. Once they finished with the journals everyone made personalized schedules to hang in their cabins. PAWs had an exciting day of walking the puppies around camp. Holby and Benton were the lucky ones to take the first walk. Gymnastics was full of fun floor activities, from practicing cartwheels to perfecting backhand springs; the girls were hard at work. Can you spell yoga? Well, the girls in yoga class were learning to spell with their limbs. All of the girls were hungry after their morning activities, so off to lunch we all went. Pizza and cantaloupe was todays special. At the end of meal the winner for Sock wars was announced. Seminoles being the winners of the game, but Iroquois won the spirit points!! (IBT!).

After rest time and trading post the girls were back to their activities. Backpacking learned some amazing things from instructor Robyn Newcomb about LNT (leave no trace) and exploring the natural beauty God has created around us. In fencing Ashley W. held a tournament to work towards her gold bar. Celia S. won the tournament with great swiftness. It was a great afternoon for working on bars because Kate S. was teaching tennis today to help her reach the goal of gold bar. The afternoon activities ended with the air smelling delicious from tonights dinner welcoming us to Tucker inn.

The girls all showed up to dinner in their favorite pajamas, most of them sporting cute pigtails. They are ready for the pajama party. Currently everyone is at the Mark enjoying a wicked fun pajama party of Dutch auction, dance party, and games.

Sweet Dreams,

Shea Van Alstyne

Milky Way Counselor

It’s a Merri Day, Merri-Mac!

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It was such a merry day at Camp Merri-Mac! We awoke to the bugle and cheerfully went to breakfast where we ate a wholesome meal of French toast and bacon. After breakfast, we made our way to chapel where we sang “Pharaoh Pharaoh” and “Oceans (Where my Feet May Fall).” Ally, the Assistant Director of Merri-Mac, told us a silly story about slipping and falling on ice, feeling embarrassed, and being helped up by her friends. She spoke about how God is similar to our friends in that He helps us up in our moments of embarrassment and weakness; He will walk with us in times of trouble and will never leave our side.

The girls then headed to their morning classes! In pottery, they were making pinch pots! In cooking, the girls were letting their inner chef come out, making crepes with chocolate sauce, blueberries, and strawberries. The girls in fitness classes were working on challenging themselves by choice; they would do a set of whole body exercises then at the end of class would try to beat their original time. In gymnastics, Shae and Regan taught floor exercises including roundoffs and chasees. In climbing the girls scaled the traverse wall, learned new vocab terms, and were taught how to tie knots (figure eight follow through, clove hitch, and the double fisherman’s knot). In drama, the girls played new improve games. Puppy camp walked the dogs around the property and played with the growing pups!

After first and second periods, we were hungry! Lucky for us, lunch today was chicken patty sandwiches and mac and cheese! We ate until our tummies had been satisfied and then sang tribal songs. Olivia announced that evening activity would be SOCK WAR! Which tribe will win? (IBT!!) Once the singing had ended we made our way back to our cabins for a much needed rest half-hour. The bugle rang again and the sound of kids laughing sprinting down the hill filled the camp. Trading post is everyone’s favorite time to be with friends and eat treats. I caught up with some differing age groups during free time and asked what the neatest thing about camp was.

Whitley M. in Tweedle Dee said she loved coming to camp because she likes the horses and the blob. She also said that she loved all the new friends, but especially loved being at camp with her “best BFF,” her sister, Paisley. Molly R. enjoys meeting different girls from year to year. Annabeth T. loves coming because “everybody is so nice.” I spoke to a group of Sunnysiders who had a lot to say about what makes camp so special. Albatross (9th summer at camp) loves “seeing how traditions change over the years, making new traditions, and teaching the old ones to new campers.” Savy S. (9th summer at camp) loves “growing up with the same people and watching them grow.” Shay A. (9th summer at camp) said it was “surreal” going from being the littlest at camp to a tribal leader. Caroline W. (7th summer at camp) loves the tradition of camp. Abby K. (8th summer at camp) said she loved watching “tribal leaders become counselors.” Sunnyside counselor, Laura M. loves “seeing campers turn into counselors and keeping strong relationships throughout the years.” Anne Boyd, Director of Merri-Mac loves “tweedles, seeing the girls grow up and go from little girls to young ladies, becoming friends with campers, and, in general, EVERYTHING ABOUT CAMP!”

We are so happy to have your girls here this summer. They are a joy to have and truly light up the camp.

 

Camp is great!

Sincerely,

Christina Barnes

Rainbow Counselor

‘Merica Monday

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The sun rose over the mountains as campers woke up to the sound of the bugle ringing in their ears. This could only mean one thing: the first day of 3rd session had begun! Floors were swept, bathrooms were cleaned, and soon everyone ran down the hill for a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage links, hash browns, and biscuits. After breakfast, the Sunnysiders led everyone in morning songs. This morning we sang a camp favorite, “I’m a Villain”, though no one looked very menacing in their pigtails and pajamas. Then, we walked up the hill to chapel where Adam told us a story and answered the question, “Who is God?”.  Adam explained to us that God talks a lot. He speaks through his word, the Bible, and invites all of us to experience his love and live life alongside him. After we closed in prayer it was time to begin classes!

  In Backpacking, girls listened to a safety talk and made a very special five finger promise to one another about the way class was going to run. In Gymnastics, our coach Regan led stretches while the girls discussed favorite ice cream flavors. Yoga class offered girls a chance to stretch out their leg muscles which were already sore from the steep walk to the Council Ring at last night’s initiation. In Guitar class, Corinna G. got her Silver bar and performed “I Want You Back” by Jackson 5. Girls made scrumptious crepes with fresh fruit, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce in Cooking class. They were generous enough to let me try one and, wow! What a treat!

  Soon it was time for lunch, where girls helped themselves to a camp classic, Taco in a Bag, with chocolate chip cookies for dessert. The Iroquois, Choctaw, and Seminoles led camp in a spirited round of tribe songs. Then, the evening activity was announced: APACHE RACE! The crowd went wild. After our afternoon announcements, it was time to commence tribal competition for 3rd session. At closing ceremonies the year before, the three

Chiefs buried the hatchet to symbolize the end of tribal completion for the year. Now, it was time to find it again! It is rumored that the tribe to find the hatchet at the beginning of the summer is destined to win the banner. After only a few minutes of searching, Savvy S., our Seminole Chief, found the hatchet! Go ‘Noles!

  Everyone was exhausted from all the excitement, so rest hour was a welcome break. Campers snoozed for 30 minutes and awoke at the bugle for some Trading Post! Popular choices today were KitKats, Sour Punch Straws, and AirHead Extremes. Yum! Soon after campers finished their candy, it was time for 3rd period classes to begin. In Pottery, Anna Potts taught girls how to make pinch pots out of balls of clay, “The secret, by the way, is patience. You can’t rush a good pinch pot.” In Fencing, girls got to know each other by playing “The Glove Game”. I don’t think I ever got the hang of it, but the girls had a blast. 4th period classes were cut short so that everyone could change into their whites for a group picture. Sunnysiders led camp in sing-a-longs to “Breaking Free” from High School Musical and “We Are Never Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift.

  Now, it’s almost time for dinner and Apache Race is upon us. What a great day to begin the session. I feel immeasurably blessed to get to work at this place, with this staff, and with these girls. Where else are we allowed, and even encouraged, to stand on our benches at meals and sing songs at the top of our lungs? Where else are friendships built so quickly and so durably? Where else do we encounter adventure every aspect of our daily life?

It’s just a camp thing. A Merri-Mac thing, actually.

From this Haven,

Lainey Goodwill

Cloud Nine counselor

Head of Guitar

Welcome to Camp!

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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 third session with a swim test, a visit to the camp spa (lice check), followed by a fried chicken dinner and cabin songs.  It’s always fun to see the girls sing as part of their new cabin each year – and Stardust did an especially great job tonight. It is clear that those girls are excited to have graduated to Intermediate Camp! That said, the big excitement is coming at Monday lunch when they sing their tribe songs for the first time in a year.  But before they could think about that, the girls met to elect their new tribal officers:  

 

The officers this year are:

Seminole:

Chief- Savanna S.

Med Man- Carley M.

Brave- Lillian H.

Brave- Sydney H.

Iroquois:

Chief- Gracie Rae H.

Med Man- Shay A.

Brave- Julia S.

Brave- Caroline W.

Choctaw: 

Chief- Abby B.

Med Man- Abby K. 

Brave- Julia C. 

Brave- Silvia M.

 

After dinner we went up the mountain for our first 2016 initiation.

 

The new Merri-Mac Seminoles are: Katherine D., Marin D., Annabeth M., Libby S., Stella D., and Katherine W. 

 

The new Merri-Mac Iroquois are: Whitley McKaye S., Kathryn R., Bennett D., Kate S., Lucy R., Alyssa F., Alexa W., Katherine R., Isabel W., Sarah L., Anna K., Isabel S., Allie T., Cecilia G., Katherine O., Macie D., and Caroline M.

 

The new Merri-Mac Choctaws are: Ann Caldwell M., Helen G., Maxine S., Ila R., Jillian V., Clara G., Callie J., Caroline C., Grace R., Alexandra L., Lauren V., and Ella P. 

 

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.

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

 

Mid Season Staff Meeting

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After two weeks of training, and six weeks with campers, our staff is coming back from a well-deserved day off. They’ve been doing amazing things, and we want them to keep improving, so tonight we did a bit more staff training. But it was very different than the training we did at the start, because they are very different people now. In the last six weeks each counselor has spent 144 hours as instructors, guides and coaches. That is three times the hours required for credit in a master’s level course. They are in the middle of being primary influencers in the lives of 1,451 campers and team members with 210 counselors. In short, they are now the experts, so staff training was a little different tonight.

We sat them by cabins and had them answer three questions. As a cabin,

1. What do you want to stop doing?

2. What do you want to start doing?

3. What do you want to keep doing?

We then sat them by activity staffs and asked the same questions before we reshuffled them again and had them share the best things they heard. Finally, we asked them to write their answer to one of the toughest leadership questions I know. “Knowing what you now know, what would I do differently?”

The point is that our counselors are now among the leading experts on leadership in a camp setting – they are really good at what they do – and they are really good at making each other even better. That is why I am so proud of the work they have done, and proud to introduce them to the campers coming tomorrow.

Adam Boyd