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Game on

May 1. Around here, we live and die by that date. Water’s on? May 1. Landscaping finished? May 1. Blob in the water? You guessed it, May 1.

Camp is in full swing. The flowers are blooming, trees are greener every day, and construction is wrapping up. Today I sat outside for an hour and saw carpenters, landscapers, plumbers, “tile guys,” architects and contractors. We are fixing screens and mowing grass, planting flowers and pruning bushes. New bunkbeds are being delivered, canoes are back in the lake, and ThorGuard (our lighting-detection system) is up and running. Camp is starting to feel alive.

As I sit in my office and type this, I can hear the builders outside talking and laughing. Sometimes, I forget it’s still April. Sometimes, they sound just like campers.

May 1? Game on.

38 days til camp,

Mary Page

Camp Merri-Mac_Sunday Grant Photography (65 of 67)

Great news from camp!

New TL 1

Dear Friends and Family,

We are excited to announce that we have purchased 215 acres that will eventually become the new home for our boys program, Camp Timberlake. Don’t worry, Merri-Mac will stay exactly where it is!

The property is located thirty minutes east of camp and we are starting construction immediately. While we are excited to move forward quickly, we won’t be rushing any part of the design or building. Details and precision make all the difference as we create a space that perfectly balances safety, fun, and adventure.

Our mission is growth through friends and adventure, and both our programs are doing just that – growing.  They’ve been growing so much that Timberlake is ready for the next great adventure. The mission, traditions, and essence of both camps will remain the same, but Timberlake’s new home will give our boys a place to be on their own, find new adventures, and grow life-long friendships. We are also excited to give our girls more room for pajama parties, Christmas in July, and Sock War.

Great times ahead!                                                                               Adam & Ann and John & Catherine

New TL 2










A few pictures from the new property

New TL 3











New TL 4


Happy Valentine’s Day, Merri-Mac Girls!


Happy Valentine’s Day to all our Merri-Mac girls!


Today in our weekly staff meeting we mourned that we have all graduated from exchanging silly valentines day cards and candy.  With this in mind, we began to personify Camp Merri-Mac and laugh about what her Valentines Day cards would say to all of you.  We figured they would look something like this:

Dear Valentine…

“I’d walk up Senior Hill for you”

“I love you more than Lake Doris loves One Direction”

“I miss you more than S’more pockets”

“I love you like Ann Boyd loves the Tweedles”

“Me without you is like Bobby with sleeves”

“We go together like Adam and his headdress”

“I’ll run to you faster than Tweedles to tray-po”

“I’ll stick with you like S’mores and Tweedle’s hair”

“I love you more than Sunnyside loves rest hour”

“I love you even when your Chacos stink”

“My love for you is higher than The Shelter”

“I’ll love you for as long as the announcement song”

Lots of love from camp,


Awards and Resiliency

After twenty-five years running camps together, Ann and I have started to ask ourselves whether we would rather watch our children grow, or help our children grow, because sometimes, at the most important moments, we cannot do both.

We recently sent out a parent survey, and we learned a few things. One is that camps need to do a better job explaining their awards ceremonies. Every camp does this differently, but almost all have this one thing in common: the most important growth, recognition and awards happen when parents are not there. Season-end awards tend to be superlatives: Most Outstanding, Most Improved, Honor Camper, etc., and of course these are the ones that parents are most likely to see. But great programs are aimed less at final awards and more at each camper’s trajectory of growth.

Multiple studies reported by Carol Dweck, Ph.D. (Growth Mindset) show that children develop more resiliency when they try hard, fail and continue trying, than those who easily achieve the award or goal. A 2011 study demonstrated increased brain activity with students who struggle through a problem. Others show that more effort produces more myelin, greasing the skids for growth by changing the brain itself. As a result Dweck prescribes, “praising the process” rather than the success.

Every great camp does this differently. We do it through our White Feather and Little Chief programs. These are weekly gatherings where we award pins and promotions based on growth in skills, chosen challenges and character. The idea is to recognize small steps that lead to big growth. These ceremonies do not recognize every camper, but they do recognize every type of camper. The every camper part happens later that night when a counselor sits by each girl’s bed and describes in detail her strengths and witnessed growth.

So how can you tell from a closing ceremony whether this is happening at your camp? Stop watching the girl receiving the award and start watching the pride of everyone else. They are proud because they know how hard she worked, and they are proud because they are best friends, and they are proud because they are growing too.

So parents, you may miss the best part – but your campers never do!

From This Haven…

After the ceremony!

After the ceremony!

Start Meeting our 2017 Staff


We are excited to announce that many of our counselors from past summers will be returning again for our upcoming summer at Camp Merri-Mac! Our high number of returners  provide us with a strong foundation and uniquely dynamic, professional and knowledgeable staff each year.  While many other exceptional staff will also be joining our team, as of now here are some of the wonderful and talented women who will be around next summer to love and serve your daughters!

Andie Krispin

Anna Moon

Amy Jameson

Ari Jain

Aubrey Ann Grissom

Bailey Allen

Becca Morris

Catherine Hancock

Catherine McCoy

Elizabeth Chandler

Hunter willis

Kristie Garren

Lainey Goodwill

Laura McCoy

Libby Robinson

Maddy Mallory

Molly Callaway

Molly Kathryn Cornelius

Olivia Wiggins

Regan Wilson

Sarah Luecke

Sarah Kate Powell

Taylor Tamaccio





One of the most beautiful parts of camp is the tradition. Merri-Mac girls are part of a tradition that has persisted for over 70 years. We sing the same songs, compete with the same tribes, and walk the same pathways that Macky and Lucy did the first summer Merri-Mac opened its gates.

This winter we are doing several remodels and expansions. I live on camp property, and walking around the construction sites each day exposes nostalgia I didn’t know I had. The cabin where I lost my first tooth is being completely redone. The back porch, where my first lifelong friendships were made is getting a new exterior. The very first cabin I felt brave enough to stay four weeks instead of two is being remodeled. Many things are changing at camp.

Last week I was looking through camp’s archives. We are fortunate to have alumni that have carefully maintained scrap books and letters dating all the way back to 1945. In those files, I found a letter that Macky and Lucy, two of our founding ladies, wrote to their campers the year they bought Bridewood Acres, soon to be Camp Merri-Mac, in Black Mountain:

Dear Merri-Macs:

FlowersFlowersFlowersFlowersFlowersFlowersFlowersFrom my window…I can look out and see most all of our new camp Merri-Mac. It is all so exciting–saws and hammers going, new lumber being stacked all over the place, workmen busy everywhere you look–and our new camp Merri-Mac going up before our very eyes.

…Things here are really buzzing. Macky is really busy. I catch myself puffing and hawing just trying to catch up with her.

The Enchanted Barn is being done over and will be used as a sort of workshop for arts and crafts, photography, etc. It’s almost unbelievable when you think of it but it’s taking shape now and promises to really be “The Enchanted Barn.” The new stables will be a row of stalls–race horse style–over near the riding ring…

These Bridewood Acres are really beautiful this time of year. You can see for miles from up at Camp Merri-Mac on a clear day…It will be even prettier by the time you all get here in June–the trees will be all green again and the rhododendron have thousands of buds that should open when you arrive. Our cabins will be really pretty all nestled in the edge of the trees on “Windy Hill”–just waiting for the happy reunions of old friends, to welcome new girls, to hear tribe yells, happy laughter, and much going on all summer. I’m truly glad that I shall be a part of all this. And I know that you all want to be a part of it too. Won’t it be wonderful to all be together again and in our Camp Merri-Mac this summer?

With Love,

Lucy Turner

So, yes, things are changing at camp. They have always changed! We value traditions for the unity and continuity they bring, but I believe the tradition that we cling to above all others is that of growth. That is what we want for our property as we constantly look for ways to make it better for our cherished campers, but more importantly, that is what we want for each girl that spends her summers with us.


Mary Page

New Years Resolution for a Merri-Mac Girl


We hope you all enjoyed the holiday season and that it was filled with great food, smiles, and those new amazing Merri-Mac Christmas shirts.  Our CITs are returning from the Costa Rica training program and the year round staff are cozying up to the heaters in the office- so I guess you could say all is well.  As we are graced with the fresh life of the new year we compiled a short but sweet New Year’s resolution list for any girl at camp. We hope you are inspired and maybe even make your own list for the summer! We cannot wait to have you.

A New Year’s Resolution List for every Merri-Mac girl in 2017

  1. Earn a bar or elective in an activity
  2. Hug Patti-O more
  3. Pet the Camp Puppies more
  4. Actually enjoy eating my s’more pocket instead of eating it in one bite
  5. Write encouraging notes to all the girls in my cabin
  6. Share my Tray-Po with a counselor
  7. Sing louder and stomp harder on my bench in Tucker Inn
  8. Make up a new tribe song
  9. Play with Tweedles during free time
  10. Win a cabin cake

Changing Seasons


It is spectacular the way that camp transforms with the season of fall.  Leaves change seemingly overnight and  the lake is continually covered with ripples as the wind rushes across it.  Deer begin to graze on the quite grasses and acorns fall with a thud onto any surface that will boast their arrival.  The air conditioner is replaced with the heater and sweaters show their cozy faces on the office coat rack.  The changing season transform camp into a cozy wonderland of yellows and reds, crunching leaves and brisk breezes.  We celebrate the beauty that comes with the changing seasons and are given a momentary reminder to slow down and enjoy the day before us.  Fall at camp is a time to pause, and sing quietly to oneself a refrain from a favorite camp song

…Come and sit by my side if you love me

Do not hasten to bid me adieu

Just remember this place we call Merri-Mac

and the friends who have loved you so true…

We send all our love from camp to you on this lovely fall day at Merri-Mac. We cannot wait to have you back here!


Snapshots of our Mission Statement

A favorite trip from this summer was a waterfall rappel at Upper Creek Falls.  Our expedition staff ran the trip and enjoyed helping camper experience something in a different way than they were typically able to on camp property.

Campers this summer loved participating in this trip because they were able to experience something that challenged them both mentally and physically.  They were given the opportunity to intentionally and actively try something new and experience the beauty of God’s creation all around them. In the excitement of the newness of the trip, campers were regularly amazed with themselves and exclaimed “I can’t believe I did that!” This rappel trip to Upper Creek Falls is just one of many ways that we here at camp work intentionally to live out our mission statement, “ growth through friends and adventure.”  Alongside their friends each camper rappelled down an amazing waterfall, full of joy, enthusiasm, and a renewed sense of confidence.  

Here are some of our favorite shots from these trips this summer.  

Growth through friends and Adventures





















Peace and Prayers


Extending all our love and prayers for safety and peace of mind to all of our camp families facing the reality of severe weather this weekend.  We cover all our Florida and coastal families this day with the beautiful promises in the Camp Psalm.

Peace and Blessings


To the hills I lift my eyes

Whence my hope from heaven arise.

From the Lord comes all my aid

Who the heavens and earth hath made.


God shall guard from every ill,

Keep my soul in safety still.

Both without and in thy door.

He will keep thee evermore.


God shall ever be thy guide

And thy foot shall never slide.

Neither sun by day shall smite

Nor the silent moon by night.
God shall guard from every ill,

Keep my soul in safety still.

Both without and in thy door.

He will keep thee evermore.