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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.


Director Travels to visit Camp Families



The coming of fall means the beginning of travels for our Directors to the homes of the people they love the most, campers!  Each year we set up parties at the homes of camp families who are generous enough to host these mini reunions and reminisce about the good old days of summer.  We love doing home shows not only because it is great fun to see all your camp friends, but it is also a wonderful chance to invite all your classmates and neighbors to get a small glimpse into what Merri-Mac is like and why we love it so much.

We would like to say a huge thank you to all of our Merri-Mac families that have so generously offered to host Adam this fall for a home show, He cannot wait to see you all!  If you are interested in hosting or attending a home show please call the camp office to find out if Adam will be in your area! 828.669.8766


Joining the Team



We are excited to announce the newest addition to our staff! Mary Page Boyd will be serving as the year around camp Intern. Mary Page has been a long time camper, counselor, and staff for Merri-Mac and has proved her excellence in both character and work ethic year after year.  Anyone who is lucky enough to know her, has no doubt that she loves camp dearly and is excited to learn in this new role. Mary Page hopes to help make camp the best it can be for many years to come. She graduated with honors from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in May of 2016 with a degree in American Studies, and is excited to apply this knowledge to camp.


-Ally Gudeman, Assistant Director


With the Shades of Evening

It was a rainy last day of camp, but that did not stop the girls from having fun in all of their last activities! Girls were playing lacrosse, riding, swimming, and even climbing in the rain. Cooking classes served up some delicious m&m cookies, and in backpacking the girls learned how to use a water filter and made hot chocolate with filtered water from Tweedle Creek. Everyone on the lake had free swim today so girls were diving, blobbing, and splashing around in the water all day.

After a great lunch of mini corndogs and mac and cheese, Sunnyside led the camp in calling out the kitchen staff and singing thanks to them for their hard work. In DIY and Pottery, girls wrote thank you notes to staff. In Riding, the girls were able go on a trail ride around camp. It was a day of thanks that was bittersweet but full of smiles.

The day ended with White Feather, Final Campfire, and Lakeside.

At White Feather, Owen M., Bays Q., Virginia L., Julia C., Emma A., Amelia C., Lillian Jane L., Oleanna K., Olivia S., Josephine V., Taylor M., Shea S., Meg F., Beth H., Caroline S., Nikke F., Juliana H., Ayva R., Mary S., Hannah G., Caroline B., Kenley C., Addison K., Clarissa S., Lindsay J., Ivy C., Riley M., Morgan S., Gabrielle A., Ava W., Molly M., Norah M., Tory S., Elizabeth W., Drake M., Hannah F., Grace R., Carolyn C., Holly H., Sarah R., Olivia  D., Sydney H., Hayden W. all received promotions in the ranks of White Feather.

Abby B. was promoted to full White Feather, and everyone was so proud of her major accomplishment. Final Campfire followed White Feather with all of the cabins sharing memories from the summer and the Sunnysiders finishing it out with Shabooga Roll Call (a silly chant that always brings surprises and laughter) and handing out the Suns that they had made for both campers and staff.

Lakeside finished out the night beautifully with the girls gathered around the lake singing and placing candles in the lake. After lakeside the girls gave hugs, promised to stay in touch, and shed many tears as they said goodbye to all the dear friends they had met that summer. They girls then headed to bed with the anticipation of Closing Ceremony and seeing their parents. At Closing they will be recognized for accomplishments, sing tribal songs, find out who the new princess is, and of course find out who won the banner!

Margaret Patton (CIT)

Another Merri day at Camp


The sun was brightly shining this morning as the campers awoke at 7:00 AM to the cheery tones of Reveille and headed down the hill to eat a nice meal of biscuit sandwiches. Laughter could be heard all across the dining hall as campers sang their favorite breakfast songs for one of the final times this year.

In Chapel, the girls enjoyed hearing Adam answer the question of what God requires of us and told us a story that inspired us to live faithfully. Chapel was followed by the girls last Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday classes of the summer. In knitting and pottery, the girls finished the projects that they had been working so hard on these past two or four weeks. In kayaking, diving, swimming, and canoeing, the girls all enjoyed a nice free swim where they could ride the waterslide, jump off the Blob, ride the paddle board, or just have fun while swimming in Lake Dorris.

During Lunch, campers ate a delightful meal of tacos and then enjoyed singing everyone’s favorite tribal songs. After that, we practiced singing the beautiful Lake Side songs and there was barely a dry eye in all of Tucker Inn.

For the afternoon activities, cooking enjoyed making homemade ice cream in ziploc bags and adding whatever flavor they would like in it. In dance, the girls played a nice round of freeze dance to some of their favorite songs. In soccer, the girls practiced punting and then played a nice game of football. The Sunnysiders all enjoyed working on their suns in DIY craft this afternoon and carrying on a Merri-Mac tradition.

For Dinner, the girls came down in their tribe jerseys ready to eat some nice ravioli and then play a camp favorite game of sock war. However, during dinner, the rain started to pour down on us and plans were changed so that we could stay safe and enjoy and awesome game of Tribal Trivia instead. A great day was had by all as the girls enjoyed some of the last few moments with their camp friends this summer.

Julia Bell

Counselor In Training

Staff Appreciation Day


Just like every other morning, reveille sounded at 7 am sharp. This morning though the campers heard different voices encouraging them to get out of bed and do their chores. Today is Staff Appreciation Day, so the girls in Sunnyside, Dreams Begin, and Dreams End woke up at the crack of dawn, cleaned their cabins, dressed up in some borrowed staff shirts and went to all the other cabins to pretend to be counselors for the day. They helped their assigned campers clean their cabins spotless and then sat with them at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Instead of going to their normal daily activities, they were allowed to help teach all the activities. For many of these campers, they have grown up at Merri-Mac learning these skills and today they got a taste of what it would look like to come back as counselors and be instructors.

While most campers were in regular camp activities, a few girls had the opportunity to go on a climbing trip to Snakes Den. Afterwards, they hiked to a really cool waterfall. Head of Merri-Mac climbing, Claire Lippy, remarked, “They absolutely crushed it.” We love camp, but we also love being able to send girls outside of camp to experience some of the rivers, rocks, and trails that this beautiful part of our country has to offer.

Back at camp, Kennedi G. , Kelsey W. , Mariah B. , Olivia S. , and Janie H. all received their bronze bars in canoeing. This bar requires knowing basic strokes and being able to control their boat on the lake. On the other side of the lake, Ava W. and Claire H. got their rolls in kayaking after several class periods of hard work. And in the other corner of Lake Doris, Holly H. received her silver bar in swimming.

In Pottery class, the young potters began to glaze their pieces. Right next door in cooking class, the girls baked scones for the entire camp to snack on during our evening activity, Fine Arts Night this evening. In Puppy Camp, they took all the dogs on walks around camp. In Backpacking class, the girls did the low ropes course. Over at the archery range, Albatross D. received her Gold bar, which can take years of work. Albatross also got her Gold in lacrosse along with Grace A. It’s incredible the amount these girls have learned and how much they have grown since their arrival here at Merri-Mac.

We love recognizing and celebrating growth at camp whether it be by allowing girls to instruct an activity or by receiving a bar to demonstrate their mastery of certain skills. As I’m writing this article, all of camp is up at the Mike for Fine Arts Night. Tonight many of our campers will perform dances and songs for the entire camp. While many nights we get to celebrate our girls athletic abilities in tribal events, tonight we get to see them shine and be beautiful in a completely different way through the arts.

As we enter the last week of the summer, I reflect on what a blessing it has been to have a place like Merri-Mac that gives all of us (staff and campers) such positive and uplifting community. Here girls are inspired to teach a something they never knew before coming to this place. They are empowered to get up in front of 200 girls and sing and dance. They are celebrated when they learn new skills and grow as people. And all while doing this, they are loved and supported by each other. I consider it a blessing to call this place my home and my job.


Mary Grace Budd

Proud Sunnyside Counselor and Seminole