The campers woke to a beautiful morning at Camp Merri-Mac. A shroud of clouds blanketed the Blue Ridge Mountains that surround Senior Hill in mystic loveliness. Campers perkily jumped out of bed at the sound of Reville to begin their morning chores. After some cleaning, organizing, teeth brushing, and hair braiding, the breakfast bell rang. Girls left their rocking chairs and tether ball posts to file into the Tucker Inn for baked oatmeal, orange blueberry coffee cake, fruit, yogurt, and cereal. At the end of the meal, the Sunnysiders, which are our oldest campers at age sixteen, led silly morning songs including “Boom Boom, Ainʼt It Great To Be Crazy,” “I Wonʼt Grow Up,” and “Sippinʼ Cider.”
After the “Announcements” song was concluded, the girls hiked up past Lake Doris to the chapel, and sang three songs to praise Jesus and the Camp Psalm, Psalm 121. Then Molly M., archery instructor and Blue Heaven counselor, gave chapel on the topic “Who Is Man?” Then the girls left for their tribe meetings where they learned what they would be doing for the Apache Race for evening activity.
At the sound of the bugle, everyone raced off to their first activities. In pottery, full session girls started making ocarinas, a sort of clay whistle, and one week campers started pinch and coil pots. Cooking class made egg cups and cinnamon toast. In knitting, they learned how to cast on and ball yarn. Camp craft took a hike on the Tomahawk trail. DIY Crafts painted trees and glued on buttons for leaves. Fencing class practiced footwork. Up the hill, tennis class was practicing returning serves. Archery learned basic shooting position and practiced shooting at their targets. Guitar class worked on chords and learned some new songs. Drama class learned different stage positions. In dance, the girls practiced ballet including trying leaps across the room.
After second period, there were many rumbling tummies ready for chicken patties, french fries, noodle soup, salad, and sugar cookies. The winner of last nightʼs evening activity of Base Jumping was revealed. The Seminoles were victorious! Choctaw won spirit points! After such a delicious meal, the girls sleepily walked up the hill for a half hour of Rest Time full of naps, reading, and letters home. As soon as the bugle sounded, a stampede rushed down the hill to the Trading Post for candy and cold drinks. After tether ball tournaments and much laughter and fun, everyone set off for their third and fourth period activities. In climbing, girls got to climb the brand new tower and boulder on Spencerʼs Green, some climbing for the first time. More first times took place in riflery, where girls had never before shot a gun. At PAWS puppy class, they learned the basics of dog training and got to play with campʼs five labrador puppies. In gymnastics, girls practiced floor skills like cartwheels and handstands. The water front bustled with activity. In swimming, girls learned the different strokes and went on the blob. Divers learned the four step approach and tried out some different dives. Kayakers learned wet exits and T-rescues and Natalie C. and Isabelle B. both mastered their rolls! Caroline A. mastered her offside roll. In Emergency Water Safety, Madeline H. earned her gold bar. Canoeing class learned the parts of the paddle and practiced the basic strokes.
Also at this time, some girls left camp on trips. Some left for waterskiing on Lake James, including Frances B., Alexandra G., Isabella L., Tory S., Katherine H., and Sarah W. They spent the afternoon on the lake and were back before dinner. An overnight backpacking trip left to Turkey Pen led by Keit P., and Kelli W. Campers Maddie M.,
Chloe R., Andrea S., Jocelyn L., Caroline L., Grace C., Ana Gabriella R., and Valeria S. participated, ready for a fun night of hiking and camping.
After their activities, the girls went back to their cabins to put on tribe jerseys to prepare for Apache race. They raced down the hill for a delightful meal of chicken and vegetable stir fry, rice, egg rolls, snap peas, salad, and cherry pineapple cobbler. Then they sang cabin songs, excitedly awaiting the race.
Apache Race is a camp classic. It is basically a relay race around camp with each of the three tribes competing. A different camper participates in each leg of the relay race which are various activities around camp including arts and crafts, volleyball, backpacking, human croquet, swimming, diving, canoeing, gymnastics, chorus, dance, drama, tennis, hula hoop relay, water slide, archery, and cheerleading. The winning tribe raises their flag at the flag pole to signify their victory. After a close race, the winner tonight was the Seminole tribe! Spirit points will be revealed tomorrow at lunch (fingers crossed for Choctaw again!)
After the race was completed, the girls went back to their cabins. Some left to have devo in the Tucker Inn, others ran off to campfires for sʼmores. As night fell over the mystic mountains, other campers were seen sneaking off to the Trading Post for a late night snack or to a rival cabin for a friendly raid.
When taps rang at ten, all was quiet. Pleasantly exhausted from a long day of activity in the fresh mountain air, the girls fell asleep easily. Resting for another full day tomorrow.