After a blustery night of thunderstorms that made us content in warm and dry beds, the sun rose high and warm over the Blue Ridge Mountains. A breakfast of Belgian waffles, topped with whipped cream and blueberries, and sausage patties filled hungry bellies. We sang our traditional morning songs to start off a busy and energetic day and then headed to chapel! As the sun’s rays danced over and dappled Lake Doris, we sang sweet worship songs such as “Isaiah 43” and “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks.” Counselor Kate G. spoke in chapel today about how God is our Father who disciplines us for our benefit—He always gives us what we need. She read from Hebrews 12:7-11 and told a personal anecdote from her childhood to supplement the lesson. Tonight, individual cabins will discuss together the message from chapel in age-appropriate settings to ensure comprehension or delve a little deeper.
There were quite a few trips that went off camp today! Because of Merri-Mac’s prime location nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, we have access to some of the premier rocks, hiking, and rivers in all of North Carolina. The following girls went on a kayaking trip today: Lindsay A., Aynsley R., Kaitlin P., Eleanor P., Hailey F., Katherine M., Andie K., and Margaret P. Margaret and Aynsley both did their combat rolls on the river today! This is so impressive and counts as an elective mark towards White Feather!These girls went backpacking: Taylor T., Celia S., Hollis B., Holly H., Maddy N., Abby B., Becca M., Mattie Y., and Millie M. Lastly, the following girls got to go waterskiing: Taylor U., Elizabeth W., Katherine P., Caroline C., Kate T., Ingerid E., Nora C., Julia B., Olivia O., Libby M., Carolyn C., Marie U., Molly F., Copeland R., Gabriella N., Savannah L., Taylor M., and Nora M. I’ve heard nothing but good things from all of these trips!
Because of the stunning weather, all activities were running to their fullest ability with much enthusiasm and energy to go around. In Dance today, Hannah P. led stretches. Over in Fencing, the girls played “Red Light/Green Light” to practice their stances, and then they began to fence! Heather C. and Sandra T. were among the girls to fence today. The smells wafting from the cooking kitchen were too delicious to ignore, and I know all of the girls loved cooking salsa, queso, and quesadillas almost as much as they enjoyed eating them! In Climbing, Ashley P. began to make up her own route in the Grotto, which is one of the bouldering sites on camp.
After such a busy morning, lunch couldn’t come fast enough! Stromboli is a camp favorite, so cheers of joy echoed around camp as the girls filed into the Tucker Inn. Ice cream sandwiches topped off a yummy meal. After some rowdy tribe songs, the winner of Base Jumping, last night’s evening activity, was announced. The Seminoles won both Spirit Points and the actual game of Base Jumping! Seminole pride, woot woot, Seminole power indeed! Iroquois Chief Kristie G. described playing Base Jumping as “feeling like you’re on a mission to save Camp Merri-Mac!” Tonight, we are playing Inferno, another tribal activity that involves keeping tribal fires alive by collecting “wood” from different activities while simultaneously trying to put out the other tribes’ fires. We’ll see who prevailed soon!
Rest time provided some peace, quiet, and naps, and then opportunity to obtain caffeine and sugar from the Trading Post presented itself. In the free time after rest time, many girls schedule tournaments or pick-up games! To earn her gold bar in Volleyball, Alex V. organized a volleyball tournament today, made up of Dreams and Sunnyside campers and counselors. It looked like a grand time! Some girls also use free time to run around camp or on the Tomahawk Trail—Vivian G. and Mary Laci M. did so today! Tweedle Doe campers Martha O., Clare M., Molly T., and Bennett P. enjoyed playing in the waterfall and Tweedle Creek!
In Camp Craft classes today, the girls learned how to fashion “bear bags” to protect backpacking food from bears or other wild animals. In Knitting, Caroline W. continued work on her infinity scarf! In Chorus today, Ellie P., Taylor U., and Maddie L. earned their bronze bars and began work on their silver bars! Earning bars in activities represents learned skills and knowledge and also counts towards White Feather marks that will be recognized at the White Feather ceremony later this week. We believe in encouragement and recognition at Camp Merri-Mac, and this can be found in many facets!
Even after ten years at Merri-Mac, I am continually overwhelmed and blown away by the joy, energy, and love that envelops this place. It is one of the most heartwarming and encouraging places to work as a counselor and provides some of the most memorable summers and meaningful relationships as a camper. Your girls make this place come alive, and we are so thankful that you share them with us for this time. We can’t wait for them to share their favorite memories with you when they return home so that you can get an insight into what it is to be a Merri-Mac girl.
From this haven,
Dreams Begin Counselor
University of Virginia Class of 2017