To close yesterday’s beautiful Day of Rest here at Camp Merri-Mac, we enjoyed a Sunday Vespers service. We laughed at hilarious skits the counselors put on and The Black Mountain Oysters (a world—er, camp—famous band made up of Merri-Mac and Timberlake staff members) played worship songs and popular songs, such as Riptide and Shut Up & Dance With Me. Then, counselor Becca shared about God’s unconditional acceptance of His children. It was truly the perfect Sunday to conclude our first week of the session and it provided the rest we need for another fun-packed week at camp.
This Monday morning, campers made their way down to the Tucker Inn to find a delicious surprise: pancakes for breakfast! After enjoying the syrupy goodness, we filled the chapel and sang Star of the Morning, Amazing Love, and Let My Light Shine (which, as a matter of fact, was stuck in my head all day). Then, Adam spoke about a Wynton Marsalis concert. He’s a hero, a prodigy, in the jazz world. One song in particular at this show was especially magical, but right at the height of the song’s magic, as eyes gleamed at Marsalis in amazed enchantment, a cell phone rang. Eyes pierced the phone’s owner like daggers. Oh, the shame this man must have felt! One critic wrote on a napkin, “magic ruined.” Marsalis, however, to the crowd’s astonishment, paused and then imitated the ringtone, and then began to improvise with the tune, eventually beautifully weaving it back into the original song. He was a master at his art, able to take something deemed ruined and make it beautiful. Jesus, in the same way, takes us for who we are, in our brokenness, and makes us beautiful. Adam concluded with Ephesians 4: 22-24, in which Paul writes about taking off the old self and putting on “the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
Activities today were packed with fun, learning, friends, and adventure! In Cooking, campers made chicken tacos, complete with guacamole and homemade tortillas. In Climbing, campers learned about different climbing gear (including cams, nuts, and carabiners) and practiced traversing technique. Many campers practiced their T-rescues and rolls in Kayaking as they enjoyed Lake Doris on this hot day. Backpacking classes learned techniques for lighting fires, including which types of wood should be used (never rhododendron), types of kindling, and how to get sap from trees. Campers in Horseback Riding classes rode around camp. Fitness classes did abs workouts as they jammed to some Taylor Swift tunes.
At lunch today, we ate the ever-anticipated Stromboli. But, there were a few tables of campers absent at the meal – Where were the Sunnysiders? Well, while their fellow campers enjoyed a hot, action-packed day at camp, they embarked on the Sunnyside Trip, a long-lasting Merri-Mac tradition. This morning, these girls hiked to Max Patch, a bald mountain peak about an hour and a half from camp, where they played games like Spikeball and Frisbee and had a picnic. They returned to camp this afternoon and got all dolled-up for a night out. Tonight, they are enjoying a dinner at a hibachi restaurant and going bowling.
Meanwhile, this evening at camp, it’s Cabin Night! The Tweedle cabins have a Free Swim at Lake Doris followed by a campfire and s’mores. Stardust is camping out at The Shelter, which is located on camp property a mile up the Tomahawk Trail. Milky Way is eating their fill of s’mores at the Teepee campfire. Comet campers are getting their creative juices flowing as they write and perform skits in the drama room. Blue Heaven found the perfect cure to this hot North Carolina day: the slip ‘n’ slide on Mackey’s Green! Little Dipper is enjoying an evening by the pool at The Boyd’s. Big Dipper is playing games and camping out at the Mark at Spencer’s Green. Moonmist is enjoying a big game of Laser Tag. Rainbow is cooking something up in the Merri-Mac Kitchen. The Dreams cabins are having a pancake second dinner in The Tucker Inn (lucky girls—pancakes twice in one day? It doesn’t get much better than that).
Tonight, as some girls will fall asleep in sleeping bags under the stars and others in their cozy cabins, I remember the camp psalm:
The Lord watches over you—
The Lord is your shade at your right hand;
The sun will not harm you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
(Psalm 121: 5-6, NIV)
Goodnight, Merri-Mac family!
Seminole, Big Dipper Counselor & Rock Climbing Instructor