The morning began foggy and calm in the Blue Ridge mountains of Merri-Mac with a noisy bugle followed by each cabin starting up their own favorite tunes. Fourth of July gear was donned in every cabin, from Audrey E.’s flag cape to Aubrey Ann G.’s leggings, and every camper had the USA pride in their outfits and hearts the whole day. Last night’s rain assured that every towel on the clothesline was damp, but every leaf was extra green! After the first morning of learning the chores and changing into new Merri-Mac gear, we all headed down the hill and were greeted with Belgian waffles and, get this, whipped cream for breakfast! Happy and full of waffles, each camper made their way to chapel, a highlight of each day for Merri-Mac girls, where we sang songs like Blessed Be The Name and, a staff favorite, In Christ Alone.
And just like that, the girls had begun their much anticipated activities! From backpacking to knitting to volleyball to cooking, the classes gave safety talks before beginning anything else but within minutes balls were being passed and ropes courses played among. In guitar, Ava F. taught the entire class period in hopes of working towards her gold and Gable G. and Grace A. managed to climb the entire traverse climbing wall in one go! Mary Julia G. and Elizabeth V. worked hard in kayaking to master their T rescues, a necessary skill for both their silvers and some top notch kayaking. Carter K. swam copious laps in swimming class working towards her silver, and making a splash as she did so! In soccer class Kristie G. and Hunter W. challenged the class to the “crossbar challenge” where hitting the crossbar of the goal with a kick won them trading post from their counselors. Luckily for the counselors, many girls got very close, but no tray-po was owed in the end.
As 1 o’clock drew near, every camper and staff member grew hungry and lunch was a deliciously anticipated American classic of hotdogs, fries, and red white and blue Popsicles. Rest hour was much needed on this busy first day, but as soon as the bell rang for trading post, the sound of pounding feet down the mountain filled the air. Dr. Peppers, Sour Patch Kids, Hershey’s, and more were handed out by the wonderful CIT’s and enjoyed around thrilling games of tetherball and Uno. Free time was full of making new friends, chatting with olds ones, and enjoying the sun that smile us both smile and sweat. A backpacking trip headed for Catawba Falls went out around 3 for an overnight hike, and each girl on the trip left with a full backpack and a huge smile! Best of luck to them! As the weather heated up and the humidity rose, so did the excitement and energy of the campers.
Third period began as a slight drizzle came, but soon all was clear and bright again. The smell of s’more pockets filled the camp as cooking class learned to make them, and the kitchen was often visited by other campers and counselors trying to see if there was an extra. (P.S. They were awesome.)
Around 5, the girls went back to the cabin to put on their best Sunday whites and staff members put on their staff shirts for the full camp photo. Always a fun time, Sunnyside led us in songs while we waited like Let It Go and some classic Hannah Montana tunes. With the photo taken and one lucky camper getting a dollar for smiling the brightest, the girls ran back up to their cabins to put on their America Color Wars clothes, either being previously placed on the red team, white team, or blue team. They all three competed against the staff members in a huge game of American themed capture the flag (Go Staff!).
As the game drew to a close and the winner to be announced tomorrow at breakfast, the girls headed back up the hill for the night to shower and clean up for bed. With the weather cooling down a bit and the mountain quietly ringing with fireworks in the distance, taps rang, eyes closed, and tired minds dreamed of a brand new day of camp tomorrow.