The bugle rang loud and clear over the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Camp Merri-Mac this morning! As chores began and chatter started to fill the air, camp awakened and came to life for a wonderful Friday! The day started with a delicious breakfast of breakfast burritos, and the meal ended with the tradition of singing silly songs! Today’s set list consisted of camp favorites “Rattlin’ Bog,” “Darlin’ You Can’t Love One,” and “Boom Boom Ain’t it Great to be Crazy.” Afterwards, the girls headed over to our beautiful lakeside Chapel, where we continued our singing with songs of praise such as “Let My Light Shine Bright” and “How Great Thou Art.” Dreams End Counselor Kristie G. gave the message for today, and spoke about a Costa Rica rafting trip gone wrong. She answered the question “Who is Jesus?” by discussing how Jesus is our protector, and read from Isaiah 43 to show how when we pass through rough waters, He is always with us.
We had several exciting trips out today! The first was a Junior Camp hike at our brother camp, Timberlake! Our awesome backpackers were Christine M., Adelaide W., Frances H., Hayden M., Lucy C., Margaret W., Sarah D., Lillian B., Eleanor W., Avery S., Sydney B., and Olive B., Ann Gardiner H., Elizabeth C., Eleanor D., and Rachel C. were rolling on the river today on their kayaking trip! Out water skiing today was Kate C., Amelia D., Amelia E., Emerson S., Anna E., and Anabel H.
I had the most amazing day walking around to each activity and seeing the talents and gifts that our campers possess. In Pottery class, the girls continued growing in their throwing skills, and began working on slab mugs and soap dishes! Many of our campers are very excited to present their families and friends with pottery gifts, so get excited for those coming very soon! Cooking class was the place to be (and I stopped by several times) as today was Sweet Treats day (as if camp could get any sweeter). The girls made delicious pumpkin spice donuts and chocolate waffles for a perfect duo of sugar and spice. Backpacking had an exciting class of bag-packing competitions and races. Dru H. and Presley T. were our winners this morning! The dock music was blasting and laughs and singing could be heard around camp as water activities started today! Kayaking classes were working on bars, and our very own Caroline W. and Lauren M. earned their bronzes today!! Over in the Mike, gymnastics classes were working hard on their bronzes, as Avery B. is approaching her bronze, Hannah B. and Ruth Ann S. is almost to her silver, and Anna C. earned her gold! As I approached Pippin Hill, the sweet sound of acoustic guitar called me to the hut in order to hear some beautiful music to start my afternoon! The girls were learning new chords and progressions today, as Tess B. earned her bronze and Sarah Colley S. earned her silver. As I headed up the mountain, I had no choice but to stop by our PAWS classes to play with the most adorable puppies in the world! Our girls were practicing the commands come, sit, and shake with one of our most popular pups, Mike! In Riflery class, Haley K. earned her gold and achieved one of the highest Merri-Mac honors: naming her own gun! She went with a very fitting name: “Coffee with Kramer.” Up on top of the stunning Pippin Hill, climbing classes reached new heights (literally) as they practiced mock counter balance ascent rescues, boulder and tower climbing. Mary Clayton S. is quickly approaching her gold, and Allie M. belayed for two class periods. As a Yoga instructor, I tend to enjoy the more relaxing classes, but in a moment of spontaneity, I decided to try my hand at Climbing this afternoon. I lived out the Merri-Mac motto, “Growth Through Friends and Adventures,” as I made it to the top of the Upper Tower, with Counselour Kristie G. belaying me and camper Allie M. cheering me on the whole way! Camp really does lift us to new heights!
After a delicious lunch, Tribe Fest winners of Song Fest and Minute to Win It were announced!! Song Fest went to the….SEMINOLES! Minute to Win It went to (the best tribe)…CHOCTAW!! All the girls from all three tribes celebrated a beautiful day of tribal games with loud cheers of tribal pride! Afterwards, tonight’s evening activity was announced: AQUA PALOOZA! All three age divisions of camp will be split up and will be playing different water-related games! Junior Camp will be going on the slip and slide, Intermediate Camp will be playing commando (basically capture the flag but with water balloons), and Senior Camp will be playing Pirate Ball (a giant game including kayaks, rafts, canoes, fencing, and all sorts of wild obstacles!).
The exciting afternoon continued with trading post, as my campers in particular enjoyed snacks of Sour Punch Straws and Cheez-Its. The girls enjoyed a restful free time as they sat in enos together, worked on their knitting projects, and wrote letters. Afternoon classes went swimmingly, as canoeing classes worked on swamping the boats and bars! Summer reading went on a class field trip to Macky’s Green, and Cooper K. achieved her silver in Riding! Our Dance classes prepared for Fine Arts Night coming up very soon, and Katherine G. hit the bullseye in archery, receiving thunderous applause and cheers from her classmates! Up on Pippin Hill at the best class at camp, Yoga worked on technique of postures, and discussed the story of Noah and the Ark by reading from the Jesus Storybook Bible and having the class pair up and create animal postures to teach to the class.
Doris Sissy Raspberry Jones, Seminole Chief and Camp Princess in 1954, was on camp property today getting a tour by Bobby Boyd and her granddaughter, a current Merri-Mac camper. Seeing this incredible woman ride around camp in her Seminole jersey was a perfect representation of the lasting impact that this camp has on every individual girl. This is not just a summer camp, but a life-changing experience that leads girls to the Lord, brings out confidence, and allows girls who are deathly afraid of heights and teach yoga class to spontaneously climb the highest tower at camp. Camp truly does bring growth through friends and adventure, and I am so lucky to witness it every day. Thank you for sharing your beautiful girls with us this summer, and rest assured that they are loving every minute and creating life-long memories alongside their best friends. Now I’m off to the Slip and Slide for Aqua-Palooza!
From this Haven,
Anne Dillon Loflin
Tweedle Doe Counselor
9th Summer at Merri-Mac
Proud Choctaw ’18