The word that has been stuck in my head on this first formal Sunday of camp is “special”. Camp is always a special opportunity for kids to just be kids, but this summer has been a special opportunity for the campers here to escape from the anxiety of the outside world to do so. The Ten Comments tell us that Sunday is to be a special day, set aside for rest and recuperation, and nowhere do I see this in action like Merri-Mac. We all started the morning sleeping in an extra hour, snuggling ourselves up in our covers with the sunlight streaming in our cabin windows. In cabin Sundrop, the campers had already awoken by the time taps played at 8am and were wiggling around filled with the anticipation of the day. When the bugle rang, campers all around threw on their coveted “Sunday whites,” white outfits for the special day, and streamed down the hill for a yummy breakfast of cinnamon rolls. The morning was filled with classic Merri-Mac worship songs at Chapel, old Taylor Swift blasting from CD players during cabin clean up, and smiles and giggles as we all struggled to sit still for cabin photos.
A lot of girls went on some really fun trips today! Pierce M., Frances Z., Afton C., Ambrose C., Kendall D., Marley G., Christen G., Lila G., Ann J., Sara G., Jillian G., and Cecilia S. all went on a rafting trip today! Rainbow took a cabin trip to Upper Creek Falls, and some of the older girls including Riley T., Claire R., Annalee P., Maren K., Isabella W., Samantha P., Camille D., and Nadia R. left for a solo 13 trip! Also, Caroline F., Madison K., and Charlotte C. are on their way back from a climbing trip to Table Rock!
Lunch carried was the most normal feeling, which struck Annie W. as different. She remarked that it felt just like Sunday lunch at home, like you had just come from church with your family, you were still dressed up, and you had the whole day ahead of you to enjoy. After lunch, we had an hour of quiet rest time, where girls sat perched on bunks, writing letters home to you all, reading, or weaving camp-coveted friendship bracelets. After rest hour, the camp geared up for a day of activities filled with freedom and opportunities for expression. Kickball tournaments started for the Blue Heron neighborhood, and the Black Bear neighbored ran down to the lake for Doris time (free swim). On the dock, the Blob opened and so did the waterslide (a slide I love that cuts a path through the fairyland-like hillside by the lake). Girls practiced dives to the camp Spotify playlist (“Everytime We Touch” was a fan favorite) or splashed through the water with their friends. Next up, girls could talk or read or have the option to join a competition- frog hunting, sandcastle building, or dam building (for our future women in STEM).
After a couple tadpoles were caught, each cabin got to enjoy a pizza night and then the best part of the day- Vespers. Vespers is my favorite tradition at camp. We celebrate the ending of every Sunday by watching performances of hilarious skits, singing pop songs to ukulele and washboard sounds, and then slowing down and worshiping with music and a sermon from our very own Adam Boyd. As Adam told the story of the 40 Roman soldiers who bravely lay their lives down for their faith, the sky that had been gently sunny all day started to drizzle. One of the 3 “magical” golden koi fish that live in the lake surfaced as if to listen by the Chapel. Adam explained that Jesus gave his life so that we, the campers, the counselors, and all in our community, could find rest from the worries of this world.
The sky has cleared, and as I write this blog post, the girls are snuggled up at the Tucker Inn, enjoying the Princess Diaries movie and fellowship. The sun is setting, and I can’t help but think that today has been a perfect day. Out in the “real world,” where strife is ever near and worries about the future abound, this can be hard to believe. But in this Haven, for a beautiful, special moment in their lives, your girls have truly been able to rest. May they be able to carry the peace they have found within these gates back to you when they depart.
2nd Summer at Merri-Mac