As a greeter posted at the front of the registration line today, I had the opportunity to personally welcome at least half of the families to camp this morning. Out of all of the jobs available on opening day, I am convinced that I own the best one. I believe this because I have the chance to see campers from my previous cabins or who were in my tribe last year, I get to meet a lot of new first timers, and I get to be one of the first people to say “welcome to camp.” Those words hold a lot of power—for both parents and campers. For parents, it is a statement of security and comfort. For the campers, it is an invitation into something extraordinary.
As you drove away this morning, something incredibly special happened as your children were welcomed into a new family— their cabins. As the bugle promptly blew at 1:00, all campers were in their cabins getting to know their counselors and one another. Centered around ice breakers, name games, and a whole lot of fun, campers were introduced to all of the key elements of camp life. Following this introduction, the three camps, Bear (cabins 1-12), Deer (13-26), and Mountain (27-44), took turns at the waterfront learning the about the lifeguards, the rules of the wettest place on camp, and taking swim tests. When they were not at the waterfront, those camps were doing what we do best….having a lot of fun! Bear Camp played Octopus Tag, Deer Camp played Gladiator, and Mountain split up and let the Sycamores play Risk and the Poplars play Braveheart. Following an afternoon filled with games, all of the camps went to their “retreat” locations where they met directors, learned about eating in Eden Hall, and heard the words “water” and “sunscreen” mentioned several times.
Promptly at 6:15, the first dinner bugle of Classic Camp 2 was heard and campers were welcomed into Eden Hall singing “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain.” Dinner tonight was baked chicken, veggies, a full salad and fruit bar, and ice cream cups for dessert! Following dinner, the Tribal Directors led an impromptu song fest in the dining hall. Singing songs like “The Yodeling Song,” “Boogaloo,” and even the happy birthday song for E.B. Robinson’s 13th birthday, Eden Hall was loud and filled with enthusiastic energy! The night ended with more cabin activity time in Bear and Deer and with the oldest guys at Mountain Camp Council.
Opening day is an amazing experience. From the first greeting until the last bugle plays taps and all the lights are turned out on the first day, every moment is spent welcoming one another to camp. To those that arrived for the first time to those who call camp their second home, I hope the message was clear. Not just the message in our greeting, but the message in the laughter, in the mountains, and in the love: Welcome to Camp…we are glad you are here.
With complete thankfulness,
Assistant Program Director
Tonight’s Bible Story…
Story: The Good Samaritan
Scripture: Luke 10:25-37
+Where do you see yourself in the story?
+What is the good news?