Grand Slam?? (Session 2, June 23)
By Sandy Schenck
We are one animal closer to a Grand Slam for this session—and you never know what tomorrow will bring—it ain’t over till it’s over! (But it’s hard to believe that this session is almost over….) Anyway, lots of fun on mentor hikes today, and quite a few animal sightings as well. We had a couple more groups polar-bearing at Uncle’s Falls; along the way, one group saw a small snake, black, with yellow bands—a baby ring-snake (but that’s not our Grand Slam animal for the day…just wait!). For some reason, spiders and millipedes were out in full force today on the hike up to Uncle’s, as well. Two groups hiked up to the Spire; one hiked up the creek, which is always a fun, interesting hike. It requires a lot of teamwork and communication, and our campers rose to the challenge. On their way down, all of a sudden, a camper called out “snake!”
-the snake appeared to have fallen from the sky, dropping maybe from a bigger tree or a bigger rock, into a smaller tree, one that was about three feet tall, and it stayed looped up in the smaller tree’s branches. The snake was only about a foot-and-a-half long, but campers and staff could see it clearly, and they kept their distance-it was a baby timber rattlesnake! So now that means we have seen a deer and a venomous snake for this session—only a bear and a wild turkey to go, and we’ll have a Grand Slam.
After lunch and rest hour, campers and staff began their last day of regular activities. Our knitters were busy at work with the projects they started yesterday. One camper is working on a scarf for her teddy bear; another is working on a series of squares that she will then piece together for a bigger scarf. Another scarf will be brightly colored—a gorgeous mix of blue, purple, and pink. In outdoor cooking, they made apple cobbler in one period, and in the second, they made hobo-packs—tin-foil packs of potatoes, onions, and carrots. In theater, campers raided the costume closet and played improv games. Archery incorporated drama, too; campers taking archery got to go on the walking course—a trail that winds around in the woods next to our archery range, which is set up with more targets—and today the staff member who led campers around was narrating the adventure, intonating as though they were guests on a wild animal safari or adventure show—in a stage whisper: “Over there, we see a wild archery target, in its natural habitat!” After the activity, one camper reported in a faux Australian accent that he “broke a raccoon’s back—I hit it directly in the vertebrae!” (Check out pictures from today!)
After dinner, cabin groups set off on adventures of their own—Cabin Night is a time for cabin groups to cement the bonds they have been forming over the session. Staff and campers come up with a variety of ways to spend the time together; many, if not all, of the Cabin Night evening activities involve food of some sort—s’more’s are a popular choice! Tonight, a couple of cabins chose to go up to Long Rock to watch the sun set; they sat in cabin groups, one group reading aloud a couple of selections, and the other singing some of their favorite camp songs together. The view from Long Rock in the evening is a different kind of beautiful—the distant mountain range is silhouetted against the fading purple, rose, and pink of the sunset; then the moon rises—tonight, the night is clear and the moon is almost full, so Long Rock itself seemed to shine.
Campers and staff are excited about GLP’s tomorrow—sort of a bittersweet feeling, actually, since it means the end of camp is so close. But we’ll focus on the present, for now!