Session 2/3 Day 8

By Sandy Schenck

It’s been a fantastic Fourth on the Fifth of July here at the GRP! We heard from each of our Camp-Out groups this morning—they check in regularly when they are out—and then they began meandering back to camp, lingering through one last picnic lunch before arriving back in camp. They spent the afternoon getting cleaned up and enjoying some free time. They have some great stories from Camp-Out! So many highlights: catching trout and cooking them up for an appetizer at dinner; taking in the sunset at Long Rock (a spot on the Preserve that faces the west and has a gorgeous view of the valley); eating purple rice (from cooking up beans and rice in the same pot, and inspiring some variations on Prince’s “Purple Rain”); bushwhacking up a mountain on a side hike; singing camp songs over and over and over again; seeing a huge pile of bear scat, with undigested corn in it (hmmm, maybe from our farm?!?!); seeing yet another wild turkey, flying up into the trees after being startled by hiking campers; finding deer vertebrae, the breastbone of a bird, crawdad claws, and a snakeskin, all in one small area—now nick-named “the Goblin’s Lair”; finding juicy blueberries on the hike up the mountain and eating some and saving more to eat with breakfast the next morning; hanging out with brother and sister cabin groups; making fire with flint and steel; solo sits; hanging out at the campfire; s’mores, of course!; and, what we’re pretty sure is a GRP innovation that campers big and small across the land will embrace: the development of the s’moreo: taking the marshmallows leftover from s’mores, toasting them the next night, and smushing them between Oreo cookies! To top it all off, we had a confirmed sighting of a rattlesnake—the second out of the four animals we need for a Grand Slam this session!!

It doesn’t get much better than that… but we do our best here, at the GRP, so after a cookout dinner—hamburgers and veggie burgers, chips, salad bar, watermelon, brownies (fitting for our Fourth on the Fifth of July celebration and filling for hungry hikers)—we had a carnival on the front field, complete with relay races, a watermelon-seed-spitting contest, and face-painting. We ended the carnival with an all-camp game of Follow The Leader, which wound its way through Sandy and Missy’s house; as it began to grow darker, we gathered on the hill above the canoe lake and sang songs. We finished the day with a spectacular fireworks display.

It’s a pretty safe bet that everyone will sleep well tonight!

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