We made it to the most exciting day at camp: 4th of July! The fourth is fun no matter where you are in the U.S.; cookouts, tubing, football on the lawn, fireworks, watermelon, popsicles, etc. At camp though, we do all of those things and more! It’s the highlight of many people’s year, and alumni often return each year to share the day with us. For example, today we were joined by Reed Mattison, long-time camper and mountain bike counselor. We also got to share the day with Stevie Frickle, a prior camper for many years who is now in his second year of military service. We thank Stevie, and all those who serve or have served our country so we can enjoy all that this beautiful nation has to offer.

To start the day off, we enjoyed a breakfast of red, white, and blue waffles! The belgian waffles were accompanied by strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream which was on every cabin’s table. Chris Ocana stood up during breakfast and recited the entire speech from “Independence Day,” eliciting cheers and whistling from the rest of camp. As we headed out to the front porch for a dance party, some Cabin 2 boys were excitedly asking each other, “are you gonna get in the mud pit later? I can’t wait!” We enjoyed an extended Morning Assembly with several songs, skits, and announcements to kick off a great day.

Red, white, and blue waffles at breakfast this morning Red, white, and blue waffles at breakfast this morning

This morning instead of regular activities, Kyle and Sam planned a “Build It” game, where each cabin would try to find “supplies” hidden around camp to build something. These supplies were in the form of resource cards, the same color as the flag belts each tribe was wearing. While playing they also had to watch out for boys from other cabins who could pull their flag belts and turn in those belts to the “bank” for extra team points. What they were trying to build was determined by their tribe: Cherokee cabins were working on a rocket in honor of the great space race, Catawba was trying to build a “minesweeping device” to clear the tennis courts, Tuscarora was assembling a town that pays homage to the great architectural boom of this country, and Iroquois were building a raft that one boy per cabin would have to paddle across the length of the lower lake. It was a unique new game, and fun to have boys working and competing against other cabins rather than the whole camp. At the end, the points from all the cabins in every tribe were added up and sorted by Green and Gold cabins. This time, Green won, taking a narrow lead over the Gold team in the overall session points!

Running to find supplies during the all-camp-game Running to find supplies during the all-camp-game "Build It"
One of the towers built during the All-Camp-GameOne of the towers built during the All-Camp-Game

After working up an appetite, we met back at the Dining Hall for a lunch of foot-long hotdogs, still hot from being on the outdoor grill! We also had thick cut seasoned fries, grapes, a full salad bar, and apple pie bites for dessert. We got to celebrate Jules Jeffries’ birthday at lunch, presenting her with a big cake iced in white and topped with strawberries and blueberries to look like an American flag. During announcements, we also recognized Whit F. for achieving Ranger in Ultimate Frisbee, and William A. for earning Ranger in Woodworking.

Enjoying hammock time with friendsEnjoying hammock time with friends

We followed up our hearty lunch with a relaxing Rest Hour, and met at the gym this afternoon to hike down to Green River Flats as a group. We broke up the walk by enjoying a “Watermelon Social” at the waterfall field on the way down. The afternoon was a relaxing and fun time at the Green River, and we set up plenty of fun games in the area by the covered bridge when you drive into camp. We had tube floating on the river, kick ball and wiffle ball in the field, corn-hole boards, “Kan Jam” with frisbees, 9-square in the air, spike-ball, slack lines set up on the trees, plenty of hammocking, a volleyball court, ultimate frisbee and flag football on the opposite end of the field, chess, and Magic card games. Plus, the highlight of the day is always the infamous Mud Pit! The boys love getting into the mud and splashing around, having permission to get dirty and just be boys.

Aftermath of the Mud Pit!Aftermath of the Mud Pit!

The party still wasn’t over in the evening – after changing into dry clothes and walking up to the gym, we enjoyed a classic 4th of July cookout in the field. Grilled chicken on the bone, tomato pie, coleslaw, grilled corn on the cob (plus butter to dip the cobs in!), and brownies. It was a delicious supper. The only thing we couldn’t control about the day was the weather. Luckily the rain held out on us all day, allowing us to spend the entire morning and afternoon playing outside. After dinner, however, the weather took a quick turn and began to thunderstorm. Though we had to delay our much-anticipated fireworks show, it just means that we get to keep the party going on another day. We’re looking forward to breaking out the “bomb pop” popsicle treats and setting off our monumental fireworks display on another evening this week.

Cooling off in the creekCooling off in the creek

You might think it would be hard to top such a non-stop fun day, but at camp we’re lucky to have seemingly endless opportunities for excitement. We’re looking forward to another fantastic day tomorrow.

-Annie Pharr

Fun with bubbles down at Green River FlatsFun with bubbles down at Green River Flats