Friends and Family,

The word “fun” simply does not do justice to this beautiful day at Camp Timberlake. Today was life-changing. The young men of Camp Timberlake grew in leadership and service, excelled in their activities, and continued to learn about God’s love and the good news of His son’s death and resurrection.

Reveille came early, as always, but the kitchen staff made waking up worthwhile with a great breakfast of pancakes and bacon. Following breakfast, the boys shook Black Mountain with a tremendous morning yell. Some claim the yell caused a small earthquake in Charlotte, but seismic readings are still being analyzed.

In chapel today, Director Adam Boyd taught our campers and staff from the New Testament book of Romans, discussing the human tendency to cover up sin and wrongdoing.  Shortly after chapel, Jordan R., Julian W., Tyler K., Ford L., Scott K., Jake L., and Jack R. left with staff members Ethan T. and Dylan K. for an half-day kayaking adventure on the French Broad River, which winds through the forests of western North Carolina. On their first water trip of the season, these seven boys paddled for over two hours, learning important kayaking techniques and having an incredible time on the river. They even spotted a bear on the shoreline during their journey, right near the Biltmore House in Asheville.

Of course, you don’t have to leave camp to have adventures. Adrian B. led the backpacking crew on a hike to the shelter today, teaching the boys how to put up tarps using the girth hitch and the taut-line hitch knots. The climbers also worked on knots today, and Calvin T. successfully learned a figure-8 and a fisherman’s knot with climbing instructor Brady R. Stan R., one of our Greybeard campers who joined Camp Timberlake this session all the way from Paris, France, had a great day in climbing as well, performing an excellent route up the overhang in the Mike. Also in climbing, Andy and Nico L. learned to set anchors.

Macaroni and cheese with corn dogs was on the menu for lunch, followed by a special dessert of chocolate chip cookies. During rest time, Cole J., William B., Wes H., and Philip B. did a mountain bike safety ride with instructor Lawson K., successfully completing a short course around camp that required demonstrating skills in shifting, braking, and maintaining control of the bike while going down short steps and ledges. After the rush to the trading post at the beginning of free time, rocketry instructor Justin M. helped Trevor B. and Will P. launch rockets they have been building for the past few days. Logan B., Carter B., and Chris B. chose to shoot basketball with a few other campers during free time, practicing trick shots from half-court.

After a bit of rest, the Timberlake boys went back out for the afternoon activity periods. The kayakers had a blast on Lake Doris playing kayak polo and continuing to practice their water skills. Ben B. performed a wet exit today in kayaking, and Devin H. learned the hip roll. Over by the dock, Robert K. and Chris B. got the swimmers out on the blob for the first time this session, including John A., Taylor C., and Kiefer M. In team sports, James B. had a great time playing ultimate Frisbee while Cooper D.earned his silver bar in fencing after defeating instructor Drew J. in a short competition.

Dylan S. introduced the budding musicians of Camp Timberlake to Tom P., teaching the guitar class Petty’s famous song “Free Fallin.” Logan B. in particular has been having an awesome time learning guitar in the past few days, carrying his camp guitar around and practicing the G, D, and A chords whenever he gets a chance. Last but not least, pottery continues to be a new hit at Camp Timberlake. RJ Lee made a bowl on the wheel today in pottery, adding a wave design to his bowl using skills he learned from instructor Annie S. Wes H. and Andy L. also said working on the pottery wheel was one of the highlights of their day.

As this article is being written, the excitement of the day is climaxing in an epic and raucous game of Battleball. All of Timberlake has congregated in the Mike, the camp gym, to help lead their tribe to victory in camp’s version of the classic game of dodgeball. This evening activity is a favorite every single year, and the boys are fired up and ready to go tonight. Tomorrow will tell whether the Iroquois or Seminoles prevailed. Stay tuned.

An entire book could be filled with stories from this Tuesday here at camp, but suffice it to say that the week is off to an incredible start. Camp Timberlake is in the business of teaching young men to have fun and grow in character at the same time, and today was a roaring success on both accounts. Moreover, the boys are already excited about tomorrow, when resident pyrotechnic (and Timberlake Director) Dan Singletary will light up Black Mountain with fireworks. While the fireworks show is happening, the campers will be eating their fill of a pig that our smoking specialists will begin preparing at 3am this morning. Yes, sometimes we work through the night just to make sure these boys have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. That’s worth writing about.

Until tomorrow…

Counselor Lawson