Most mornings at Timberlake are peaceful.  The boys wake up to the bugle, eat breakfast, and then worship in chapel.  Today was not a normal day.   Today we celebrated Cowboy Joe Day, meaning that this morning, the boys woke up to this, “Day Joe Cowboy happy!” and the sound of a screeching whistle.  Rather than going to the Tucker Inn for breakfast, they ate “nut-do’s” and drank “cow juice” in their bunks. Continuing the trend of mayhem, the campers put their clothes on backwards and walked backwards, both beloved Cowboy Joe Day traditions, to an intense game of battle-ball.  The Iroquois, anchored by Grant C., won the tribal portion of the game.  After the tribal portion came the much-anticipated campers vs. staff game, in which the campers almost accomplished the rare upset.

Rather than try to restore order after this chaotic morning, we decided to celebrate staff-appreciation day and make the Greybeard campers counselors for the day.   They served food at meals, helped teach activities, and led devotions at night. The Greybeard campers favorite part, however, was wearing their counselors’ staff shirts around camp all day.  Staff appreciation day allows the greybeard campers to take a leadership role at camp and gives them an opportunity to potentially see themselves as staff.

In spite of all the chaos, the campers were still able to enjoy their activities and earn bars.  The canoeing and kayak trip crew for tomorrow worked on their kayaking rolls and rescues during free time.  In Paintball, Josh B got his silver and Matthew A got his bronze.  Diego S got his silver in air soft.  In wrestling, Conrad A, Blake C, Mauricio S, Michael R, Matt A, and Santiago S earned bronze while Patrick J impressed his counselors with a double leg takedown.  During free time, Nick L earned his bronze in archery.  Will Henry A earned his bronze in swimming.  In spite of this shortened session, campers are excelling in their activities and earning bars at an outstanding rate.

Today Mauricio L, Kevin R, Cody S, William H, Seth B, and Will C went on a waterskiing trip to Lake James.  It was a beautiful day on the lake and all the campers loved learning how to wakeboard and water-ski from Counselor James.  Kevin R wakeboarded for the first time and Cody S was able to get up on the water-skis after his second try.

Perhaps the strangest aspect of today was the cabin cleanup results.  One would expect that on a day such as today, cabin cleanup results would be atrocious.  However Tomahawk and Big Slaty refused to let that happen.  Big Slaty has dominated cabin cleanup this session never scoring lower than a 9.8 and winning every day.  When it came time for scores to be announced, everyone wondered if they could keep their streak alive.  It came down to the last two and Big Slaty scored a 9.9 to beat Tomahawk’s 9.89.  What makes this so strange is that it was the only normal thing all day.

After dinner, the campers went out for the evening yell, led by the greybeard campers and done in reverse.  After the yell, the campers went to chapel and sang several camp favorites “The Banana Song”, “Nothing but the Blood”, and “As the Deer”.  Counselor Aaron gave the “True Story” and used a story of the time a skunk destroyed his clothes to illustrate how Christ cleans us of our sins.

Next the boys played a new evening activity called stealing skins.  The exciting part of this game is that the two tribes compete against each other and the counselors. Beating the other tribe provides points towards the banner, but beating the staff comes with bragging rights.

Today was an exciting day, full of fun and bizarre traditions.  The boys are now looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep so they can enjoy tomorrow.



Tom Landers

Proud Iroquois