Waking this morning reminded me of the chilly fall days that are so often loved by those who are residents of Western North Carolina. With the crispness in the air and the bugle ringing to wake us from our deep slumber, campers and counselors rose from their bed ready for a delicious breakfast.

As we rolled into the dining hall we were welcomed by the fragrance of French toast and sausage complimented by a full grits bar.  If you have ever had grits you know it is a delicious meal, but if you have ever had it on a day with a slight chill in the air you realize the love for warm food.  It warms you deep to your chest.  The food was filling and satisfying making us ready for the many activities the day offered.

Today during chapel we were offered again a chance to lift our voices to God in praise with songs and to hear a word brought by our very own Charlie R. a counselor for Big Piney.  He told us of his climbing adventures and related them to the Lord taking care for us in many situations and Him being “the way, the truth, and the life” found in John 14:6.  I can’t imagine a better way to start my day then worshiping God, and this is something we at camp put into practice every day in chapel as well as in the way we conduct our cabin.

One way we show our worship for God is in our cleanliness.  Each cabin goes to great efforts in the morning to clean their cabin to make it spotless for the day.  This is an ongoing process we do daily and will eventually end in a cabin being rewarded with a pizza party.

As activities commenced the weather bolstered spirits. After a warm summer, the chill in the air brought smiles to campers’ faces and allowed them to play harder.  Some activities such as Kayaking worked on skills such as braces and rolls to help them in the river, while activities like backpacking worked on skills that will help them in becoming better friends.  Backpacking did our low ropes course.  Low ropes are a set of obstacles that campers must work as a group to complete.  These skills will help them become better at communicating and problem solving.

In other activities campers worked on their bars.  Tyler J. and Ben P. earned their bronze in air soft, while camper Enrique D. worked hard to earn his silver in the activity.  Other campers such as George H. and Frederik E. were rewarded for their efforts in riflery with silver.  Colby F. pushed hard in riflery to obtain his gold bar and his efforts came to fruition today.

Not only did campers work hard on bars, but some decided to brave the cold for a trip of a lifetime.  They went with Josiah B. and Cody F. on a canoeing trip on the Tuckaseege River.  This is a fun trip for anyone wanting to put their skills to test on white water.  Mike P., Emiliano G., Malcom, and Scott S.  all went on this trip and returned with smiles on their face (after a quick nap on the ride back I am sure).

After the first half of the day, campers enjoyed one of my favorite meals at camp: meatball subs.  As I chow down on a sub, I wondered if this meal could get any better, and I was bewildered by the fact that it could.  We finished our meal with a nice glass of milk and warm chocolate chip cookies.  With food on our stomachs we continued with our lunchtime routine: announcements.  These announcements varied from the news that the Iroquois won stealing skins (last nights evening activity) to the wonderful news that the camp store would be open for campers to purchase camp gear and clothing.  But the greatest news of all was who won cabin clean up: LITTLE SLATY (my cabin).  It was a pleasant surprise for us.

Thirty minutes of rest progressed to free time and trading post.  During this time some campers chose to partake in a fencing tournament.  This tournament was a great success because it allowed the opportunity for Kennon S. and Tim M. to earn their gold.  There was a great showing for the match between campers who used their skills to do their best.

With the days chill still in the air, activities such as Team sports allowed campers like Brian S. to perfect his ultimate Frisbee skills.  Fencing allowed Michael B. and Ben P.  to earn their bronze.  Climbing used its time to open our new tower where we climbed, bouldered (at the new boulder), and even worked on rappelling skills. It was a fun filled day.

As I am writing this Iroquois and Seminoles are battling in an epic relay called Juggernaut.  This tournament allows campers to test their skills in each activity from climbing to mountain biking.  The competition is in the air, but the weather is perfect for it.

I hope this article finds you well and gives you another small glimpse into life here at Timberlake.

God bless,

David Parker

Little Slaty Counselor and Climbing Instructor