The men of Camp Timberlake awoke this beautiful Tuesday morning eager to take on another great day. Today started with a wonderful breakfast of egg casserole, coffee cake, and sausage, and as the meal wound down, everyone was getting ready to head on out to the morning yell when Director Dan grabbed the microphone and exclaimed, “ANNNND NOW!” Campers looked around in shock and confusion as Counselor Chris donned the red helmet and started to sprint around the dining hall. See this practice is normally reserved for the end of dinner to announce the evening activity. But this was breakfast! What could this mean?! Well, everyone’s questions were quickly answered when Chris yelled “TRIBEAPALOOZA!!!!”

Tribeapalooza is unlike any other day here at camp. Instead of normal activities and periods, campers compete all day in a series of heated tribal competitions that can have a huge impact on the winner of the banner. Everyone was super fired up after the announcement and then hustled out to the morning yell, where each boy got even more hyped up with Counselor Rusty’s impassioned speech that urged the young men to seize this wonderful opportunity. Once the campers were about to burst of excitement, it was time for chapel whereCounselor Danny gave a great message about how Jesus loves us even through our inadequacies. Once chapel was over, it was time for a crowd favorite, THE SOCK WAR! The Seminoles and Iroquois engaged in three intense rounds of sprinting around trees and chucking socks at one another until, finally, the Seminoles emerged victorious. Nico L. really stepped up his game to lead the ‘Noles to a much needed win. After sock war, the boys headed up to an even more fun activity…. PACKING TRUNKS!! (If only).                                                        Once trunks were packed up, everyone was treated to a great lunch of pepperoni and cheese pizza. As the campers and counselors started to clean up the tables, the lunch fun was just beginning. First, the boys were introduced to the mother of all pocket knives, THE TIMBER TOOL! The Timber Tool is just about the coolest thing there is if you are a young boy. It’s got two blades, some pliers, a can opener, a mini-saw, multiple screw drivers, and the crowd favorite, a pointy thing! The crowd erupted at the revealing of the famous pointy thing, with some shirts being ripped off in all the excitement. This Timber Tool is available to kids who early enroll online by Friday at midnight (shameless plug). After the Timber Tool announcement, it was time for another momentous declaration, the winner of the two-week-long cabin cleanup competition. Everyone knew it was close, but nobody could have guessed the final outcome. When the dust settled, the two youngest cabins, Tomahawk and Little Piney tied for the championship crown, setting off a celebration that had to be seen to be believed! (The younger the kids are, the better they clean cabins. Who knew?) Those two cabins will enjoy a pizza party tonight to reward all their hard work!

Once those two cabins of boys had calmed down, Counselor Peter put on the red helmet and announced “TRIBAL TOURNAMENTS!!” as the next camp-wide activity that would take place after rest hour and free time. After everyone (except the younger cabins) enjoyed a relaxing hour of rest, campers ran down to free time, which was followed by the aforementioned tribal tournaments. The tribal tournaments consisted of a 5-on-5 basketball tournament, a climbing completion, an archery tournament, and a swim relay. The action was fierce all over camp. In the basketball game, Chet L, Tim M, Grant T, Paul W and Andres D led the Seminoles to the win. Over at the climbing tower, Clay J, Daniel Y, Nico L, Randolph P, and Ben A all competed hard, but again, the Seminoles won the day. The Iroquois had better luck at the archery range where some sharp-shooting led the ‘Quois to the win, but the Seminoles, led by Alexander Z, channeled their inner Olympic swimmer to take first place in the relay.                                                                                        After the tournaments had finished, it was time for a spectacular dinner of sweet and sour chicken, followed by Counselor Will throwing on the helmet and ultimately screaming out, “IT’S THE FINAL CAMPFIRE!” The clever play on words evoked the camp to start humming the words to “The Final Countdown” until it was time to leave the dining hall and head up to the ceremony. The Final Campfire is the culmination of the Little Chief system here at camp, during which many campers are recognized for their outstanding achievements at camp over the last month. The greatest honor anyone can receive is, of course, the honor of Little Chief. Today, three worthy young men received the honor, Bailey M, Mike P, and George H. These three men have truly gone above and beyond the call of duty throughout their many years as a camper, and they were greeted by a standing ovation upon the announcement of the award. After many boys had earned promotions and commendations, the whole camp joined together to sing the Camp Hymn for the final time, eliciting several outpourings of emotion from campers and counselors who have poured their heart and soul into this truly life-changing place. It was an extremely touching moment for all involved and one that no one will soon forget. Once the ceremony was over, it was off to the giant water balloon war known as commando, which the boys are playing as I type! I know I speak for all the counselors when I say it has been an honor serving your sons this session and we cannot wait to greet you all upon your arrival either tomorrow or Thursday! See you soon!


Brandon Chase

Little Piney Counselor