Smiling faces, laughter, and pure joy accurately describes a typical day at Camp Merri-Mac. After a must needed night’s sleep, the bugle projected over the loudspeaker at 7 this morning.  Many sleepy Merri-Mac girls rubbed their eyes, but were eager to get out of bed for another fantastic day at camp. After floors were swept, beds made, and cabins cleaned, we all headed down the hill for breakfast.

We arrived at the beloved Tucker Inn, where we were met by a delicious morning meal of breakfast casserole, blueberry muffin bars, fruit and yogurt, and cereal. Sunnyside, the oldest cabin, lead the younger girls in singing morning songs, which included “Hip Hooray”, a camp favorite.

From there, we skipped past the lake and up to the chapel, where we sang some camp chapel songs including “Light the Fire”, “Father I Adore You”, and “Star of the Morning”. Elizabeth C. and Audrey E. helped to lead the singing. It was a cloudy morning, but the chapel’s highlighted verse, Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God,” shined bright as ever. After singing the Camp Hymn, we listened to a compelling message from Adam, where he spoke on the topic of “Who is Man?” Adam emphasized that we are God’s creation and are each made in His image. We learned that God created each of us with a purpose because He loves us.

After chapel, we headed back towards our cabins for free time. Girls played riveting games of tetherball, while others played card games inside their cabins. The Tweedle Girls were extremely excited to discover that a mama duck and her ducklings had made a home in Tweedle Creek. We spent much of free time taking pictures and admiring the baby ducklings.

At 10:25 the bugle rang, announcing that it was time to go to our morning activities. Girls raced in all directions, in order to be on time and ready for all of their classes. Since today was only our second day of camp, we spent time going over safety talk and bar requirements, so that girls could learn basics about activities, while still getting the chance to practice their skills.

In backpacking, girls learned how to pack and properly carry a backpack on a trip. Maddie P. and Sarah Frances E. helped to demonstrate these skills. For climbing we met at the tower, where Merril S. successfully climbed the tower, while Anna M. and Amy J. worked on getting their bronze bars. Further up the hill in riding, Olivia Faith D. and Olivia K. practiced trotting, cantering, and going over poles in their advanced class.

At the beautiful Lake Doris, girls enjoyed soaking up the summer sun while practicing their waterfront activities.  In kayaking, the new girls worked on mastering their T-Rescues and basic strokes, with the advanced campers continuing to practice their kayaking role. Swimming class perfected their freestyle, while girls even had the opportunity to play water games at the end of class. Tweedle Dee camper, Kindle H. loved getting to practice her swimming skills in the lake. In canoeing, girls learned their basic strokes and parts of the canoe. Counselors Mary Becker M. and Madison M. taught a camp favorite song to learn the parts of the canoe paddle. Sang-Mi L. practiced her solo canoe skills, as part of earning her silver bar.

After a very lively morning of activities, we enjoyed a delicious lunch of Greek Chicken Gyros with homemade potato chips and ice cream sandwiches for dessert. Greek Day is a beloved camp meal and many of the older girls were thrilled with today’s cuisine. With tummies full and spirits high, we enthusiastically sang our tribe songs and cheered for the Iroquois, Choctaw, and Seminole tribes. Later on, it was announced that the winner of last night’s game of Base Jumping was…. IROQUOIS!

Squeals and tribe songs were heard all the way up on senior hill, as the Iroquois tribe celebrated their victory. After lunch, we headed up the hill for a much needed rest hour. At exactly 2:30 the bugle sounded, signaling to a pack of candy-loving girls that it was time to stampede down the hill to storm the “Tray Po.”

From there, we were off to our third and fourth period activities. In Guitar, Sydney A. and Morgan P. worked on learning the open chords and string names, in order to try and get their bronze bars. Other girls worked on learning Taylor Swift’s hit songs “Trouble” and “22”. In Archery, Zoe R. and Caroline A. had the opportunity to work on their bar requirements. On Senior Hill, drama class worked individually on memorizing their monologues.

After activities, a sense of tribe spirit and competition was in the air. The girls excitedly anticipated this evening’s tribal event: Inferno. In this game, the three tribes compete to keep their fire alive, while attempting to put out the other tribes’ fires. Girls could earn additional logs by completing various skills and tasks in activities, while other campers are attempting to pour cups of water on their competitors’ fires.

It was a very long and tough battle for all of the tribes, but everyone played with persistence and encouragement to others. The girls are anxiously awaiting to find out the winner of Inferno at lunch tomorrow.

After a long, but joyful day at Merri-Mac, it was almost time for bed. Dreams Begin girls surprised Milky Way with a secret raid to trading post. Each of the younger girls were paired up with an older camper, which was a true treat for both cabins. Other cabins had campfires and other fun bonding activities.

As a counselor, I am pleased to report that it has been an incredible day at Merri-Mac. Every single camper here is so special to us and we are beyond thankful to have this opportunity to get to know each of them and watch them make lifelong friendships. Thank you all for sharing your beloved daughters with us.

From this haven,

Lucy D.

Dreams Begin Counselor

Merri-Mac Guitar

Proud Iroquois