I know there are many of you that are waiting to hear the outcome of the Apache Race last night, so I will keep you in suspense no longer.  It was a tight race all the way up until the very end, at which point the Seminoles pulled ahead.  Congratulations and well done to all of you Seminoles out there!

Today was a wonderful day in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Camp Merri-Mac!  The girls woke up with reveille bright and early at 7 A.M. to do our chores and get ready for the day.  There was a lot of energy this morning at breakfast, and the Tucker Inn was filled with laughter, cheers and singing.  After breakfast, everyone headed to chapel where we sang songs and learned about who man is from Genesis 1:27and 2 Corinthians 5:17 in a message delivered by Adam.

After chapel, our three tribes had volleyball tryouts!  Tonight’s activity will be volleyball, and we are doing it differently this year than ever before.  All three tribes will play volleyball and newcomb tonight rather than have three nights designated for volleyball.  This allows us to bring in some new evening activities, and the campers are super excited!  Tryouts lasted all the way until first period, and all three tribes are looking strong!

Our activities are now in full-blast.  Everyone now knows the safety rules and is ready to jump in!  If only someone would tell the puppies…Puppy camp began with five very sleepy puppies.  The campers’ first task was to gently wake the puppies begin teaching them the command “sit.”  By the end of the day, all the puppies could sit and lay down on command.  Chief, in particular, was a puppy push-up master; he could sit, lay down, and sit again multiple times in a row.  The campers were amazing trainers!

Today, climbing took place at the Upper Tower on Spencer’s Green.  This is a brand-new tower that was made specifically for Camp Merri-Mac, and the girls loved it!  A few campers worked on their bars today by learning and practicing their knots.  Allison F and Katy M. tied their figure 8 follow through, which puts  one step closer towards their bronze.  Morgan P. practiced her minter mule for her gold bar!

Riflery was also in full-blast (quite literally).  Caroline A. recorded three times and Juliana R recorded for the first time ever!  We were all very excited for these girls and so many others that had a great day out on the range!  Archery also had a great day today, as a number of girls got bulls eyes!  Madeline M shot for the first time today and hit the target, which is a large feat!

Just before lunch, the campers were buzzing with excitement when they found out we were having pizza.  Lately at our meals, the campers will chant for one of the counselors to sing.  At lunch, our very own Ying L (Sunnyside/lacross consoler) serenaded the camp with “Lets Get Down to Business” from Mulan.  We had a birthday at camp today as Caroline R turned 12.  The camp sang her Happy Birthday, and she got a cake to share with her table.  We finished lunch with some very strong tribe songs and went to rest time.  Trading post was an especially exciting time today because the clothing room was open for the younger cabins!  Girls lined up to buy sweatshirts, tribe shorts, blankets and more.

Activities continued in the afternoon with the pottery class making candleholders and mugs, the cooking class baking (delicious) muffins, the knitting class working on scarves and headbands, and the DIY class painting wooden blocks for an art project (more to come as progress continues).  The campers in guitar class learned Waking Me Up by Avicii, Pompeii by Bastille and Let It Go from Frozen.  Sara Grace A, Emily Ann S and Cate F all earned their bronze bars!  The riding class worked on steering their horses and trotting, and the girls looked great!

Backpacking learned about the leave no trace principles and demonstrated their new knowledge with skits and songs. Tennis classes were on the courts working on their backhands, and man, were they impressive!  In soccer, girls practiced dribbling and juggling, and starters working towards their bars.  Gymnastics also started thinking about bars as they worked on the beam, and the dance class learned a routine.  The campers in fitness were working hard as they ran the trail, which I can tell you from personal experience is not easy.  Maggie B even ran it twice– once in the morning before breakfast and again in class!

The dock was a busy place today with kayaking, canoeing, diving, swimming and emergency water safety classes today!  The kayakers worked on T-rescues today, which is a necessary skill to do more advanced moves.  All of the girls worked hard and improved a lot!  They also did the wet exit game, to see who can hold their breath the longest before pulling their skirts and performing their wet exit.  The campers really increased their comfort and confidence in the water!  The canoeing class learned various strokes including draws, pries, and forward/reverse sweeps.  The diving class was especially exciting today because they began working on pike and tuck dives!  Elke G successfully did her pike dive, and the dock was full of excitement and celebration for her.  The swimming classes did some laps and finished their time with a game of “categories.”  Emergency Water Safety worked on various entries into the water, including the stride-jump, the compact-jump and the slide-in entry.  These are skills necessary to begin addressing a drowning victim in the water.

After activities, the campers changed into their tribal jerseys and headed to dinner.  We had Chinese food tonight topped off with fudge bars for dessert!  Cabin songs were especially exciting tonight as Dreams  Begin and Sunnyside introduced their add-ons, both of which were amazing.

As I am writing, I hear the cheers of “Go Choctaw,” “Dangerous” and “Ky ky keikus” frot Mackey’s Green for newcomb and even from the Mike for volleyball.  You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to hear the results!

Go Iroquois!

Counselor Rachel B.