When the bugle sounded at 7a.m. sharp many girls were clothed in chunky sweaters and comfy socks. The high for this beautiful mountain day was 70 degrees. Despite a bad case of the shivers, we all headed down the hill for a delicious breakfast of biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, and seasoned potatoes. Once we finished eating we sang three camp songs including the forever favorite, “Rattlin Bog”. The girls all then penguin waddled over to the chapel where we began our chapel with praising our God in song. Counselor Laura M. gave a sermon on who man is. She started with a story of a man who was very wealthy. She folded a piece of paper into the various items he purchased such as a house, a plane, and a jet. At the end of the end of the story the rich man came to the realization that the only thing that could satisfy his soul was the Lord. Laura had then transformed the paper into the shape of a cross. This really captured the campers’ attention and left them thinking about what we value too much and put before God. Laura read Luke 12: 16-21 and closed us in prayer. The campers were dismissed to tribe meetings and then had a bit of free time before going to their first period classes.

        It was great to walk around campus and witness all the different activities that the girls can participate in.  I have not had the opportunity to see all the activities before and I found myself excited for the girls and all that they are learning. Camp is so alive with laughter, joy, and curiosity for all that camp has to offer. The first class I headed to was DIY crafts where campers were making wooden boards that had nails and string which came together into the shape of North Carolina with a point where Merri-Mac is located. Then I walked to dance where counselorJordan was teaching girls the five basic positions of ballet. Many of these girls were eager to show off what they had learned and wanted to be in many pictures. In riflery and archery, girls continued to practice hitting targets. It was great to see young women stepping out of their comfort zones and being so eager about learning traditional male sports. I then went to backpacking where the girls were practicing different hand signals for the rules of backpacking. Many of these young ladies will have the opportunity to practice these signals when they go on overnight backpacking trips. I ended with attending lacrosse where  the girls were practicing throwing and catching. After all these activities, the girls had worked up an appetite for lunch. This included chicken nuggets, waffle fries (a real crowd pleaser), and salad. We had a new dessert today, pretzel sticks, that the girls were quite excited about. The meal was so loved that the campers called the kitchen staff out and thanked them in song. It was then time for a much needed rest hour. The nice breeze made for perfect napping weather. Then as per usual, the bugle prompted the regular stampede of eager campers awaiting their candy at trading post. We then had a bit of free time where one of my campers, Margaret M., gave me a guitar lesson.

        It was onto to third and fourth period. It had warmed up some so I went over to Lake Doris where girls were in swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. Many of these girls are becoming very skilled in their activity and attempting different maneuvers and tricks under the watchful eye of their instructors. As I was walking back down the hill, I passed the PAWS class which was the most entertaining activity to watch. The girls absolutely love the dogs that they are working with and swarmed for photos. The puppies made capturing photos a real challenge though. I then walked over to horseback riding. It amazed me how these young girls have the courage and ability to ride an animal five times their size with such grace and poise. Then it was time for a snack, so I went to cooking class where I watched the girls cooked baked ziti and then shared in their hard work. I know that I will be trying that recipe when I return home. Apparently the girls enjoyed it too because ever bowl was completely empty. In tennis class, the girls where learning backhand for the first time. It was great to see the excitement on a girls face when she first successfully got the ball over the net for the first time. After fourth period we had a bit of free time before it was time for dinner.

        Dinner was fiesta themed with a Mexican casserole served with chips, salsa, and sour cream. It was gone in split second so it was onto apple churros for dessert. It was a special evening for my cabin, Dreams End, because we were able to help camper Allie E. celebrate her 16th birthday. Once our bellies were filled, we sang cabin songs and it was then time…Apache race! Apache race is basically a relay race between tribes where they have to compete in different activities before they can head onto the next one. The activities included the water slide, blobbing, hitting balloons in archery, and human croquet. While the Seminole and Choctaw tribes showed great support for their fellow tribe members, Iroquois pulled in with the win. I was able to hear the Iroquois tribe songs from inside the tech office. The girls are ended this brisk, beautiful day with campfires, s’mores, and devotion. It was just another ordinary, extraordinary day at Camp Merri-Mac.

Thank you for sharing your incredible daughters with us. Sleep well and God Bless!

Keitt Panuccio

Dreams End Counselor

Proud Choctaw!