As the Merri-Mac girls awoke this morning, one thought crossed their minds: the last day of activities. Inevitably, this brought upon nostalgia mixed with a strong desire to take advantage of every moment that the day would bring.

At breakfast, we enjoyed an egg and sausage casserole and a coffeecake (which most campers compare to the flavor of Fruity Pebbles). After breakfast, we walked up the hill to the chapel where we sang “The Banana Song” (a silly song about the love of God, the opening lines of which go: I like bananas/ yeah, mangos are sweet/ I like papayas, but nothing can beat/ that sweet, sweet love of God), “For All the Saints”, and “Light the Fire.” Counselor Miranda spoke about how God works in our hearts and then our actions begin to glorify Him in all that we do. She quoted Deuteronomy 6:5, which reads, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”

Today was an eventful final day of activities! In pottery, the campers finished up their work and glazed their pieces. Guitar classes hiked around camp to serenade all the different activities. They sang the popular song Pompeii by Bastille to pottery and Blessed be the Name of the Lord to riflery. In Riflery, Alex V., who got her gold this summer, named her gun! However, by the time I came by the class, she hadn’t chosen the name yet.

At lunch, we had a camp-favorite: pizza! After singing tribe songs at the top of our lungs, we hiked up the hill at the heat of the day to rest hour. Like always, everyone rushed down to trading post right when the bugle sounded, and we gave our sweet tooth exactly what it wanted.

Back to activities, guitar continued to serenade all the activities. Climbing rocked it at the brand new upper tower and the boulder.  Hot chocolate and marshmallows were enjoyed over a fire by back packing classes. Backpacking classes celebrated a wonderful session by making hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows over a fire. At the lake, the girls played kayak polo, which is basically like any team sport that requires a net and a ball… but it is played in kayaks and the use the paddles to pass the ball to each other. In cooking class, girls were refreshed by delicious milkshakes with whatever toppings and flavors they wanted!

Tonight at dinner, we had Asian chicken and rice with spring rolls and, after we enjoyed our fill, we sang our cabin songs for the last time!
Following dinner, we went up to the Tee Pee for White Feather, where girls are commended for moving up in ranks, receiving bars, marks and commendations. Gabrielle A. earned the rank of Bear, which is the highest rank in Junior Camp. Patterson G., Virginia C., Mattie G., Mary Elizabeth G., Janie C., and Mary Katherine F. earned the highest rank in Intermediate Camp—Long Bow. Finally, Elizabeth C., Becca M., Anna M., Millie M., Taylor T., and Alex V. received the White Feather—the highest rank at Merri-Mac!

The following girls received gold bars: In basketball, Katie G.; in chorus, Elizabeth C., Ellie P., Alex V.; in climbing, Mattie Y., Becca M.; in competitive swimming, Mattie G.; in EWS, Millie M.; in guitar, Margaret P.; in gymnastics, Savannah L., Morgan S., Leah G.; in kayaking, Elizabeth C.; in soccer, Anne Carter C., Emily K.; in swimming, Mattie G.; in tennis, Ingerid E., Margaret V., Aynsley R., Lindsay A., Kate T.; and, in volleyball, Mary Katherine F., Alex V.

After White Feather, we remembered all the memories we have made this summer at Final Campfire. Each cabin stood up and shared their favorite cabin memories! Then, at lakeside, which is one of the most beautiful events a Merri-Mac girl will ever see, a huge fire was set ablaze in the middle of the lake. The chiefs of Choctaw, Iroquois and Seminole, rowing in a canoe, brought the fire back on a torch to their tribes. Then, we sang, the Camp Psalm, All My Life’s A Circle, From This Haven, Tell Me Why, and Pass it On. During Pass It On, everyone sent out a lit candle on a plate to float across the lake. The first verse of this beautiful song is as follows:

It only takes a spark / to get a fire going / and soon all those around / can warm up in its glowing / That’s how it is with God’s love / Once you’ve experienced it / You spread His love to everyone / You want to pass it on.

Then, after singing Shades and I Want to Linger, the staff sang TAPS and everyone said goodbyes, shared some love in hugs and tears, and then went back to their cabins for the last night with their bunkmates that they have grown so close to.

We are so proud of all these girls have accomplished this summer and we cannot wait to see them again next year. They have grown so much over the past few weeks and, every day, we are so incredibly grateful that you have shared them with us. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow at closing ceremony! As we sang this evening, this is goodnight and not goodbye.

Maddy Mudd

Big Dipper Counselor