The sun rose over the mountains as campers woke up to the sound of the bugle ringing in their ears. This could only mean one thing: the first day of 3rd session had begun! Floors were swept, bathrooms were cleaned, and soon everyone ran down the hill for a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage links, hash browns, and biscuits. After breakfast, the Sunnysiders led everyone in morning songs. This morning we sang a camp favorite, “I’m a Villain”, though no one looked very menacing in their pigtails and pajamas. Then, we walked up the hill to chapel where Adam told us a story and answered the question, “Who is God?”.  Adam explained to us that God talks a lot. He speaks through his word, the Bible, and invites all of us to experience his love and live life alongside him. After we closed in prayer it was time to begin classes!

  In Backpacking, girls listened to a safety talk and made a very special five finger promise to one another about the way class was going to run. In Gymnastics, our coach Regan led stretches while the girls discussed favorite ice cream flavors. Yoga class offered girls a chance to stretch out their leg muscles which were already sore from the steep walk to the Council Ring at last night’s initiation. In Guitar class, Corinna G. got her Silver bar and performed “I Want You Back” by Jackson 5. Girls made scrumptious crepes with fresh fruit, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce in Cooking class. They were generous enough to let me try one and, wow! What a treat!

  Soon it was time for lunch, where girls helped themselves to a camp classic, Taco in a Bag, with chocolate chip cookies for dessert. The Iroquois, Choctaw, and Seminoles led camp in a spirited round of tribe songs. Then, the evening activity was announced: APACHE RACE! The crowd went wild. After our afternoon announcements, it was time to commence tribal competition for 3rd session. At closing ceremonies the year before, the three

Chiefs buried the hatchet to symbolize the end of tribal completion for the year. Now, it was time to find it again! It is rumored that the tribe to find the hatchet at the beginning of the summer is destined to win the banner. After only a few minutes of searching, Savvy S., our Seminole Chief, found the hatchet! Go ‘Noles!

  Everyone was exhausted from all the excitement, so rest hour was a welcome break. Campers snoozed for 30 minutes and awoke at the bugle for some Trading Post! Popular choices today were KitKats, Sour Punch Straws, and AirHead Extremes. Yum! Soon after campers finished their candy, it was time for 3rd period classes to begin. In Pottery, Anna Potts taught girls how to make pinch pots out of balls of clay, “The secret, by the way, is patience. You can’t rush a good pinch pot.” In Fencing, girls got to know each other by playing “The Glove Game”. I don’t think I ever got the hang of it, but the girls had a blast. 4th period classes were cut short so that everyone could change into their whites for a group picture. Sunnysiders led camp in sing-a-longs to “Breaking Free” from High School Musical and “We Are Never Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift.

  Now, it’s almost time for dinner and Apache Race is upon us. What a great day to begin the session. I feel immeasurably blessed to get to work at this place, with this staff, and with these girls. Where else are we allowed, and even encouraged, to stand on our benches at meals and sing songs at the top of our lungs? Where else are friendships built so quickly and so durably? Where else do we encounter adventure every aspect of our daily life?

It’s just a camp thing. A Merri-Mac thing, actually.

From this Haven,

Lainey Goodwill

Cloud Nine counselor

Head of Guitar