‘Merri’ Christmas in August, Merri-Mac! Today was a special day for many reasons, but the fun began with a most unusual Reveille. Instead of the bugle, girls were awakened by the sound of Christmas music and the smell of piping hot chocolate. From the sleigh that strangely looked like camp’s blue maintenance truck, Santa’s helpers disguised as Senior Staff handed out delicious donuts. The sleigh made its rounds, and the girls put on their finest Christmas apparel for chapel. Adam read us the story of The Velveteen Rabbit, a classic Christmas story, and we were reminded that, just as love made the rabbit real in the book, we are made alive and new by Jesus’ transformative love. That is what we celebrate this Christmas and every Christmas!

After chapel, we all found a sweet surprise back at our cabins—stockings stuffed with candy for each and every girl! we headed to a sunny day of activities. The lake was buzzing with girls in swimming, diving, and kayaking classes who were enjoying the Christmas gift of a free swim! The line for the blob stretched across the dock, and Georgia W., Virginia L., and Eliza R. were among the many itching (and giggling) to be blobbed! Nearby, yoga class was working on focus and breathing—a great feat given the sounds of splashing and blobbing in the background. The riding classes added to the mix, too, as they strolled along the waterfront on a trail ride around camp.

In gymnastics, Tallulah S. and Lacey C. made sure they did plenty of stretching before they did any stunts. Further up the hill, we could hear the strumming of a dozen guitars! Gretchen N., Caroline K., and Libby M. were all working on their bars in the class, practicing songs like “Black Bird” and “Light the Fire.” On the archery range, girls were aiming their arrows with precision; Mariah B. got three bull’s-eyes today! At Puppy Camp, we were putting together scrapbooks for the dogs’ owners, with beautiful pictures by Vivian F. and CeCe J.

Christmas would not be complete without a timeless lunch of turkey, peas, stuffing and mashed potatoes! We worked off our food singing “12 Days of Christmas” and “Jingle Bells” on the dining hall benches. Nevertheless, we would be back for more during Trading Post! Many Sunnysiders used this time to decorate their new clipboards, which they received for Christmas this morning. Gracie Rae H. was especially excited to show off hers! In our afternoon classes, mouths still watered as cooking class whipped up a Christmas pasta combination: red marinara sauce and green pesto sauce. In lacrosse, Abby K. was teaching a class to earn her gold bar. Spirits were not dampened as rain clouds loomed over the mountains later this afternoon. Soccer, climbing, and mountain biking used the weather as an opportunity to play games together and even organize a cheerleading routine! And speaking of routines, dance class was learning choreography for their Fine Arts Night performance this coming Monday.

For evening activity, campers enjoyed watching the opening ceremony for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics! There is no better way to end the day by cheering on our country and all the countries represented here at Merri-Mac!

Merri Christmas to all, and to all a merri night!

Madeline Anderson

Proud Seminole and Tweedle Dum counselor