As the sun rose on another beautiful day at Merri-Mac, campers and staff awoke to the sound of the bugle from their cabins, and also from the woods. Last night, Counselor Kristie G. and I led an overnight solo backpacking trip for six Merri-Mac campers, where they set up a tarp and sleeping arrangements and spent the night apart from all the other girls. As we went to check on each of them this morning, we were met with smiles of relief, as all six of the girls succeeded in this challenging adventure, and had thrived and survived through their night in the wilderness!

The morning continued with a delicious classic breakfast of eggs, sausage, hash browns, and biscuits! The girls made their way to chapel to sing some camp favorites: “The Banana Song,” “Come Thou Fount,” and “Prince of Peace.” Camp Director Adam Boyd delivered the message today, as he read from Genesis 1:25, and answered the question “Who Are We?” He spoke on the importance of remembering that something in us is broken, but since we are made in the image of God, something in us is truly beautiful.

We had many exciting trips out today! Chloe W., Charlotte Z., Kate O., Dana B., Gillian V., Meeka B., Emma D., Anna B., Taylor H., Ella M., Sailor V., and Bella Rose G. were all out rafting today! Abigail M., Grace A., Katherine E., Margery M., Eloise T., and Grace W. reached new heights on the climbing trip, and out rolling on the river with the kayaking trip were Riley B., Lily H., Ansley S., Merrill H., Eliza T., Camille D., Haley F., and Sarah W.!

It was an exciting day for activities around property! I started my route at Backpacking, where girls were learning about water filtration and stoves. Over in Pottery, campers worked on their animal pinch pots and the older girls started throwing on the wheel! Upstairs in DIY, Counselor Julia V. taught how to make tissue paper paintings! Fitness class lived up to their name as they competed in a relay race around camp, and the dock life was vibrant with laughs and music as swimming classes had free swim and kayaking played kayak polo! Lunch was a delicious camp favorite—PIZZA! Sunnyside Cabin led the camp in calling out the kitchen staff to thank them for a wonderful meal! Tribe songs started with a twist, it was Tribal Switch Day! This meant that every tribe switched songs with another, and replaced the words to fit with their specific tribe! Choctaw became Iroquois, Seminole became Choctaw, and Iroquois became Seminole in this super fun tradition! The dining room erupted with excitement at the announcement of tonight’s evening activity: CABIN NIGHT!! This classic camp event is made up of fun surprises for each individual cabin to do together! Activities range from the slip-n-slide, to s’more’s, to free swim, to baking in the Cooking Kitchen! The girls were thrilled to have a fun night spent with their cabin-mates and counselors.

Afternoon activities went swimmingly, as canoeing classes worked on new strokes, and learned the parts of the boat. Up on Pippin Hill, Madison W. and Jessica K. worked on their golds in Climbing, and Yoga (the best class at camp) discussed the story of Noah, and came up with animal postures to teach to the class! Our sweet Merri-Mac puppies worked on the “come” and “shake” commands, and received a whole lot of love from our campers! Down the hill in Cooking, classes celebrated the 4th of July (a day late) with a delicious Boston Tea Party! The menu consisted of chocolate chip scones, ham and pimento cheese sandwiches, oreos covered in icing and sprinkles, and of course, tea! Girls enjoyed their meal at tables decorated in red, white, and blue!

I can hear the joyful shouts of excitement emerging from the dining hall, and I can visualize the happiness on each camper’s face as they recap their day for their counselors and cabin-mates! I truly believe that every day that passes at camp just gets better and better! As we approach the end of our 2A Session, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to witness the tremendous growth these girls experience here at Merri-Mac, whether they are staying for one week, or ten. The skills they are acquiring, the friends they are meeting, and the confidence they are gaining is shaping who they are, and who they will become. Four years ago, when I was a camper, I had never been more terrified in my life as when I left for my solo overnight trip. Last night, my friend and I led the same trip for six campers. The challenges that camp provided for me shaped me into the person I am today, and continue to transform me into the person I want to become tomorrow. I am thankful to experience true and honest growth through friends and adventure every single day. Thank you for sharing your beautiful girls with us this summer, and we can’t wait to see their growth and development here for many years to come!

From this Haven,

Anne Dillon Loflin

Tweedle Doe Counselor

9th Summer at Merri-Mac

Proud Choctaw