2015 Fall Camp Highlights

We arrived safely Wednesday afternoon, ate lunch and settled in. It was such a delight to see students working so well together to get their tents set up. Many groups even offered help to other groups who struggled in the process.

After everyone’s tents were up, we had some time to explore. Several groups took a short hike down to an amazing waterfall, while others explored around camp. A nice rain cloud paid us a visit just as we were preparing to start dinner. It was SO cool! We headed to our tents, but only for a little while, before we decided it would be fun to play in the rain. No thunder or lightening! Playing in the rain in a big group sure is something special. We felt like kids again. It was such a great feeling.Once the rain stopped, we settled in for a dinner of burgers and dogs with some yummy sides. Food prep and clean-up offers students many, many lessons on working together to accomplish a goal. Students learned how to cut watermelon, chop veggies, make slaw, cook burgers and dogs on a fire and MUCH more about working together. This came naturally to some groups, while others really had to struggle through to get it made. Let’s just say some ate earlier than others ; )

Everyone always thinks students sleep in at camp….wrong! As soon as the first tent zipper is heard (generally around 6:30), students start emerging from tents. No one wants to miss anything. It’s so cute! We fixed our breakfast as well as lunch and then prepared for our long hike to Stone Mountain.

All students hiked to the top of the mountain, where we enjoyed our picnic lunch. Several groups continued on to complete the 4.5-mile hike through the woods, the homestead, to the waterfall and then back to camp. This was an extremely challenging hike, both physically as well as emotionally. Many of us faced challenges and relied on the group to help us through. It was truly amazing to witness everyone taking care of each other.

Many students chose to participate in impromptu football drills with our coach/chaperone, which was a blast. After our Park Ranger talk about park animals, we filled our bellies with pasta, salad and french bread. We then had campfire fun (s’mores and more!) before settling in for the night. We were lucky enough to hear wild coyotes howling as we drifted off to sleep and were able to make it through the trip without any raccoon invasions. First time ever!
Not only is Fall Camp about building community, it is equally about moving out of your comfort zone and into your growth zone. All of us (chaperones included) experienced this at some point. It is about learning how to persevere in the toughest of times, while doing so in community. We could not be more thankful for such an incredible community and are well on our way to having a solid foundation!

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