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It has been forty-five years since my freshman year at Hendersonville High School, but memories of Homecoming Week still make me happy. The entire student body would join together to express their team spirit in variety of ways. Clubs would paint elaborate banners, homerooms would do posters, and the student government organized a parade of decorated cars and floats. The band and cheerleaders had a prominent role in every gathering and, of course, the focus of all attention was the football team. Even those who NEVER would attend a game became fanatic fans for a moment. It was a lot of fun. The entire week was disrupted and we loved every minute of the mayhem.

We celebrate this kind of fun at camp with camp teams who compete all summer long for points (the Odds and the Evens). Tomorrow will be the first BIG competition. Challenge Day at Greystone is a big deal… kind of like Homecoming.

  • It comes midway through the second week of camp (early enough to feel like the beginning of camp, late enough to be comfortable with our new community).
  • It celebrates camp personalities (team captains and lieutenants, cheerleaders, pep squads, mascots).
  • It is silly… we know it is silly, but get caught up in the moment nonetheless.
  • It requires a lot of preparation.

This last point is not to be ignored… for nothing of value comes without cost. Last week we had Team Fires where leaders were elected and mascots were chosen. Cabins worked for hours preparing presentations of mascot ideas which were presented to the entire team while the elections took place (the 20-plus nominated leaders have to wait in the office while the votes are tallied… so much drama!).

The remaining crowd of over 200 children in each team watch the mascot presentations (complete with a dramatic description, banners, cheers, and slogans) then “vote” by cheering (loudest wins). The nominees are then brought back to their team fire and everyone finds out who their team leaders will be. Exciting and Dramatic!

Since that day the team leaders have been preparing for Challenge Day. The first public display of their efforts will be at the EP tonight… Team Meetings! I use the exclamation point because it is going to be epic. Gone are the “boring” sign-ups for challenge day events… that work is still done, but what the girls will enjoy are the preparations.

  • Making Banners and Posters
  • Button Making (where you make a custom button to show team spirit)
  • Shaker Making (where you make custom “shakers” from beans and cardboard tubes)
  • Cheerleading Squad Practice
  • Mascot Practice
  • FLOAT CONSTRUCTION… yes, we are going to have a parade complete with team floats.

It is going to be so much fun, the girls will love it!

Yesterday’s 4th of July celebration was a good springboard for tomorrow’s Challenge Day. A bacchanalia of carnival food and fun topped off with a camp-wide dance contest. Our planned fireworks were canceled due to a thunderstorm that arrived at the conclusion of the dance contest. We took a break to shower off and change clothes for the big show, hoping the storm would blow through quickly but it was not to be. At 9:00 we decided to postpone the show for another night. Already thinking of times that we can surprise the girls!

The skies are overcast this week (it shouldn’t surprise me, but it does… I only pay attention to the chance of rain, not the cloud cover forecast). The benefit of the clouds is that temperatures never get too hot (highs of about 80… plenty hot but actually not that bad). The clouds sometimes provide the promised showers but often just sit there all day with no precipitation. Anyone who lives nearby will always remind “if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute”. Our climate is constantly changing!

The Details of the day:

  • Breakfast: Truck drivers Special (sausage gravy, biscuits)
  • Breakfast Club: Mental Growth (be curious about the world that surrounds) and the Christian Bear joke
  • Lunch: Shepherds Pie (a camper favorite for generations)
  • Dinner: Laura’s Pork Chops
  • EP: Team Meetings
  • New Ice Machines are working great… big deal around here!
  • The Tentstile hammock was installed yesterday morning… we did not make an announcement or anything, but suddenly it was there in the woods behind the waterslide. The word spread quickly!
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