Out in the woods behind our gym, a 50ft tall, high ropes climbing tower, our “Alpine Tower,” sees daily action. Campers can sign up to climb it (or the climbing wall in the gym if it’s rainy) as one of their 4 activity periods. It provides the perfect introduction to rock climbing because it introduces girls to the same equipment (helmets, harnesses, locking carabiners, and kernmantle ropes) and techniques like belay commands, knots, footwork and balancing principles. The tower is triangular with three sides each with different obstacles and climbing challenges, so three girls can climb on it simultaneously. Also, each side presents dozens of different routes to the top making it easy to find a find challenge each time you climb. The are swinging logs, cargo nets, overhanging walls, dangling ropes, parallel posts, and of course all different sized handholds, all requiring a different move to reach the top platform. Once they make it up, the girls enjoy a tree-top view before being gently lowered down on their belay rope.
Transylvania County, where we are located, dubs itself the “Land of Waterfalls” because there are hundreds nearby created by the many creeks and streams tumbling off the mountains over enormous rocks. Over the centuries, many of these waterfalls have created beautiful pools of water below that provide a fantastic experience for a brave swimmer. It takes a little courage to swim at the bottom of a waterfall. The churning foam looks intriguing, reminiscent of a hot tub, but the crashing sound and slapping force of the falling water conveys a special power that must be approached carefully. The water pushes you around. Also, it’s no secret that the water around here is brisk… or let’s call it “refreshingly nippy,” and nothing like a hot tub. The exhilaration of the water temperature and the intensity of it pounding all around you, is a huge thrill. The Hi-Ups (our 10th grade campers) experienced this today when they spent the afternoon at one of our favorite swimming holes. Did they scream? Oh, yes. Was it awesome fun? Definitely.
Our evening program tonight was a special all-camp event that was surely a unique experience for the girls. It began with a “color run.” For those interested (it was fine to opt out), they put on an old t-shirt and ran through a gauntlet of counselors armed with brightly colored, powdered paint (non-toxic of course). After a little spray of water at the start, the paint stuck to the girls giving them an colorful, tie-dyed look. This led them down to the gym of a color paint dance party put on by our favorite local DJ Marcus. We passed around glow sticks and used even more colorful glow paint and face paint to magnify the colorful dance lighting Marcus included in his show. This was all so much fun! The girls laughed and played for 2 solid hours, pausing for photos, showing off silly dance moves, and signing along to their favorite pop songs. With no boys around and everyone, counselors and campers, so fully engaged, they felt even more at ease and willing to be painted. Be sure to check out the photo gallery of this event to see how much we all enjoyed it.