The line of the day came as I stood by my table while boys walked in the dining hall today for our first lunch of Junior Camp. Not necessarily to anyone in particular a brand new camper walked in to see the hot food on the table and exclaimed, “this place is paradise!”. And so Junior Camp begins. A pretty good place for a boy to be for the next 10 days.
My name is Glenn Breazeale and my wife Carter and I are the Directors here at Alpine. We enjoyed seeing so many of you today, and meeting many of you for the first time. I’m going to do my best every now and then to bring you a little slice of life here at camp. I hope to bring you some details you might not otherwise know about. Each morning Doug Harmon, our Website coordinator, will bring you the facts of camp, what we are eating, playing at night program, etc. That’ll be sort of the “Top Stories” of the day and maybe I’ll be more like the “Special Interest” or “Lifestyle” section. We’ll see!
The newsletter will be in the Login portion of the site, with our Photos and one way email system. It’s a peek into our world each day – and the beautiful thing is the boys don’t really even know you are watching. They get to be out in camp having a blast and hopefully we’ll be able to tell you the story of camp, at least in small part. I hope to bring you some stories about some of our great staff while I’m at it. We always say we have the best staff at Alpine – and I hope to tell you about some of these guys.
I’ll keep it brief tonight, as we’ve had a full day and it’s getting late. Our Junior Campers are all tucked in their beds having completed their first cabin devotional just a few minutes ago. This is one of my favorite times of the day as a Director (and it was when I was a counselor here as well). Many times at night I will be leaving the office about 8:45 or 9 and walk through the cabin areas to hear the cabins doing their devotionals.
Boys and counselors sit on the floor usually, with just a flashlight. Often they go around the room and each give a highlight of the day or a fact about themselves. The flashlight sometimes becomes the proverbial conch, as they are all eager to talk. Devotionals are short and sweet, in recognition of the fact that young boys don’t need to sit still for too long and they are tired at the end of the day. Usually it’s read a few verses or a story from the Bible, talk about what this teaches us about God and ourselves, pray and hit the rack.
Many counselors also choose to read to the boys once they are in bed, from a favorite childhood book. Chronicles or Narnia are always popular.
Today was a busy day packed with lots of excitement, mixed in with a few necessary first day duties. Boys were given the knitwear that you ordered them in the store this afternoon. The folks in the store checked sizes to ensure correct fit and also wrote names on everything. Those Alpine white shirts were crisp and clean leaving the store today. No promises they’ll come home quite as crisp!!
After lunch I held my traditional opening day meeting with the entire camp, a bit of a duty for the boys, but one that I feel is very important. It is part welcome to camp, part introduction, part all camp guidelines. I want them to know who we are, who the head counselors are, who the nurses and doctor are, etc so they will know who can help them if they need something. I tell them how glad we are that they are at camp. That Alpine is a safe place for them to be themselves and not a place that allows bullying or mean talk. I mention that if anything at camp is bothering them or making them uncomfortable we want them to tell us – we can only help make their camp experience the best possible if we know how to help.
In case you didn’t notice in your car today in drop off line, we also had some nervous energy around here today! So we spent a lot of our afternoon running around playing games by age group. We want to get right to the fun as quickly as we can!
Speaking of age groups, a little explanation for you if you are a new parent, or perhaps a refresher. In Junior Camp we have 5 age groups. Hunter 1’s are boys who have just finished 1st grade, Hunter 2’s completed 2nd grade, Hunter 3’s third, Trappers have finished 4th, and Scouts are 5th grade graduates.
Thanks for reading and good night for now . . .