King of the Mountain

~ Glenn | Jul 11, 12 | 3 comments |

Last night a new night program was born. We have different night programs every night, as you probably know. Some nights each age group is participating in a separate activity. Other nights we join in for one large group activity. Regardless, we play every night after dinner. These are different from regular activities that I talked about a few days ago. Roderick makes the assignments each night and announces them at Retreat. The cabin counselors run the activity with the boys in their age group.

So last night King of the Mountain debuted. Some of your boys now have the distinction of playing the inaugural game at Alpine. Well, maybe anywhere because we just made it up. It’s hard to believe that after 54 years we are still inventing new ways to have fun. In 54 more years will boys be cheering screams of joy at Alpine when it’s announced that they get to play King of the Mountain, the legendary Alpine game? Kind of cool to think about. Only time will tell. Like a good book, we won’t know if it’s a classic until a bit down the road. But I will tell you the first edition is definitely on the best seller list.

It’s a combination of Spotlight and Capture the Flag with some unique twists. And the game was created by some Warrior campers, with the help of their counselors and Daniel Zegel, their head counselor. That’s the beauty of camp – people are at the center of the story – and they are always adding to the greater story of Alpine.

The Warriors divided up into two teams. The game was played in the Mountain cabin area, a horseshoe of cabins with a large green and tree filled area in between each side of the U. An imaginary mid line is drawn from the top of the upside down U splitting the area down the middle, each team claiming their land and the 7 cabins on their “property”. The object of each team is to sneak into the opposing territory and turn on 3 of the 7 cabin lights to win (it is dark outside at this point). But, there are defenders on the opposing team with flashlights. If you get spotted by a defending flashlight you must go to jail, the porch of one of the other teams’ cabins. You can get freed if one of your teammates reaches the jail without getting spotlighted. One twist, each team may free their jailed friends by giving up one of their defending flashlights. It adds a bit of strategy as you must weigh the benefits of freeing your offensive team swiftly at the expense of one less defensive weapon.

Some perennial night programs around here are Slaughterball, Mission Impossible, Spotlight, Capture the Flag, Lodge Game night, Angleball, Ultimate frisbee, Extreme 4 Square. Of course there are some special nights like the Desoto Dance (won’t be long now!), Vespers on Sunday nights, Council Ring, Glee Club with Desoto, and Movie Night in the gym. Feel free to add comments about others you remember, this is certainly not an exhaustive list.

Mission Impossible is what boys look forward to all year. For those of you wondering why we have camoflauge on our packing list, this is why. It’s an all camp game of spotlight, played by cabins. The head counselors serve as Maxes, doling out each cabin’s first assignment and password. The ultimate goal is to find whatever has been stolen from camp earlier that day. I should mention that the stealing takes place in an elaborate skit at lunch that is almost as anticipated as the game itself. It’s all a surprise so the skit brings elated screams. One year the deed to camp was stolen. One year they “stole” me. I hid out at my house all day until the appointed time, where I was placed in the spot where the cabins who had made the correct moves and gotten the right clues would find me. Cabins are trying to get clues from the good agents and avoid being spotted by the bad agents. Get caught by a bad agent and the cabin must start over at their Max for a new mission. Eventually we all rejoice as the stolen camp item or person is recovered! By the way, credit to Paul Cagle for bringing this brilliant game to Alpine back in the 1990’s.

As I write this boys are all in bed and we are getting a much needed hard rain. No storms just good old hard rain, fine sleeping rain. Thanks for reading and good night for now . . .



  1. ~ Darrell | 11 Jul 12 ~

    I so enjoy reading these daily posts. I truly relive the Alpine way every night, even though it’s been (ahem) 25 years since I’ve been there. Thanks, Glenn, for the nostalgia and the ministry!

  2. ~ Avery Mixon | 12 Jul 12 ~

    Back in my camping days, we’d play Panamanians Spotlight. I’m not sure what made it “Panamanian,” maybe it was that design plans for Siberia were drawn up in Panama. Either way, most fond memory of this is the incomparable John Quaka. You have never seen a more intense and ruthless spotlight fanatic. Nice work on the new night program!

  3. ~ Dick O'Ferrall | 12 Jul 12 ~

    Glenn’s blog post above beautifully describes just one of the many “magical” aspects of camp, and all of these campers and counselors are helping “write the story” every summer. What a blessing it is for me to be able to observe the next generation taking camp to “a whole new level” and continuing the story that began in 1959. It is particularly fun for Alice and me to see the second and third generation of camp families become part of the “story”. For rapids that flow, Mr. O.

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