Camp is in session!

There aren’t a lot of things in the world that can compare to the opening days of summer camp, and at Camp Tall Timbers the first few days are the among the most special of the season.

There is a great mix of nerves and enthusiasm as the campers and counselors are beginning to settle into their schedules, as well as a great sense of excitement as some of CTT’s traditional contests and competitions begin to take place. One of the most fun contests is the search for the ‘loomster,’ which is a hunt for the longest fry or the largest potato chip during meals. The boy’s side came up with the win in the first loomster search of the year when David Morrell was served a fry over six inches in length. The boys watched in amazement and the girls in disgust as he chomped down on the prized morsel, the size of which was so remarkable that administrator Mike made an argument to hire bouncers to protect it.

Despite not finding the loomster, the girl’s side still managed to have a good day. In the morning the teams for the Girl’s Leagues competitions were announced. This session will see Bob’s Blackout, the White Gangsters, the Blue Pikachu’s and the Red Participants of Positivity compete in an array of different contests.

In other good news for the girl’s side, Amy Caplon bested counselor Adam Gersh in two-of-three ping-pong games. In a lunchtime announcement, Adam declared that Amy is the best player in camp and is accepting all challenges. Several challengers piped up, but there has been no word if anyone was successful…

Amy also had a big day at the riflery range, where she and Nicky Feldman (of boy’s cabin one) fired a gun for the first time in their lives. The first shot is a special one. You feel the weapon come alive in your hands after you pull the trigger and you see the target jump after your round makes contact. It is enough to hook some people for life and there is no better place to harbor that interest and learn respect for the weapons than from counselors Jason Gersh and Bill at CTT. The riflery classes are very popular for this session, and some young shooters are having remarkable success. Max Mendelson, also of cabin one, is the epitome of a fast learner on the range. In only his second shot, he hit one of the spinning targets. This is impressive, as it is a feat I have not yet achieved despite teaching four riflery classes this session!

Some campers learn things outside of the teaching classes and competitions. One resourceful girl, Jennifer Heiman, had a feat of conservation that is unequaled so far into the session. Jennifer got off the bus on Sunday with a bottle of Coke and just finished it on Wednesday. That is one bottle lasting four days. She got a round of applause during the dinner announcements, and deservedly so.

Jake Abel is learning the art of a peaceful protest. In response to what he felt was a disappointing lack of cream in his orange cream pop, he wrote a very professional and strongly worded letter to Rich’s Ice Cream to request more cream for his future snacking endeavors. The camp is eagerly awaiting the response from Mr. Rich, hopefully to inform us that the amount of cream has been drastically increased.

That sums up some of the bigger headlines thus far into the summer of 2009, and as the younger campers look forward to this afternoon’s trip to Trout Pond and the veterans prepare to go white water rafting, rest assured I will be around with my ears open and my notepad ready to bring you all of the day’s news and observations from the first session of 2009.