One of the awesome things about Camp Tall Timbers is that there’s something for everybody. Whether you’re a soccer star, a wannabe famous guitarist, a budding artist, a mountainboarding aficionado or all of the above, you can do what makes you happy here. But some activities are across-the-board favorites, and at the top of that list is tubing.

Tubing happens down at the lake, which is a downhill hike reminding all those who pass there that they will have to trek back up in a matter of hours. But it’s worth it, because when you get down to the bottom, when you’ve strapped into your life jacket, you get this little burst of joy at witnessing what you’re about to do. You, brave tuber, will hold on for deal life to a big floating tube, tied to a twenty-foot rope, tied to a sleek and very cool jetski. You know, even before you try it, that you might at some point end up flying face-first into the lake, and that’s okay with you, because of one delicious word: Adventure.

Now, being a tubing instructor is a little different from being a tubing participant. While another counselor drives the jet ski, I sit backwards on it, releasing the rope, pulling it in strategically and trying not to laugh at the terrified, delighted faces of the campers we tow. For younger campers, Arnaud, the driver, goes in polite circles, eliciting laughter and glee from the little ones. Older campers, or more experienced tubers, get figure eights that send them bouncing across their own wake, white-knuckled and undoubtedly having more fun because of it. (I get medium-terrified by these figure eights as well. Just the other day I lost my balance on a bump and flew off, making the entire class laugh uproariously at my expense. What can I say? Anything for the campers.)

But seriously, tubing is the best. I have these two kids, Reese and Grace, who are about nine years old and are best friends from home. They’re tubing professionals. Whereas most other campers their age ask for slow circles, Reese and Grace go all out, all the time. Their smiling faces are epic, and so are their tumbles. And then there’s Shayna, who has established a complicated system she uses to communicate with me: faster! No, slower! Okay, faster again. Many of the older boys vastly overestimate their own abilities and go flying five or six times each trip.

When the class is over, Arnaud and I have the onorous task of making everyone actually leave the lake. “Just one more time!” they all beg, and no one likes to the the person who drags campers away from one of their favorite activities. But we always trek back up the hill, and we always say, Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to tube another day.

Other Tall Timbers Happenings

–       Yoga is going on at the gym during free swims

–       Donovan Nordstrom, Tristan Coates-Park, Ben Perkins, Thomas Boals and Caden Hershberg all hit cans in riflery

–       Musical movie skit rehearsals are starting, led by CIT2s

–       Adam Dunham learned math at breakfast

–       Sydney Sachs and Adriana Machuca were on point in drama rehearsal

–       Backdrop painting for the play is coming together with much teamwork from all

–       Max Penn and Spencer Leibow’s group won Clue Night