A Day in the Life of a Gravatt Camper

I Wake up to the banging of pots, counselors yelling “Polar Bear,” and morning music.  I quickly get up, put on my bathing suit and head down to the waterfront for Polar Bear.  I try to go to polar bear everyday so I can get that ice cream sundae at the end of the week.  On the walk to the dining hall to get some hot chocolate we stop by the goat pen to say good morning to Tim, Cesar, Maximus, Tank, Chad, Gunnar, and Ace.  Maybe I’ll write them a letter during rest period!

After hot chocolate, and putting on dry clothes, my cabin and I head down to the campfire for Morning Watch. We sing Princess Pat, which I remember is one my old counselor’s, Beth’s, favorite song!

The Princess Pat

Lived in a tree

She sailed across the 7 seas

She sailed across the channel too

And she took with her a rig-a-bamboo

Now what is that?

Its something made, By the Princess Pat

Its red and gold, And purple too

That’s why its called

A rig-a-bamboo

Now Captain Jack

Had a mighty fine crew

He sailed across the channel too

But his ship sank, And yours will too

If you don’t take , A rig-a-bamboo

Now what is that?

Its something made, By the Princess Pat

Its red and gold, And purple too

That’s why its called

A rig-a-bamboo

After our prayer at morning watch and the classic “campers camp, cruisers cruise,” I head to the Dining Hall with my tent best friend and Junior Counselor.  We set everything up for Breakfast, and while I must say, I’m excited to eat french toast sticks, I am not excited about having to clean up after my tent mates who I know will get syrup everywhere.  My tent gets assigned cleaning the field for Duties, and I know they will be done with that before I get done with cruising because the field is super easy to clean, and I was right, of course, my table is a mess from all of the syrup.  

We work really hard on cleaning the tent.  We make sure all of our shoes are lined up neatly under our beds and all of our towels hanging on the porch are straight too! Then we go above and beyond and sweep a path in the pine straw and line it with pine cones.  Then, just to add a finishing touch, we write “TENT 4 LOVES YOU!” in pine cones beside our steps. I really hope we win Inspection!

For first period we have Footprints and I get really pumped because we start off by singing some of my favorite songs.  Then the Footprints director introduces us to the chaplain for the week who tells us a story and gives us an activity to do!   We have so much time at Snack to eat our Teddy Grahams (my favorite!), because we wore our swimsuits to footprints and we don’t have to go back to the cabin before second period. At Swim we play Sharks and Minnows! I don’t normally like being the shark, but today I volunteered and I was so good at it!  I tagged all of the counselors.

We have meatball subs for Lunch, and then to make the meal even better my tent wins Inspection!

During Rest Period we hangout in our tent.  I start to write the letter to my parents that I promise to write every year but I never get around to.  Then, it rains so everyone on girls side runs out and jumps in the puddles; good thing we changed into our swimsuits for free swim super early!

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We start inching our way to the edge of girls side before Free Swim even starts and as soon as the music starts there is a full out sprint to the buddy board and a mad dash to get buddy tags.  We put our tags in the horsefly section and grab some noodles to go float and watch people blob, rope swing, and the new super fun water slide. After 2 buddy checks we switch our tags to funyaks and go for a paddle.  We race back to shore so we can get out of the waterfront right before the next buddy check. Then we head up to the pavilion, play a round of four square and get some canteen. I normally get skittles, but today I spring for a twix bar because I think it’ll pair quite nicely with the red Gatorade.  We head out to the field, lie down on our towels, and eat our canteen.

After changing, for what seems like the 10th time today, we grab our tie-dying items and head to Art.  For the past 4 years I have tie-dyed t-shirts but this year I’ve decided to branch out and tie-dye some socks.  The Art Chick helps me band up the socks to get a cool design, the JC writes my name on my plastic bag, the silly boy counselor soaks the socks in something that looks like water and then puts them in my plastic bag and tells me not to touch them. Then I head down to the water spigot where my counselor asks me what colors I would like.  I choose Razzle Dazzle, Turquoise, and Yellow. Then we sign the name board (I love looking back at all 4 years I’ve been a camper on the boards in the dining hall!) and work on some friendship bracelets. I’ve really mastered the Chinese staircase so I think it’s time to move to the one with diagonal rows.

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After some goldfish at the DH we head down to the Range.  I remember when we just had bows and arrows down here, but now we can use slingshots too!  There are some other things that people can do too, but I’m not old enough yet. I can’t wait to be able to go to a longer session when I’m in middle school; maybe I’ll even be on staff one day!  I hit the target with the arrow, but don’t get a bulls-eye. I guess I just didn’t channel enough Katniss Everdeen today.

We have some free time before dinner, so me and some of my tent mates play some Panda Ball.  When I tell my friends at home about this game they always tell me it's called something else, but I think I’ll always call it Panda Ball.  When the bell rings it seems like there is a stampede to the dining hall because word has gotten around that we’re having Barbeque, Mac n Cheese, and Corn.  After eating SO much Mac n Cheese they announce the night activity is Gold Rush! I knew all of the counselors were dressed differently in their jorts, boots, and flannel shirts.

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I love Gold Rush.  I really really want my team to win.  There are so many things to look for to get points.  Rocks, bricks, noodles, pine cones, and then if my team is fast enough, maybe we will catch the Golden Snitch!  Some of the LITs are bandits and they make us drop all of our loot, which is NO fun.

We win!  I think the scores were pretty close though.  We start Campfire by singing Pharaoh Pharaoh which is always so much fun, especially with all of the little added things the counselors do.  Then some of the counselors do the party skit. The guests were: the blob on a windy day, a sour patch kid, and a snail that’s allergic to grass.  Then we sing Light the Fire before watching the last skit, Categories. I just don’t know how some of the counselors are so funny. Then we sing the most lovely song in the world, Beautiful Scandalous Night before we head to Shalom.

Shalom is my favorite part of the day because the outline of the trees look so pretty against the sky and the songs we sing are so beautiful.  I especially like the last night shalom with the torches and all of the added songs, even though its always sad too. After we turn around from Shalom we head back to the tent.  My tent has devotion first and then we can go shower. Tonight for Devotion we do our usual high, low, uh-oh, and then we talk about friendship and trust.  When we finish our devotion we get in line for the showers. Then, we hang out in the tent until one of the counselors that is sitting on the Holly Hut porch tells us we are being too loud and we need to go to sleep.  We try to whisper after that, but somehow we get loud again. So after the second time a counselor comes to tell us to be quiet we actually go to sleep.

What a day.  I wish every day was a day at Gravatt.