Sunday at 2-Week Camp

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Yesterday we got to enjoy a Sunday together at camp, filled with all the things that make weekends extra special. To start things off, everyone sleeps in an extra hour before being treated to Sunday breakfast – including a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts for every cabin! Any day that begins with doughnuts is destined to be a good day.

Sundays are like a reset button for the rest of the week, and after playing hard all hours of the day, we use Sundays to clean up and refresh for the week ahead. Boys have to keep their cabins clean for morning inspections each day, but on Sunday they are given extra time to catch up on cleaning, especially because their trunks have to be open and ready for inspection by the Directors and Line Heads. This helps practice responsibility, and keep everyone accountable for maintaining their own cleanliness and health. Everyone takes turns with sweeping, cleaning the bathroom, and taking out the trash. Parents might be happy to know that boys are expected to make their beds each morning, so hopefully they bring those habits home with them! The boys get some extra motivation too, because the cleanest cabins from each Line get called first in the ice cream sundae line after lunch!

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This group of campers did an amazing job performing the skit at church!

After tidying their cabin areas, everyone changed into their Sunday white shirts and headed to church service. Falling Creek is a Christian camp, but we are non-denominational and our church service is centered around common values that are important for everyone, no matter your specific faith background. Yesterday’s service continued with the theme of “adventure” from the week. Every week we’ve had a different theme to guide our Evening Embers discussions and our Church program. Adventure was this past week’s theme, and during church, we sang songs, enjoyed skits, and talked about what adventure means.

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Matt, our camp chaplain, shared how we’re on an adventure every day here at camp. “Sometimes it’s scary being away from home, and sometimes it’s awesome,” he said, recognizing that it can be an adventure in itself just to come to camp. “But the greatest adventure you can ever go on is one that you can’t do on your own. God invites you to follow Him, and having faith in Him is the greatest adventure,” Matt shared. He encouraged everyone to try something new during the second half of camp, and embrace the adventures that awaited them, no matter what that might look like.

After church we had an hour of free choice time, and then it was time for Sunday lunch! Every Sunday we enjoy a favorite meal of ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, and warm rolls. Though it’s always tasty, after lunch comes the real treat. We get to enjoy ice cream sundaes with plenty of toppings! Campers are called to line up based on their average cabin inspection scores from the past week, with the cleanest cabins getting awarded a front spot in line. We had chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream, plus sprinkles, strawberries, fudge sauce, caramel, and whipped cream on an outside ice cream bar. It is definitely a highlight of the week.

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We enjoyed an extended rest hour to catch up on reading, take a nice nap, or write a few letters home, and afterwards the boys were able to spend the afternoon doing Special Signups. Sunday afternoon is a time when counselors can offer games or activities that they wouldn’t normally teach, and boys can try something different than their regular schedule. It’s a great way for staff to share something they’re passionate about. Counselors announce where they will be for the first or second half of the afternoon, and boys are free to meet them where the activity of their choice is held.

Yesterday during the first half of the afternoon, boys could choose to join in the Warrior Ball pit or other games under the Dining Hall (like chess, board games, ping pong, or foosball), learn kickboxing in the lodge with George, play guitar on the grassy knoll, play in the kayaks down at the lower lake, learn to make origami at art, take photos with their friends by the lake, play knockout in the gym, or join the reading club at the overlook. During the second half of the afternoon, many of the same activities were offered, as well as glazing pottery at art, joining the nature counselors in the “turtle sendoff”, playing magic at the “grid”, playing tennis at the courts, playing wiffle ball at the field, joining the “lake party” at the swim docks, playing pickleball, and slacklining/bird watching at the grassy knoll. No matter what boys felt like trying, there was something for everyone!

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On Sundays for dinner, we have a cookout where we eat hamburgers picnic-style on the field by the gym. The burgers are grilled outdoors on the huge camp grill, which always smells amazing, and are accompanied by great sides and dessert. A highlight for the campers however, is the weekly Cheerwine soda that they get to drink with dinner! Though we eat family style with our cabins during regular meals in the dining hall, it is always a fun change of pace to enjoy an outdoor picnic. We had dinner a little earlier yesterday so there was time to make our cabin signs before Campfire. These plaques get hung outside the cabins to commemorate the summer, and boys who come back year after year always enjoy looking for their names on past cabins. Many alumni who return to camp decades after being campers themselves are always pleasantly surprised to see their cabin signs still displayed proudly!

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Cabin 9 showing off the cabin sign they made last night!

Sunday evenings always close with Campfire, one of the most beloved times at camp where we all share stories, songs, and laughter around the fire. As the “Call to Quarters” bell rang after Campfire and the all boys were ready for bed in their cabins, the only sounds were the crickets and bullfrogs along the banks. After Campfire we always sing Taps, and this comforting melody is the perfect way to end the day. It’s words ring true as the whole camp prepares for a good night’s rest: All is well, safely rest, God is nigh. Goodnight.