It’s been an exciting few days here at Timanous! A couple of days ago, the entire camp spent an afternoon collecting wood to bring down to beginners beach, where a collection of sticks steadily grew to a bonfire pile twice as high as the tallest Crow. But more about that in a minute…
First, we have to talk about “Jr. Grandaddy Gorilla.” A strange name for the uninitiated, it’s a long-time camp tradition where we play giant games of hide and seek. Later in the summer we’ll play “Grandaddy Gorilla,” with counselors (gorillas) hiding in the woods all around camp and each cabin vying to earn the most points by finding the most gorillas. In Jr. Grandaddy, it’s the campers who get to try their hand at evading capture.
The game was announced a few days ahead of time, so during free times earlier in the week you could find campers scouting for hiding spots on Crows Point, Red River, and other areas not often traveled and with lots of cover. On Thursday morning, the bell rang after cabin cleanup and all the counselors went to the Hall, and campers had 15 minutes to get into their hiding positions. Another bell rang… and then another, 30 minutes later. Any camper not found in that time was a winner! It was a banner year for the campers, with lots escaping, so we’ll have to see if the counselors can take their cue and find good hiding spots themselves for Grandaddy.
As a reward for their efforts, and of course to celebrate the 4th of July, we had an all-camp cookout outside the Barn for dinner. A few hardy counselors manned the hot grill for hours, as the rest of us got to enjoy hamburgers (and veggie burgers), hot dogs, Chef Bob’s famous potato salad, and cool sweet lemonade. We had cabin skits planned for a post-dinner activity, and instead of filing into the Hall as usual, we gathered on the hillside above the soccer field, which was such a perfect stage and gallery that we might have to officially name it The Amphitheater. Many cabins and a few smaller groups of campers performed some seriously creative and funny skits, which will surely be talked about for the rest of the summer.
As a cap to another sunny (and hot!) summer day, we had our traditional 4th of July bonfire. Campers, counselors, alumni, and other guests formed a semicircle at a safe and just-cool-enough distance from the fire. The Crows skit as usual produced laughs and a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, and our youngest camper lit the bonfire. The flame, started in just a few spots, slowly but surely caught on the wood all around, and pretty soon the flames climbed straight and high up into the dusk.
Loud revelry subsided into calm conversations of cabins and small groups of friends as the fire burned down. Everyone would have preferred to stay, but the light was getting low and there were roots and rocks to navigate back to the cabins along the lake. The fire continued to glow, and a few lucky campers and counselors with the choicest beds could catch its glimmer out of their windows as they settled in for the night.
Check out our Shutterfly site for all 4th of July photos.