I am not sure exactly how long this event has been going on but this is the second one that has taken place since we have been at the camp. Chris Wilson from Willowbrook is in charge of organizing the event and lining up a missionary to speak every year. This year we had Mark Busby who has been serving in Japan for 20 years.
I spoke with Mark a few minutes, "Hey Mark, I heard you are from Sand Mountain?"
He said, "Yeah that's right; you know something about the mountain?"
I told him I'd heard that there used to be some snake-handlers up there, and asked if there was any truth to that? He grinned and told me that oh yeah, there were, but he was never in that group. We had a laugh and then talked ministry for awhile. He did a great job with the kids as the groups rotated in and out.
The day started out rather iffy as at noon it was still raining at the camp and the Weathermen said it would be rather cold on Saturday morning. I called Chris and he said things were still a go. There were over 100 father/sons registered to come and while the weather did affect the attendance some, there were still a great turn-out as 88 showed up!
One of the first ones to make it up was Sam Kelly with a truck full of equipment. Sam is always prepared for whatever comes and is one of the most resourceful guys I know. He is one who is out doing what needs to be done when everyone else is still thinking about what needs to be done.
I am not sure how many churches were represented but my conversations revealed at least three different churches. Right before supper I saw a familiar face from the Fire Department, Brant Maynard. Brant is pretty good ol' boy and runs and owns an equipment place out on Highway 72. I have heard good reports from those who do business there.
The boys were divided into three groups when the day began on Saturday morning. Each activity was about 30 minutes to an hour long. There is the missionary group, the trail walk and then the events. Under events there is an air rifle shoot, bow and arrow, slingshot and a hatchet throw. Now the hatchet throw seemed to be the hardest one but I will say the guy in charge of this event was good, he could put an axe in the wood no matter how he threw it or from what distance...he reminded me of Grizzly Adams.
Originally we'd parked behind the launchers, but a friendly fellow came over and said we would probably be safer somewhere else. He went on to add that he'd looked the launchers over pretty well and we really probably did want to move!
We went off to the side and watched. The team got ready to shoot their pumpkin up in the air. I had my camera poised, ready to catch that pumpkin mid-launch.
Huh. Nothing but clear blue sky. I wonder what happened to the pumpkin? Oh . . . that's where it went. And I think it actually rolled most of the way there!
Everyone seemed to have a good time and we are always glad to have them up. It seems I missed the banjo picking and wash tub playing that went on late Friday night involving the missionaries. Not sure this was a Japanese custom...must have come straight out of Sand Mountain!