Monday, December 23, 2013

Last Activities of 2013

November and December flew by up at the Camp and even though the temps were definitely turning colder, we still had a good number of groups using the camp.  Saturday, December 23, we had a repeat visit from one of our favorite groups, the Sunday School Class fellowship out of New Market Baptist Church.  It was a smaller group this go 'round, but fun nonetheless.  And while the temps were cold, the chili was hot, hot, hot!!

Thanksgiving day, our own family congregated up at the pavilion for a traditional turkey dinner.  We had family in from out-of-town, as well, and it was nice to have all the picnic seating we needed.  By then, we'd made sure the tarp 'walls' were up and kept a fire roaring in the fire place, so it was a cozy meal together.

In December, we got rained out for another work day.  Which was really a shame, the wood supply in the stacks has gotten low.  Hopefully we'll be able to get a crew up here to chop and stack wood before our spring campers start coming in.  

The weekend of December 13 and 14th was bitter cold, so when the guys from Troop 7084 showed up, they immediately pitched tents until the pavilion, taking advantage of the tarp walls.  
They also made good use of the fire place, and quickly put their Dutch ovens to work with a hot and hearty dinner and dessert.
Ever resourceful, the Boy Scouts figured out a way to enjoy their camp time in spite of the very low temps!

Our last group of the year lucked out with much milder temps.  It's amazing how one weekend in December it can be well below freezing, but by the next weekend, temps have reached the 60s!  
The manly-man group from Asbury United Methodist lucked out which such a weekend.

They pitched their tents and roughed it for their stay.  
The smell of steaks cooking over an open campfire was certainly tantalizing.

And that wrapped up the camping activity for 2013.  We're already booking for 2014 and the weekends in March are already filled!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cub Scout Pack 350

It was a beautiful -- but very cold -- weekend for this youthful group of campers.  Most had not been up here before and since cub scouts have to have an adult family member to camp overnight, there were a good number of participants.

Friday evening a handful of veterans and hard core campers made their way to the camp and got things set up, but the majority of the group came in Saturday.  According to the leaders, it was a loosely structured weekend with no organized plans. Essentially a weekend of enjoying the outdoors, hiking the trails, and acclimating to tent living and campfire cooking.  Even so, they had quite the tent city going on up in the main campground . . .

And someone thought they'd do a little hammock sleeping, too!
We were told that all the boys enjoyed climbing in and out of it, but decided it was way to cold to spend the night in it.

We caught up with the group at lunchtime on Saturday.  They were enjoying the pavilion and the playground.

But while the big group was at the pavilion, someone had to watch the campfire in the main campground, right?
We found these two willing volunteers enjoying the warmth and peace and guarding the fire circle.  "Enjoying the chaos from afar" was the quote!

They did a great job cleaning up and seemed to enjoy the long weekend. We hope Pack 350 will come back and visit again.

Monday, November 4, 2013

FBC Huntsville RAs - Fall Camp Out

Another glorious fall weekend--with crisp evening temps perfect for campfires and warm, sunny days--presented itself for the annual fall camp out of the RA's of FBC Huntsville!  Folks started to arrive about midday on Saturday and got right to the business of setting up tents.
A Saturday arrival meant they could get here early enough in the day to have good daylight hours in which to set up tents!  That's always a tough chore for campers in the late fall, when they start on Fridays.  By 5:30 (and now, since DST ended, 4:30) it's hard to see!

No worries for this group, though.  They had about forty dads and lads and they made quick work of getting their overnight accommodations ready and then getting a blazing fire going down at the pavilion camp fire circle.
The chow wagon crew got busy too, especially the evening's grillmaster.  Something about that cool, camp air really brings out the appetite in the fellows!
Their program that night was a *magician* -- we weren't able to stick around to see him, but the setup looked promising!
The guys had a great night and had the added benefit of an extra hour (since they were here when the time "fell" back).  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Three Days, Three Groups!

This past weekend (the last in October) was packed with groups and people enjoying wonderful fall weather at the camp!  The first arrivals were the fellows from Boy Scout Troop 8, who were here for wilderness/survival training.
They came in after dark on Friday and got their tents sent up quickly in the main campground and spent their first night around the camp fire.
Saturday morning brought daylight and an opportunity to check out their tent village . . .
 Everyone was busy doing something.  Chopping wood, collecting water . . .
 Working on and in the "kitchen" tarp.
Already water was boiling for Saturday night's dinner!
Which we did come back for!  By that time, all the work had been done and everyone was kind of kicked back and enjoying a lovely Saturday afternoon.
 We took the opportunity to check out the shelters that the boys had gotten set up.

They looked pretty good -- and I daresay, out in the middle of the woods, they'd have been near impossible to find.

One of the utilitarian chests in the kitchen area:
Everything the outdoorsman needs to cook up a tasty meal!  Speaking of which, the spaghetti served up that evening was from an old Italian family recipe and was very, very good!
While we enjoyed our spaghetti, the guys were preparing dessert in the Dutch ovens . . .
 We had some of that, too.  Peach and blueberry cobbler in one bowl and strawberry cobbler in the other.

This was the first time Troop 8 had been out here (Cub Scout Pack 8 had visited several years ago) and they were all so impressed with the Camp, the beautiful setting and how perfect it was for the kind of camping they enjoy.  One of the men mentioned that his favorite part of the day was sitting around the camp fire, after all the boys had packed it in.  Several men agreed!

Talk about opposites . . . our second group arrived on Saturday morning, full of giggles and laughter!  It was the GAs of Hillwood Baptist Church, who were here for the FIRST EVER campout!
First thing they did was get their sleeping quarters up and in order.  They camped out around the pavilion.

Saturday afternoon they enjoyed some great crafts (painted frames and pillowcase prayers), a nature hike, and even some small group Bible study out in the field.
Come dinner time, the girls had really worked up an appetite!  They had roasted hot dogs over the fire and had baked beans and chips and s'mores to round things out!
It was fare fit for a queen!  Or lots of princesses!  And their Children's Minister (Jeff Whitehead), too!  He'd come up to share dinner and a time of worship with these beautiful faces.

 And after dinner was the perfect time for a couple of rounds of checkers, in front of the big fireplace!
 The braver girls sat around the camp fire and did Bible drills from their lessons earlier in the day:
We were so pleased with how excited all the girls were to be camping and how much they each enjoyed it.
And as a service project bonus, they planted a lovely bed of pansies to help us get through the fall and winter with a splash of color!  We certainly look forward to their return and appreciate all their hard work and kind words!

Last up was Cornerstone Baptist Church with their annual church picnic on Sunday afternoon.  By that time, both of the other two groups had already headed out and CBC had the camp to themselves.
We'd asked the GA group to not douse their fires, so it was nothing to re-kindle them both.
And so it didn't take long for the group to congregate around the fire!
 The children headed straight for the playground!  Love this sweet smile!
 And this smile too .... who says swings are just for littles???
And of course, the day was perfect for a little football tossing.  And a little attitude tossing, too!

It would seem that a church picnic is also a good spot for a little church business discussion?
They had a great afternoon and enjoyed the ponds, trails and creeks.  Not to mention a great feast of hamburgers, hot dogs, and loads of home made goodies!

It was a hugely busy weekend ... of the best kind -- filled with lots of happy campers!