Coming Home to Highlander

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What an AWESOME opening day! This morning we woke up to overcast skies and the threat of rain, but when the gates flew open at 8:30 the campers brought the sunshine to Old Forge Mountain!

The new drive-through drop off was designed to be safe and efficient, and we got wonderful feedback from parents that it was simple and appreciated. While we miss hanging out on the mountain with camp families, we don’t miss the delay in getting campers into camp life!

Campers adjust to camp better on their own. Shortly after they arrived, they joined their cabinmates in their cabin to unpack, make beds and get settled in their new home. These simple activities keep them busy while they get to know their new friends and helped them feel more comfortable. The best part about this Opening Day process is that the counselors are 100% focused on the campers, rather than splitting their attention with parents. By the time cabins got to lunch, the dining hall was full of laughter among cabinmates and big smiles on camper faces…the nerves were wearing off! We LOVE this because our Opening Day process has proven to be BEST for our campers!

It was so wonderful to welcome returning campers who have been coming to Highlander for many years and see their gratitude to be back home at Highlander. I was overwhelmed with joy as I saw how much your children have grown and changed, but their love for Highlander remained the same. Even more rewarding was seeing their love welcome each and every new camper into our camp family today. Their energy, enthusiasm and love for camp is contagious, and it won’t be long before our new campers are calling Highlander home too!

My cheeks hurt from smiling so much today (even behind my mask). I hope you saw the joy in my eyes as each of your children hopped out of the car. Bryan and I are incredibly grateful to all of our camp families for the amazing support you have given us over the last year. We believe that a camp experience is more needed than ever for your children, and we look forward to a fantastic three-week session. Thank you for sharing your children with us this summer. Thank you for checking in on the blog each day as we share the highlights of camp life. The fun has just begun, so stay tuned!

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Favorite Details of the Day

  • Meals: Our opening day fuel was blueberry muffins, scrambled eggs, bacon, fresh fruit, oatmeal and grits. Our lunch tradition fir today was grilled cheeses and tomato soup with mixed green salad. We all enjoyed a delicious pot roast with vegetables, homemade rolls, and fresh salad for dinner. The disco ball lit up and sent the dining hall into a frenzy of cheers for the ultimate dessert at Camp Highlander - Highlander mudslides!
  • Weather: We started with an overcast, humid morning, which meant rain was in our forecast. The sun came out as the first few cars were entering camp. The afternoon showers hit right around 3:00, but they were off an on sprinkles that didn’t interrupt our fun!
  • EP: Tonight’s evening program was campfire. Campfire is one of our oldest traditions at Highlander, and a great way to start and end every session. Tonight we had to have campfire indoors becasue of the wet grass and light drizzle outside, but it didn’t matter. Everyone still sang along to the wonderful music of the mountain and embraced their first night back home at Highlander.
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