I woke up this morning like I’ve done for the past several weeks: to the sound of the bell. The sound is beautiful—even though it means I can’t sleep any longer. It’s the start of a new day; it’s the breakfast bell; it’s the alarm I’ll never be mad at. I love mornings at GRP.
Campers roll out of bed, searching their trunks for clothes and wrapping themselves in sweaters. Others pull covers further over their heads in protest. The cabin’s screen windows breathe in cool morning air. Birds perform from tree branches, a panorama of discordant melodies. The second bell sounds, beckoning to a morning feast. Campers and counselors trek to breakfast with hair in various states of wackiness. One of my campers remarks that I look like I was struck by lightning.
Another reason to love mornings: no matter how tired I am, campers never cease to give me more energy than a cup of coffee ever could. Campers walk to breakfast singing camp songs and cracking jokes. They greet friends, siblings, and counselors as they go. Then we exit Cabinville, turning our heads to gaze upon the lake, the field, the mountains, drawing in morning air and greeting the day. The cabins file up to the lodge and we all face the East to sing win-de-ah-ho.
“The cabin with the best impression of a forest can go in!” Fireside makes branches with their arms and is called into the lodge. “Your best impression of your counselor when they woke up this morning!” Big Laurel campers yawn and squint their eyes (an accurate impression). They’re called up to breakfast. One by one, cabins ascend the stairs and enter through the sliding screen door, to the wood pick-nick tables filled with food.
“Ooh! Biscuits and sausage!” “Can you pass the biscuits please?” “I like to put fruit on my biscuits because it’s like jelly!” “You know we have real jelly right?” “This is better though!” Campers chat as I sip my coffee. GRP mornings are the best mornings.
Story by Joe Heck with photos by Samantha Keebler and Brandon S. Marshall