The Dining Hall Dish

June 30, 2014

My mom always told me that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and that seems to hold true for Camp Tall Timbers too. The dining hall is where we sit down with our cabin, fill our bellies and talk about our experiences of the last few hours. It’s where we connect, where we laugh and, in some cases, compete with great fervor for who has the biggest potato chip (it gets pretty serious, you guys. People get intense about potato chip sizes up in here.)

Another fantastic thing about the CTT dining hall is that it comes with its own reading material. By which I mean, since time immemorial, campers get together with their tents or cabins and the end of each session to create plaques that symbolize their experience at camp. One from 1976 reads “The Multicolored Chlorinated Dippies of Tents 1-7”. Another more recent one says, in simple block lettering with no decoration, “We Aren’t Creative Enough For This Plaque.” Plaques commemorate inside jokes and celebrate the biggest victories of the session. (My own campers have already come up with several ideas for our plaque. One hilarious night in our cabin, my co-counselor Kayla blurted out “A is for Excellent,” which saying immediately became the funniest thing ever and a must for our plaque. Another option is “YGG, You Go Girl”, signature phrase of beloved counselor Tonilee. I anticipate a lively and good-natured argument about which option will be the basis for our plaque when time rolls around to make it.)

Okay, one more great CTT dining hall tradition. This one is the Freeze Game. You see, even camp is not without its little responsibilities: after every meal, somebody has to clean up the table. And because this chore is so onorous, there is a special game we play to even out the work. When somebody calls out “FREEZE!” everybody has to pause in whatever they’re doing, whether it’s pouring lemonade or taking a big sticky bite of a PBJ. The caller must then get somebody to trip up, to move, and the first person to do so must wipe off the table after announcements. Creative “Freeze” callers pile things on campers’ heads to see what falls off, or call out the word when someone is away from the table getting a refill. But invariably, the loser of the Freeze game isn’t too put out, because that person gets to be the caller for the next meal’s game. All’s fair in camp and clean up, right?

Other Tall Timbers Happenings

–       Wet Your Feet Weekers Leah Lawson and Donovan Nordstrom did a great job in tubing

–       Rocketry launched their first rockets and it was awesome

–       Cooper Horn went mountainboarding for the first time

–       The Red Bulls lost to the Yellow Polka-dotted Hippopotami in flag football

–       Ping pong tournament players now have 48 hours to complete their next match-up

–       CIT 2s did a great job with the music at last night’s campfire

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