The bell rang, as usual, at 7:30pm. A crowd gathered at the pavilion, and I was brimming with enthusiasm. It was Find the Foxes night, which meant the whole camp would be spending the next hour in a mad dash around camp. The foxes were little pieces of paper slipped in the most secret spots, and not only did we have to search for them, but we had to evade the fleet-footed counselors (‘hounds’) who were trying to tag us and steal our well-earned prizes. Once I got my group, I knew we’d be a powerhouse. I had Tre’ Ingram and Tristan Oldham and Zoe White, all of whom are great runners and spirited team players, as well as Michael Godek, Delaney Field and several other great kids. We all tightened our shoelaces and prepared to run.
As soon as the bell announced the beginning of the game, all six teams took off running, most of them towards the upper fields, the gym and the rec hall. Shelby’s team, though, strategized and headed down the long path to the lake. This strategy would put them in the forefront of our challengers for the night. My team, though, did a quick pass through the upper fields and then sprinted around camp to the riflery range, picking up several high-value colored foxes on the way, before we circled back up the lake hill shortcut. Tre’, my oldest camper, immediately took on a leadership role. He and I took shifts looking out for Justin and Nathaniel, the counselors who were trying to tag us, while the other one made sure we had all nine campers in our group. Everyone was committed to the team. We were sweaty and panting as we hoofed up the hill behind the dining hall, but with Tre’ and Tristan’s spirit and Zoe’s enthusiasm for running ahead, we were very much in the lead.
As the evening activity wore on and it became clear that my team and Shelby’s team were far in the lead, and Justin and Nathaniel began to target our groups. Our brash strategy had to change. We snuck behind buildings, only to find ourselves cornered between two hounds. Justin called us all in to a group huddle. “Give me one of your foxes,” he said, “and listen up.” We all leaned in further. He got this maniacal little gleam in his eye, and a smile played on his lips. “You have five seconds to run.”
And we were off again, screaming warnings to other teams.
At 8:30, the bell announced the end of the game. Soft pretzels were distributed. We all gazed up at the bright, full Supermoon that hung lopsided on top of the trees. The winner wouldn’t be announced until the following morning, but I for one was too elated by the run to care about the victory. Later that night, as I was getting my girls heading towards bed, Tristan came up and gave me a fist bump. He explained to his friends how awesome our team had been, how they couldn’t have done it without me. That meant more than the victory (which, it turned out, went to Shelby’s team anyway). My team fought so hard, and I made nine new friends because of it.
Other Tall Timbers Happenings
– In Archery, Noah Gross shot like Katniss Everdeen
– Also in Archery, Owen Matthews hit the can, Owen Abbey hit the tennis ball off the target and Zach Buchalter hit the bullseye
– Hannah Miles won two games of jailbreak in Tennis
– Ethan Fannon beat the instructor in Tennis
– Claire Schmitt got up the hard side of the wall, and as a reward she got to hit the instructor with water balloons
– Liana May and Tristan Oldham won World Cup in Soccer