Fun, Friends, Memories = Camp

PrettyPlaceWhile going through the motions of a pretty regular weekend, I noticed a number of friends were talking and/or Facebookin’ about their kids going to summer camp. More often than not, it seems most of my friends are sending their kids to Camp Greenville. That is AWESOME!!

Camp Greenville was my ‘home away from home’ for ten or more years. My first year, I went with my cousin, John Wakefield, and that was that. I was hooked. We were there for two weeks and were assigned to one of the (then) newer cabins – “Holmes II.” By the time we were all teenagers, we were on that mountain for two months every summer. It was almost like an unintended “college prep” experience.

Some of my best childhood memories are from Camp Greenville. I did things there that I haven’t done since. Rapelled a few hundred feet at a time, galloped through mountain trails on a horse, canoed down whitewater rapids, hiked the Appalachian Trail for a week, showered under huge (and freezing) waterfalls, and on and on. Side note: I don’t feel the need to hike up the Appalachian Trail again. As my now 4 year-old says, “Thas not ma’ jam!” My legs are still burning from those particular ‘adventure weeks.’ What was I thinkin?? That ain’t my jam.

I learned more about budgeting from “The Store” at camp than I ever remember learning in school. After all, if I ever ran out of Sugar Daddy, Nutty Buddy, or BombPop money too early, I had real problems.

The building in the pic above is called “Pretty Place.” Tons of weddings are performed here every year and the view is quite spectacular. I forget the exact number, but on a clear night you can see three or four states from this vantage point. My camper buds and I have rapelled off the front of the chapel a couple of times, and climbed up and hung out on the roof of Pretty Place dozens. What many folks don’t know is there’s a rock ledge beyond that stone wall in the photo. As teenagers, we spent many summer hours on that ledge.

Shoot… to this day I have a metal ring inside my pinky finger from an intense game of “Murder Ball.” I’m sure they’ve changed the name of that game by now, haha.

If I had to pick my most favorite activity about Camp Greenville, it would be the week-long canoeing trips. That was flat out fun. Paddling (and floating) down the French Broad, Nantahala, and Ocoee rivers in one week is a blast!

The all-time best part about Camp Greenville, however, are the friendships and memories you make as a kid.

What’s the worst part you may ask? The answer is probably two-fold:

1) Hearing the bell at Lake Rotary ring. As counselors or counselors-in-training, hearing this bell meant we had to sprint to the swimming lake, get in a line the width of the swimming ropes, and dredge the muddy bottom of a FREEZING mountain lake (hoping it was a drill). It was awful, and a drill every time.

2) Leaving camp.

As the sign says on the other side of the lake: Be A Great Boy! & Be A Great Girl!


Trivia question I don’t have the answer to but always wondered: Why is Lake Sudie always so warm, and Lake Rotary so frigid??? They’re only a few hundred yards apart so I can’t see anyone saying “Sudie is up the hill so it’s closer to the sun. Duh!” Anyone know?


  1. Franklin,

    Thank you for sharing your Camp Greenville story! We love to hear stories about the impact Camp has made on countless young men and women!

  2. Love it! Thank you for your blog today. Y Camp Greenville is a fantastic place. We are in the midst of summer camp – so great to see all the smiling faces! Some days I wish I were a kid again.

  3. Carter Warren says

    Man, one of my favorite places on earth! Spent almost every summer as a kid up there. Thanks for sharing! Maybe I”ll have some “bug juice” for lunch today to bring back some memories.

  4. patricia stott says

    Your photo is beautiful. Would you be so kind as to send me the actual photo (.jpeg) via email? My daughter is getting married there in October and wanted to use this as a wedding ‘Save The Date’ card :-).

    Thanks so much for your consideration! -p

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