Watermelons and candy trees

garden oneSo, I see the Camp Fletcher humans have planted their vegetable garden. It’s a pretty big one too.

Mr. Hawk and I perched high in a pine tree on the edge of their garden plot and watched silently as the humans worked all day under the hot sun planting rows of tomatoes, peppers, okra, squash, beans, eggplants, and watermelon. Well, I was silent, anyway. Mr. Hawk gets restless and has to let out screech every now and then. His call is a very loud and sharp noise. He never warns me when he’s about to cut loose; he just screeches whenever the mood takes him. This startles me every time, especially if I’m sitting next to him like I was on garden-planting day. Once, he screeched so loudly I almost fell out of the tree. Humans fall out of trees all the time but that would be an embarrassing thing  if it ever happened to an elf. If I fell out of a tree, it would be the talk of the forest for months, and I’d never hear the end of it.

As I watched the humans sweating in the garden, I wondered why they were bothering to go to so much trouble. I’m not sure what the point of a garden is when all the food you’ll ever need is already out in the forest just waiting for you to come and pick it up. Nuts, berries, roots, mushrooms—it’s all there for the taking, so why bother plowing up perfectly tasty plants to put in other plants?

I have to admit I like the taste of watermelon on a hot day, so I hope those plants grow and produce lots of huge melons. If the watermelons turn out nicely, I may have to liberate one or two of them when no humans are around. I won’t be greedy, though. I promise to share my purloined fruit with my animal friends. My deer friends love watermelon, maybe even more than I do.

Judging from the size of their new garden, the camp humans could have a whole lot of vegetables on their hands soon. I don’t know wcandy treehat they’re planning to do with all of that produce when it starts coming in, but I hope they trade some of it for candy. Candy is one thing that doesn’t grow in the woods, and I’ve never seen a candy bush or a candy vine in one of their gardens before. Where candy comes from is a mystery to me. All I know is that I like candy. A lot. All kinds of
candy. I think candy must grow in cooler climates than Alabama’s. Here the candy would probably melt before it got ripe.  I’d love to travel north some day so I could visit a candy plantation and eat a Snicker’s bar fresh from the tree.

The e-mail inbox has been a little quiet lately, although a nice prince from someplace called Nigeria wrote me the other day to let me know I’d inherited $3 million.  I wrote him back and told him that elves have no use for money, so he should probably just keep it.  Anyway, you can always write to me at twinkle@campfire-al.org.  I get very excited whenever one of my friends sends me an e-mail.

Jade from Birmingham sent me this message last week, although, instead of sending it by e-mail, she wrote it on paper and hid it under a rock in the woods.  That way of getting messages to me usually works too.

Dear Twinkle,

I’m going to be a camp counselor at Camp Fletcher this summer, but I’m a little afraid of elves. Do you promise you won’t jump out from under my bunk or from behind a tree to scare me?

At the same time, I think elves are super cool. Is there any chance I could meet you this summer while I’m at Camp Fletcher?

Your Counselor Friend,


Thanks for the nice note, Jade. You have nothing to be afraid of. Elves can be mischievous, but we don’t go around trying to scare humans (not the nice ones like you, anyway). That’s not our idea of fun. As for introducing myself to you this summer, we camp elves are very shy and we are terrible conversationalists, so we don’t often hold meetings with humans. But if you keep a sharp lookout this summer, you will probably see me out of the corner of your eye every once in a while. I’ll be watching you all summer long, though, and if the right moment comes, I might pop out and say “BOO!” Just kidding. That would be mean.

Your Friend,

Twinkle Loblolly
Camp Elf

Change lives. Start with yours.

100_4542What are you doing this summer? Will you be changing lives (including yours) in a positive way?

We are looking for a few more great camp counselors for the summer. Honestly, it might be one of the hardest jobs you’ve ever had but it will definitely be the most fun and memorable.

Where else can you get paid to make a positive impact on a child while playing field games, building campfires, canoeing, and swimming? Yeah, we couldn’t think of anywhere else like that either.

If you love kids and love nature, you could be just the person we’re looking for. If you’re not too keen on kids or the outdoors or fun we’re not going to be the right fit for you. So, if you or someone you know is looking for something life changing to do this summer, call us at 205.428.1059 or e-mail us at campfletcher@campfire-al.org today!

Request denied

From: Camp Fletcher Managementelf house
To: Camp Activities Director
Re: Programming ‘Adjustments’

Dear Activities Department,

Yes, I saw the huge basket of candy left outside the office door the other day. How could I miss it? Yes, I noticed that the basket appeared to be hand woven from twigs taken from Camp Fletcher’s trees, and I agree the decorations on the basket were adorable. Yes, you may have the Peeps. The malted milk eggs are all mine, though.

No, I don’t think the basket was a gift from “you know who” especially since we all know that “you know who” doesn’t exist.

Which reminds me . . .

.  .  . I’ve been reviewing the new activities you’ve proposed to be added to our 2017 summer camp programming schedule, and I have one question for you? Have you lost your mind?!  What in the world were you thinking? Okay, that’s technically two questions, but still. I thought you were the one staff member with a level head, but you’re as bad as the rest of them with this elf business. I know I asked you to tweak our lineup of activities as we do each year to keep summer camp fresh and relevant for the children, but what you’ve proposed  are definitely not the types of changes I had in mind.

Let’s review your suggested additions to the summer programming item by item, shall we?

Item 1—New Camp Songs: I have to admit that, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Elf” was kind of catchy, but it’s never going to replace “Boom Chicka Boom” in the Camp Fletcher songbook.  “The Ballad of Twinkle Loblolly,” “The Crazy Elf Dance,” and the other new songs you suggested were all atrocious. Since there’s no such thing as elves and there’s certainly no such thing as an elf named Twinkle Loblolly living at Camp Fletcher, there will be no elvish music sung or played at Camp Fletcher this summer. Not on my watch.

Item 2—Elf House Making: There’s nothing wrong with the necklaces and various painting projects the children do now. Having them waste valuable craft time to build elf houses will only encourage them to believe that elves exist, WHICH THEY DO NOT. Besides, since nobody knows how big elves are, how could anyone possibly know what size to make the elf houses or what to put in them? Have you thought of that? No way, Jose.

Item 3—Elf Hunting: We are not going to replace our nature walks through the woods with elf hunts. That’s not happening. Why? Even if it weren’t a dumb idea to attempt to find a potentially dangerous mystical creature living in our woods, the main reason is that there’s no such thing as elves, and the children will quickly tire of an activity whose stated goal is impossible to achieve.

Item 4—Elf Dress Up Day: This activity poses a security risk. If all the children dress up as elves, how would we know if a real elf infiltrated the camp. Not that elves are real—especially elves named Twinkle Loblolly. Request denied.

Items 5 through 10—Any and All Other Elf-Centric Activities: Any activities with the words “elf, elven, or Twinkle” in their names are automatically excluded from consideration. This includes elf dancing, elf archery, elf photo safari day, serving elf food (whatever that is) in the dining hall, forming a Friends of Twinkle secret society, and all of your other crazy suggestions. If we did any of that stuff, Camp Fletcher could be accused of false advertising and intentionally misleading our campers for making children believe an actual elf is living at the camp.

Please go back to the drawing board and come up with some regular activities we might actually be able to use this summer.  I expect to see your next round of suggestions by Friday.

Have a nice day,

Camp Fletcher Management

Okay, so they’re not exactly sleep number beds, but these are way cheaper

bedframesFolks, we are up to our ears in bedframes and we need your help. We have something like sixty sturdy metal bedframes that we’ve recently swapped out for new bunks in our cabins. The old ones are stashed all over the camp and we just need to get rid of them before this year’s summer camp season begins. We’ve repurposed a couple of them as trellises for climbing plants in our education garden, but that kind of craftiness only gets us so far in depleting the oversupply

These beds are in good condition and have a lot of life left in them. They come in various configurations (some bunkbeds, lots of singles). They would be perfect for hunting camps or anyone who just needs an extra bed around. You can have as many as you want for $10 each. You can call or e-mail the camp for more information (205.428.1059, campfletcher@campfire-al.org) .

We’re open during regular business hours Monday through Friday and could likely arrange a pickup on an evening or weekend if necessary.  Come and get ’em.

Make mine pepperoni

Next Thursday (April 20th) would be an excellent day to go shopping at the Summit and grab a pizza or any of the other tasty dishes at the California Pizza Kitchen. If you do that and bring along this coupon, 20% of your tab will go toward supporting Camp Fletcher. Oh, and you’ll get 10% off on your next visit as a thank you. How cool is that?

To make this work, you’ll need to bring the coupon with you.  You can download and print the coupon here: Camp Fire Alabama flyer-2

Feel free to share the coupon with everyone you know who likes food and might be likely to eat next Thursday.  Here’s the California Pizza Kitchen menu to whet your appetite.


Camp Fletcher loves Daxko

IMG_1320We’re entering the time of year when Camp Fletcher experiences its heaviest use, and as you might imagine, it takes a lot of hands to prepare a 91-year-old camp covering 280 acres for the influx of children we see every summer.

That’s why we were so grateful when Homewood-based software company Daxko included Camp Fletcher as part of its Impact Day on Friday.  Impact Day allows Daxko’s employees to give back to the community by volunteering for nonprofit organizations across the greater Birmingham area.

The 42 Daxko team members who came out on a glorious spring day put in a combined total of 264 hours of work at Camp Fletcher.  Among other things, Daxko’s team members cleared our nature and ropes course trails, gave our bunkhouses a thorough spring cleaning, painted a building, built a handicapped accessible ramp, painted picnic tables, cleared leaves and pine needles from roofs, cleaned our flagpoles, and much more.

There was fun mixed in with the hard work.  The Daxko team members were treated to a brief Camp Fletcher history lesson to open the day, they joined in one of our favorite camp songs to close the day, and there were plenty of smiles all day long.

Camp Fletcher couldn’t continue to operate without the generous support of individuals and community-minded companies like Daxko.  Thanks so much for the great work you did on Friday.



Camp registration update

While registration is already at capacity for all nine wresident campeeks of day camp at Camp Fletcher for summer 2017, we still have openings for both weeks of traditional resident (overnight) camp.  For first through fifth graders, resident camp will be held from June 4th through 9th. Resident camp for sixth through ninth graders will be from June 25th through 30th.

If you are interested in sending your child to day camp, you may add him or her to our waitlist. Children will be enrolled from our waitlist as vacancies occur

For more information on resident camp or about waitlisting your child for day camp, please call us at 205.428.1059 or e-mail us at campfletcher@campfire-al.org. Click here to register your child for resident camp or add your child to our day camp waitlist.