I believe

From: Lauren
Sent: Monday, June 5, 2017 1:30 PM
To: twinkle@campfire-al.org
Subject: I Believe

Dear Twinkle,

I just want to say, the adults at Camp Fletcher may not believe in you but the Campers sure do. I know my sister, brothers, and I do. But I have a question. Doesn’t it bother you when people don’t believe in you? Can’t you show people that you exist so that they’ll believe? I wish more people knew that magical creatures existed.

Much love (and always believing),

From: Twinkle
Sent: Tuesday, June 6, 2017 12:09 PM
To: Lauren
Subject: re: I Believe


Thank you so much for your sweet e-mail. It’s so nice to hear from one of my camper friends.

You asked me a question that I think about a lot. I’ve even asked my animal friends what I should do, and they can’t agree on the answer.  Mr. Hawk thinks I should join in the fun at Camp Fletcher like any other camper.  He thinks I should be with you in the mornings, singing camp songs, playing games with you on the field and canoeing down Shades Creek with you. But Mr. Hawk is a showoff.  He likes to fly high and proud for anyone to see, and he’ll even screech at you if he thinks he’s not getting enough attention.

Miss Bobcat has the exact opposite opinion. She’s super shy, and the people at Camp Fletcher hardly ever see her. When the camp is full of campers, Miss Bobcat goes deep into the woods to hide.  She says I would be crazy to let people know I really exist. She says people would try to trap me if they knew I was real, so they could put me in a zoo or study me in a laboratory.  I’ve been living at Camp Fletcher for 91 years, and I still haven’t made up my mind yet about this.

p1422374974-3It makes me very happy to know that you believe in me and that your sister and brothers do too (please say hi to them for me). But, Lauren, it doesn’t matter so much if you believe in me. What really matters is that you believe in Lauren. If you believe in yourself with all your heart, you will be able to do great things in life. I hope your school and Camp Fletcher are helping you to learn all about how powerful you really are inside. You can accomplish fantastic things by believing in yourself and becoming the best Lauren you can be.

Keep looking for me, Lauren, and you might see me–if only out of the corner of your eye.

With love and friendship,

Twinkle Loblolly
Camp Elf

Whether you’re like Lauren and have a question for Twinkle or you just want to say hi, Camp Fletcher’s very own elf would love to hear from you. You can e-mail Twinkle at twinkle@campfire-al.org.



Garden Party

VISTA garden specialist Corri Marteny makes a sale at the Bessemer Farmer’s Market

We held a little garden party at Camp Fletcher, but this garden party was light on the tea, scones, and cucumber sandwiches and heavy on the manual labor.

Squash whisperer and VISTA volunteer Kayleigh Funderburk is all smiles at our garden party

About a dozen of Camp Fire Alabama’s staff along with our AmeriCorps/VISTA volunteers showed up at the camp garden on Friday, to hoe, pull weeds, put in more plants and generally spruce up the place under the direction of our VISTA garden specialist Corri Marteny.

Our garden party attendees were a tired, dirty, sweaty mess by day’s end, but there was a whole lot of happy laughter ringing out between the rows all day long.

Camp Fletcher has two gardens.  There’s a small education garden filled with flowers, herbs and vegetable plants. We use this garden to teach young campers and school field trip participants about where their food comes from. Education garden activities are based on a curriculum developed by members of our VISTA team.

Camp Fire Alabama executive director Nancy Meadows clears weeds from the Camp Fletcher Garden

Then there’s the larger production garden that we use to raise produce we’re selling twice a week at the Bessemer Farmer’s Market. Proceeds from the garden will be used to expand our garden programming.

Thursday was opening day for the farmer’s market, and we sold out our first harvest of yellow squash and cucumbers.  Another bounty of squash and cukes will be on offer at today’s market. We also have okra, peppers, beans, watermelons and tomatoes in the ground, and they will be available for sale at the market as soon as they’re ready.

In the next few weeks, garden specialist Corri will be upgrading our composting program. She will be turning uneaten food at Camp Fletcher’s dining hall into rich soil. Turning food waste into black gold is a kind of natural alchemy, but it’s just the start. Corri is also planning to incorporate vermiculture (a fancy word for using worms to help in the composting process) into our gardening bag of tricks.

So look for us at the farmer’s market in Bessemer on Mondays and Thursdays (see their site for locations and times), and buy some delicious veggies fresh picked from Camp Fletcher’s garden. We’ve given our yellow squash a trial run and we promise it makes an amazing casserole. If you want our recipe, just ask.

Camp Fire staffers and VISTA volunteers getting down and dirty in the garden