Pitch your tent at Camp Fletcher

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‘inTENTS’ Family Event! Saturday, October 28th at 3:00 p.m. till Sunday, October 29th at 8:00 a.m.

Bring the whole family and your camping gear to Camp Fletcher when we host an “intense” night outdoors.

We’ll be hosting field games, lead a night hike through our trails, make s’mores by the campfire, make crafts, tell stories, and much more.  Best of all, participants will be able to camp out with us overnight.

It’s going to be a great night in the great outdoors.  The cost is just $10 per person, and reservations are required.

Contact us today @ 205.428.1059 if you would like more information or click HERE to register! Click inTENTS flyer 2017 to download our flyer with more details.

An unwelcome visitor

After making friends with Bo the box turtle, camp elf Twinkle Loblolly continues his journey over the ridge on an urgent errand on behalf of Rufus the lovelorn bobcat.

angry manxThe sun beat down as Twinkle summited the ridge and began his downhill journey towards Manx’s territory. It was a little after noon, but it felt more like mid-July than late September in the forest.  Elves don’t sweat, but they do feel the heat the same as anyone else, and Twinkle made sure to stay in the shade as he made his way down the path.

The Camp Fletcher trees felt a little sleepier every day at this time of year.  The vibrant green luster of spring and summer turned into something a fraction duller and a bit more tired with every passing afternoon. Twinkle looked forward to the vivid reds and oranges and browns of autumn, but those colors hadn’t yet replaced the healthy, living green as the summer forest canopy exhausted itself in this odd in-between season.

Twinkle also was ready for a snap of cool weather to vent away summer air that had grown stuffy and more lifeless as summer wound down. Twinkle thought about this as he walked and realized that he liked all four seasons. For some reason his very favorite season of the year was always the next one. His least favorite seasons were the in-between ones where the old season wasn’t quite gone and the next hadn’t quite arrived. This was definitely an in-between time and they were mostly about waiting—waiting for something old and tired to depart to make room for something new and exciting.

It was a steamy afternoon, but Twinkle shivered a little as he crossed the property line that took him out of Camp Fletcher and into The World. Even though the line wasn’t marked, he instinctively knew when he crossed it. He could feel the non-Camp Fletcherishness of it in his very soul. The wood elf didn’t leave his 300 acre domain very often or for very long and he was always uncomfortable outside of the camp grounds. Perhaps because he was already on edge, he jumped when he heard the deep female voice call out to him from above.

“I heard you were looking for me, elf.” The voice was part purr, part growl, and not at all friendly.

“You must be Miss Manx,” Twinkle said looking up at the large bobcat perched on a branch of large oak tree. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“We’ll see about that,” the bobcat snarled back. “I know why you’re here, and you’re wasting your time. You might as well head back to your precious little camp right now before I decide to eat you.”

“Why that’s not very nice, Miss Manx. You know you wouldn’t do that. I’ll bet you’re a big pussy cat deep down inside.”

The bobcat showed her fangs and hissed at Twinkle in reply.

“Do you mind if I join you up there so we can have a little chat?” Twinkle asked, undeterred by the unfriendly welcome.

“You certainly may not. This is my territory and this is my tree,” the bobcat snarled.  “Don’t you dare invade my private . . . ”

But it was too late. Before Manx could finish her sentence, Twinkle had already shimmied up the trunk and had perched comfortably on the branch beside her, just outside of swatting range.

Twinkle Loblolly would love to hear from you.  You can e-mail our camp elf at twinkle@campfire-al.org.

What are you waiting for?

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If you haven’t reserved your spot for Junk in Your Trunk, what in the world are you waiting for? Our popular bi-annual yard sale is just around the corner, returning to Camp Fletcher on Saturday October 7th between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

JIYT is a good time for everyone. The way it works is our sellers park their cars on the perimeter of our huge playing field (and elsewhere if the spots on the field sell out) and spread their treasures on tarps or tables or literally just sell their wares out of their trunks. You never know what you’ll find at JIYT, but we can almost guarantee there will be something you can’t live without.

It costs just $10 to reserve your selling spot for the day and it’s totally, completely, absolutely free to shop ’til you drop. Our general store will be open and we’ll have sodas, snacks and sandwiches for sale. We’ll also have tables for rent ($5 each) while they last.

To reserve your space, here’s the link to the Junk in Your Trunk registration form with all the details, fine print and legalese. JIYT Registration Form

The legend of Bo’s Brook

When we last heard from Twinkle Loblolly, the camp elf had agreed to take a rare journey “over the ridge” to meet Manx the bobcat and plead the case for Manx’s rejected boyfriend, the lovelorn Rufus.

imagesTwinkle sighed with happiness and there was joy in his elfin heart as he stepped confidently onto the wildlife trail and struck out deep into the forest. It was a beautiful Alabama morning—not quite summer, but not quite fall either.  Shafts of sunlight broke through the trees here and there, giving the Camp Fletcher woods the feeling of a massive outdoor cathedral.

After an hour or so of walking, Twinkle was still well within the 300 acre woods that make up his Camp Fletcher home, but he was fast approaching the incline that would take him over the ridge and eventually to the land beyond the camp.

It was such a nice day that the wood elf dawdled along the way before stopping at a small spring-fed stream for a drink.  In fact Twinkle went out of his way to pass by the tiny creek, tucked away in one of the most beautiful corners of the Camp Fletcher woods.  The stream didn’t have a name, but it was special nonetheless.  All of the animals for a long way in every direction knew that the water flowing in this particular stream was the coldest and tastiest water in the whole wide world. This water is so delicious that this tiny stream deserves a name, Twinkle thought. Maybe I should give it one.

When Twinkle arrived, the only animal drinking at the stream was a deer.  Twinkle hailed the young buck hoping to hear some local gossip, but the deer wasn’t in the mood to talk. After finishing his drink, the buck bounded into the forest without so much as a hello or a how-do-you-do.  Twinkle didn’t take offense or think the buck was being rude—deer could be like that around strangers. It was just their way.

Twinkle cupped his hands and had just dipped them into the water for the fourth or fifth time when he heard a soft and very slow voice behind him.

“Where are you going in such an all fired hurry, Master Elf?” the voice asked.

“I’m not in a hurry at all,” Twinkle said. “And who’s doing the asking?”

“I’m asking,” the voice replied. “Over here.”

Even though elves are very sharp-eyed, it took Twinkle a moment to spot the source of the voice, a box turtle cleverly camouflaged among the forest leaves.

“Oh, there you are. Hello Mister Box Turtle. I’m Twinkle. I don’t believe we’ve met before.”

“No, we’ve never met before,” the turtle said. “You can call me Bo.”

“Twinkle Loblolly, at your service,” the elf replied.

“I know who you are, wood elf. I’ve heard all about you. You’re famous in these woods.”

“Only good things, I hope,” Twinkle said.

“Mostly,” conceded the turtle. “But I do hear that you’re very mischievous.”

“I like to keep things interesting,” admitted Twinkle.

“Are you going to answer my question?”

“What question?” said Twinkle, now thoroughly confused.

“The question about where you’re going in such a hurry. Do you have problems remembering things, Master Elf?” the turtle asked.

“I get distracted when I’m thinking,” Twinkle conceded. “And right now I’m thinking about something very, very important.”

“What’s that?” the turtle asked.

“What to name this stream,” Twinkle replied. “Names are very important things, so it’s not a decision to be entered-into lightly.”

“Hrumph,” replied the turtle cocking his head, his red eyes challenging the elf. “The stream doesn’t care if it has a name or not. The animals don’t care either—the water from it is just as delicious no matter what the stream is called.”

“I suppose,” Twinkle said, “but I think I’m going to name it anyway.”

“Are you going to answer my question or not?” the turtle said with a touch of impatience in his voice.

“Question? Oh, yes, of course—I’m heading over the ridge.”

“Why would you do a silly thing like that when everything you could ever want is in these woods right here?” the turtle asked.

“It’s not for me. It’s for my friend Rufus. He’s in love with a lady bobcat named Manx.  Apparently Manx isn’t interested in Rufus, and Rufus asked me to speak to her and try to change her mind about him.”

“Sounds like a complete waste of time,” the turtle said.

“Probably,” Twinkle allowed, “but I made a promise to a friend, and a promise is a promise. Besides, it’s such a beautiful day for a long walk.”

“The way I see it, it’s a perfect day for staying right where you are and enjoying one of the nicest days of the year,” Bo the turtle said. “Why should I go anywhere else when I’m happy as I can be right where I am? I don’t understand restless creatures like people and deer and you elves. You’re always in such a hurry to be somewhere else that you don’t stop to enjoy wherever it is you are. This is my favorite place in the world, and you’ll never catch me very far away from where we are right now.”

“That may be true, but I still have to be going,” Twinkle said. “It’s been nice to meet you, and you’ve solved a big problem for me.”

“What’s that?” the turtle asked.

“I know what I’m going to name this stream. From now on this spot will be known as Bo’s Brook.”

“I like that name. I like it a lot,” said the turtle, who seemed surprised and touched by the new name. “I’ve never had anything named after me before. I wish you’d stay and talk some more, Twinkle, but if you must hurry over the ridge, I wish you a safe journey. You’re welcome back here any time you want to slow down, Master Elf. I’ll be right where you found me.”