Dog day afternoon

dog days

On Saturday, August 26th, Camp Fletcher will bid summer an early goodbye in grand style, and you’re invited to the party. Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. that day we’re going to host games, nature hikes, educational activities, great food, and any other fun outdoorsy campy thing we can think of between now and then.

We’re doing this to celebrate the end of another great summer season at Camp Fletcher and to share our beautiful facility with the entire community on a hot summer day.

The cost? Free! We’ll be accepting (okay, encouraging) modest donations, and sure, we’ll be charging for summer food favorites like snow cones and hot dogs; but every cent we raise that day will go toward providing scholarships for campers who would like to go to Camp Fletcher but whose families couldn’t afford it otherwise.

We’re calling this extravaganza the Dog Day Family Fest.  Why that name?  Well, let’s start with the date–our family fest is taking place during the dog days of summer. Or maybe it’s not. We’re not sure.  We read all the way through this article in Wikipedia, and we’re still kind of confused on that part.

More to the point, we’ll be partnering with a bunch of great organizations including the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.  Our friends from the GBHS will be sending one of their mobile donation centers to Camp Fletcher for Dog Day.  So, we’re going to have actual dogs at Dog Day.

To fully flesh out the dog-related theme, we’re going to have a hot dog eating contest between the Jefferson County Sheriffs and the McAdory Firemen.  Trust us when we tell you this contest will be glorious. And silly. And probably messy. You can come out to Camp Fletcher and see it live or stay home and watch it on the nightly news that night. It’s going to be that cool.

We’ll be telling you more about some of our other Dog Day Family Fest partners and activities as the day draws closer, but for now, just pencil in that date on your calendar and make plans to bring your family and friends or just yourself to Camp Fletcher for a wholesome afternoon of fun for everyone.

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Memo to IT, Re: Elf

From: Camp Fletcher Management
To: IT Department Management
Re: Twinkle Loblolly, the ‘Camp Elf’

 Dear IT Management, 

How is your claim that “no one in our department created the twinkle@campfire-al.org e-mail address” even possible? If you guys didn’t set up that e-mail address, then who did? Nobody, that’s who! Only you folks in IT know how to create things like e-mail addresses and websites around here, so I’m holding you personally responsible. I’m starting to get questions about this e-mail address, so this is rapidly becoming a black eye on our organization.

And what do you mean when you tell us you are unable to delete or shut down the elf’s e-mail, and “every time we eliminate that address it turns itself back on?”  I’m no IT wizard, but even I know that e-mail accounts can’t create themselves and they definitely don’t “turn themselves back on” after being deleted.  E-mail doesn’t work that way. I need a better explanation than that.

IMG_1110 (2)What is the matter with  you people? Aiding and abetting a camp elf has to be a crime or something. Besides, everyone knows that elves don’t exist. And if I discover that one of you is responsible for creating the @twinkleloblolly Twitter account we just found out about, you are going to be looking for a new job so fast it will make your head spin.

The alleged elf left another piece of leafmail today. This one was a maple leaf covered with teensy-tinsy letters and left for us in its regular place outside the camp office. It was held down by two licorice sticks.  The red licorice was scrumptious, but I’m not a fan of the black ones, so I left it for the interns to share. I’m attaching the latest message from this Loblolly character. Please have our IT security team analyze it for digital fingerprints to see if it can point to who this person really is and who inside the organization may be helping him or her.

This insanity really must stop. You can be sure that I’m going to bring this elf business up with the Big Boss in our department heads’ meeting on Wednesday.

Hi, it’s Twinkle. It’s been a nice week at Camp Fletcher, and spring is definitely on the way; but it’s still too quiet here without all of the children. That’s why I was so happy when Rick from Alabaster sent me such a nice e-mail this week.

Rick wrote to tell me he enjoys reading my leafmails, but he had never heard of a camp elf before.  I’m sorry about the confusion, Rick. I’m actually a wood elf who lives at Camp Fletcher. People usually call me “the camp elf” instead of the more correct “wood elf who lives at the camp,” and I’m fine with that.  There are several kinds of elves—there are wood elves like me, but there are also prairie elves, mountain elves, desert elves, and even city elves. There are water elves too, but our water elf cousins are kind of snobbish and insist that we refer to them as sprites. Lah-dee-dah.

And no Rick, I’m not invisible. I’m just as visible as you or any other third grader in your class. It’s just that we wood elves are very, very shy and very, very good at hiding, so it’s almost impossible for you to see us if we don’t want you to. And we almost never want you to see us. Elves can be like that mockingbird you hear singing in a nearby tree but can’t spot through the leaves, no matter how hard you look. Actually that bird you hear at Camp Fletcher might really be me. Wood elves love to hide in trees; and my imitation of Mr. Mockingbird is good enough to fool anyone, even Mrs. Mockingbird.  If you do see me when you visit Camp Fletcher, it’s likely to be as a quick flash or tiny movement out of the corner of your eye—in other words, you’ll only see me as a twinkle. That’s how I got my first name, of course, but I bet you already knew that. So if you almost see something when you’re at Camp Fletcher, that’s probably just me saying hi.

Anyway, thanks for writing, Rick—tell all your friends that they can write me too. I can’t wait for you to come back to Camp Fletcher this summer.  Good luck with your book report in Ms. Haling’s class. I’m sure she’s not nearly as mean as you say she is.

Your friend,

Twinkle Loblolly

Camp Elf

Camp Fletcher Education Garden & State Farm Neighborhood Assist

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Camp Fire Alabama has been selected as one of 200 finalists in the State Farm Neighborhood Assist® program! Our submission, along with the other finalists, is live at http://www.neighborhoodassist.com and anyone with a valid email address can logon and vote for our cause. The 40 causes that receive the most votes will be announced on Nov. 30 and a $25,000 grant will be awarded to the affiliated nonprofits to implement the solution.

The Camp Fletcher Education Garden will provide students and their families an opportunity to learn about the food they eat, while providing the community with a new source of fresh, local produce. Our organization strives to improve the lives and welfare of people in our community, and we can further that mission by rallying together and encouraging others to join us in support by voting.

To support Camp Fletcher Education Garden and vote, click here  to vote! The voting phase is open from Oct. 26-Nov.4 and anyone with a valid email address is eligible to vote up to 10 times per day.

State Farm Neighborhood Assist is a crowd-sourced philanthropic initiative that lets communities determine where grant funding is awarded. The initiative utilizes the State Farm Youth Advisory Board to vet submissions for causes and empowers the community to vote for the final 40 grant winners. The program has been inspired by the incredible number of neighborhoods that are coming together to solve a problem or improve their community.

We are thrilled to make it to the top 200, but we need your help to win! Vote for Camp Fletcher Education Garden TODAY! 

Fall Programs & Events 2016

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Summer has ended, and we want to say a huge THANK YOU to each member of our camp family – you made this summer an unforgettable one! We’re so excited to bring you even more fun as the weather turns cold. We’ve got some great events coming up this fall, and we hope to see you soon at Camp Fletcher!

Our first event is also one of our most popular! Junk In Your Trunk, our community yard sale, is Saturday, October 1, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. This event is always a hit, and we’re expecting a great turn out of eager sellers looking to unload all kinds of unique items. Have nothing to sell? Stop by and shop! Seller spots are $5 and seller set-up begins at 7:00 a.m. Admission is free to the public and the gates open at 8:00 a.m. You’ll definitely want to bring your friends and family to this HUGE sale!

Click here for more information & to reserve a seller spot today!

We’re also excited to be hosting an overnight retreat this fall for 1st – 6th graders! Join us October 15-16, 2016 for fun fall activities, outdoor living skills and s’more! Cost is $35 per camper if registered by October 7. Price increases to $40 on October 8. Space is limited & registration is required. To register, please complete, sign and submit a Health History Form to the Camp Fletcher office.

Click here for registration forms, packing lists and more!

Make plans to join us for our second annual holiday event  – Dash Away 10K –  on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at Camp Fletcher! Runners and walkers of all ages are welcome to join us at our second annual 10K & Family Fun Day at Camp Fletcher! As the name suggests, this combo event will include a 10K, 5K and 1 Mile run on our USATF certified course (#AL15064JD) alongside a FREE family-fun, holiday themed event. There will be food trucks, kids games & activities (including bouncy houses, pictures with Santa, ornament making etc.), and a vendor area for any last minute Christmas gifts you need to pick up!

Race registration is NOW OPEN with an early bird saving of $10 on running spots until August 31st!

For more information about any of these exciting events, be sure to check out our website at http://www.campfire-al.org and ‘Like’ us on Facebook!

 

Fall Field Trips @ Camp Fletcher

Picture2Did you know that Camp Fletcher isn’t just a summer camp! The fun doesn’t end when school starts — in fact, it’s just beginning! Our outdoor education program provides public, private and home schools the opportunity to experience camp all year long. Using the outdoor education curriculum created specifically for Camp Fletcher, we encourage students to become ecologically literate, responsible citizens, in an experiential learning environment. The program utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to promote the appreciation of our natural surroundings and the values of working together. Our aim is to teach students the concepts of sustainability and interdependency outside of the classroom walls.

Our program activities include creek ecology, archery, hiking, and low ropes course initiates, among many others. Content is completely customizable depending on your specific class needs. Additionally, our programs align with Alabama Course of Study Standards, and Camp Fletcher is accredited by the American Camp Association.

If you’re looking for something new and exciting this school year, look no further than Camp Fletcher’s Outdoor Education program! We’re now booking for fall field trips, so reserve your date before our calendar is full. For more information and an online reservation form, visit our website today!

VISTA Spotlight: Jade

Summer is always an exciting time at Camp Fletcher, but this summer has been especially exciting with the addition of two new VISTA members, Cynthia and Jade. Jade joined Camp Fletcher and Camp Fire Alabama in June as our Education Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA. She has some fantastic ideas for our garden education program, and we know she’s going to have a great time serving with us!

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Jade is 23 years old and was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from The University of Montevallo. We’re so excited about all of the passion and experience Jade brings to our VISTA team!

What made you decide to serve as a VISTA with Camp Fletcher?
I decided serve as a VISTA with Camp Fletcher for two reasons. First, I want to have experience in the education field and, secondly, Camp Fletcher matches with my goals for a future career in school counseling.

What previous experiences do you have that you feel will equip you for your position?
A majority of my work and volunteer experience has been in youth service. During college, I worked as a teacher’s aide at Child Study Center, a senior camp counselor at YMCA Camp Cosby and mentored for two years with Blueprints College Access Initiative.

What are your goals for your year of service? What do you hope to accomplish?
My number one goal for my year of service is to make sure every garden exploration lesson plan is up to course standards and is fun! Also, I want every day to be a day of learning, not just for kids, but every adult — as well as myself.

What aspect of your position are you most excited about?
I am most excited about interacting with kids, but I am so excited about doing a job I love. With this mindset I know I can give more than 100% to achieve success for everyone involved in the garden education program at Camp Fletcher.

What aspect of your position do you feel will be the most challenging?
This job is a new adventure, the most challenging aspect of this job is to make a curriculum that everyone will like and find successful.

We know Jade is going to do a great job, and we can’t wait to share the garden education program she’s designing with you next spring! For more information about Camp Fletcher’s garden and the VISTA project, visit us online!

 

Fall Gardening at Camp Fletcher

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October was a busy month for all of us at Camp Fletcher! We had a great time at all of our Fall Events, and we even managed to plant our fall garden. With the addition of our new VISTA members, Danelle and Chele, we’ve really been able to get to work and the fall garden is looking great!

This is our very first fall garden, and we learn something new each time we plant! Our summer garden yielded corn, squash, tomatoes and more, and we are thrilled to try our hand at some fall vegetables. Our plants this time include carrots, garlic, strawberries, kale, cabbage, collards, and three varieties of lettuce. We also added a fence around the garden and a bench with planters. We couldn’t have done it without the help from Camp Fire Alabama employees spending time in the garden last week!

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Many of the plants came from The University of Montevallo’s Organic Plant Sale. Everything is in the ground and growing, and we’re excited to see what we’re able to harvest in the coming months.

If you would like more information about Camp Fletcher’s Education Garden, click here. We’re always looking for volunteers with green thumbs to help out, so feel free to contact us today if you’d like to get involved!