It’s finally here, the Final Four days of camp that hold some of the biggest programming Timberlake has to offer. We always Go Big or Go Bigger, but there is something insanely magical about what we choose to do for our campers. We have closed out our legacy projects and are now shifting to reflecting on and celebrating summer 2019.

Day 1: Harvest Day + Spy Night
Our campers work all summer in the Barns & Gardens, waking up early to milk the cows and working under the hot afternoon sun to weed. Strawberries and snap peas, potatoes (planted by the students from the City School of the Arts!) and carrots, all were carefully harvested and washed.


The day was capped off by Spy Night, our biggest All-Camp-Game (ACG) of the summer. Twelve spies tried to smuggle secret messages into the Upper Lodge, and the entire camp attempted to catch them. Spies dressed up in outrageous costumes and came up with devious plans to try to avoid capture, all played as the evening turned to dusk near the end of each summer.


Day 2: Harvest Meal + Final Cabin Appreciations
Food doesn’t just come wrapped in plastic. It takes planning and hard work to take tiny seeds and transform them into an amazing meal. Our dinner was made completely from our F&W gardens (check out the Instagram for pictures!) and is one of the most humbling things we do. Following that magic, cabin groups split off to have one final camp adventure together and shared appreciations with each other. A quiet closing before the raucousness of the following days.

Day 3: Banquet
The most over-the-top adventure we offer. From Zombie Apocalypse with real fire to TL Before Time with dinosaurs roaming camp, we have always tied big spectacle to our final banquet. We also transform the lodge into something unrecognizable – a medieval jousting arena, a haunted mansion, an underground bunker, and a beautiful enchanted forest to name a few. Fun fact: we have used a throne first used in Alice in Wonderland banquet from 2009 in almost every single banquet since! The theme this year will lean heavily into the music of Timberlake brought to us daily by the Trading Post Legends.

Day 4: Fair + Final Candlelight Ceremony
Finally, Fair. TL traditionally runs the rides and sells crafts. This year we are introducing a new craft – Hydrodipped water bottles. The water bottles are dipped into a bucket of water that has a thin layer of spray paint floating on top, which creates a really cool effect on the bottle. Each one is unique, and the process been a hit with staff and campers at Timberlake. I even hydrodipped my coffee cup and phone case (and by phone, I mean really weird looking book)!

After the excitement of Fair, we retreat back to camp where we hold our final ceremony. Starting in our Council Fire area, our campers will silently proceed down to the Catamount Bell, where we will circle up and share appreciations for Timberlake itself. This time is always full of so many emotions, especially our oldest campers who will be finishing off their final summer at Timberlake (at least, until they come back as staff!).

I’ve been saying all summer to staff and campers that greatness awaits. During the final four, it finally arrives. Epic Camp magic for real, y’all.

Want more updates besides the blog? Follow us on Instagram: BigBellTL and check out our TL photo album on SmugMug.

— Jarod

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