Greetings from Namanu!

P9250124My favorite thing to do in September is go for long walks around camp. The days are still warm and sunny, but Namanu is quiet, and you can lose yourself in the peacefulness of it all. As I’ve walked to the far-flung corners of camp, I’ve visited with friends as they’ve readied themselves for winter. My squirrel pals are busy gathering food, and many of my bird friends are saying good-bye. There’s a good feeling around camp in September—it’s the ending of one season, and the beginning of a new one, with change and promise.

Outdoor School moves in

After a few weeks of solitude and peace, I started to get a little antsy for some companionship. Gertrude and I lamented how dark and quiet the dining hall had been, and we resolved to throw an elf party if nothing happened soon. Fortunately, the party came to us! The new Outdoor School staff moved in, bringing their cheery attitudes and colorful décor. I’ve spent the past couple of weeks getting to know the new ones and catching up with the returning ones. Their first week of Outdoor School went swimmingly, with happy children learning all about the woods. They even enjoyed beautiful weather.

Fall’s new furniture

P9250111Walking around camp in the fall, an elf has a chance to test out the season’s newest furniture offerings. You’ll be strolling along near Blue Wing, in the very same spot you strolled along yesterday, and suddenly come upon a brand-new table! It’s really rather marvelous. When this happened to me a few days ago, I put a grand picnic together (complete with huckleberry preserves, hazelnut cakes, and Oregon Grape sparkling juice), and invited Gertrude to a little feast. We dined at this pretty table, and watched the sun set behind the hills.

The beetles feast too

The day after our delicious meal, I was wandering along Walker Creek when I saw a great friend, a ruby-backed beetle I’ve known for awhile now. He crawled right up to me, glee in his eyes, and said, “Skrigg! Delighted to see you! You’ve got to come to our feast!”

P9250121I didn’t quite know what to do. I’ve been to a few beetle feasts before, and they tend to be a little, er, meaty for my taste. But he looked so happy, and I agreed to follow him to the festivities. My stomach turned a little as we grew closer; I could smell the feast, and I could tell it didn’t feature huckleberry preserves.

We arrived to a joyful bustle of beetles, gleefully devouring some other insect. “Doesn’t it look great? Skrigg, have a bite!” my host said, and I felt stuck.

But an elf always comes prepared, and as I fished around in my pockets I found a parcel of leftover hazelnut cakes. I smeared just the tiniest bit of their feast onto a cake, and wouldn’t you know, it wasn’t half bad. I don’t plan to ever eat insect again, but I still believe it’s good to try new things. And the beetles were so taken by my hazelnut cakes, they even tried some. We all agreed we should have a giant Namanu potluck one of these days, where we all bring our specialties.

With that, dear campers, I must be off. There’s wandering to be done and visiting to do. May your wanderings and visitings be marvelous too.

Mr. Skriggleboggle