Day 4- Carlsbad Caverns

Day 4: Carlsbad Caverns

Siging on today… the Dopeys!: Ethan, Jack, Kendal, Brantley, Sam Shepard, Grant, Alayna, Rachel, Sarah, Anna M., Olivia P, Savannah A, and Caroline.

Today we woke up at the ripe time of 5:30am at Schreiner University to head to the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.  The counselors got everyone up and since we have been getting ready so fast in the morning, we even got to sleep in an extra ten minutes! As we pulled out of the Schriener parking lot the sun was barely rising and we managed to get a glimpse of little baby deer frolicking around. Needless to say we were still quite tired and caught some more shut eye for the first few hours of driving, one van didn’t even start waking up until 10:30am! For breakfast our cooks prepared us a delicious meal of mini muffins and bananas which we completely devoured.  Along the roughly eight hour drive to the Caverns, broken up by bathroom breaks of course, we kept entertained. The big bus bonded over sharing embarrassing stories and we found solace in knowing others had blushed just as hard as we had in the past.  We also lobbied would you rather questions at each other such as “would you rather drink only water for the rest of your life or drink anything but it has pee in it” and everybody decided they couldn’t go without their SunDrop and Cheerwine. The vans enjoyed an extra helping of karaoke, naps, and cards (Anna Gregory is an amazing Uno player).

Lunch consisted of a delicious sandwich packed with turkey, ham, and hummus for the vegetarians, all on a Hawaiian roll, grapes, and pretzels.  We had one more rest stop before arriving at the Caverns and the bathroom lines stretched throughout the store as we desperately tried for a bowel movement, some were trying for their first. We have found in just four days that FiberOne bars will positively ensure a trip to the bathroom.

 We knew when we saw scattered mountain goats that we were nearing the Caverns and oh boy were we ready. Before entering the center we were briefed on the protocol for entering, existing, and walking through the park by a nice park ranger named Dan. We split off into groups of ten each with one counselor and began the trek. As we walked in the wonderful smell of guano hit our noses and we flinched at it but thankfully the smell went down as we continued in, along with the temperature-it was 60 degrees inside! A welcome respite from the hot New Mexican sun.  Before getting back on the bus we raided the two gift stores on site and took many a picture in front of the beautiful overlook just outside the park entrance and then bam! Back on the road for more laughs and unique bonding moments. Our awesome bus driver Craig got on the intercom to tell us that in just four days he felt the most included and loved by any group he had ever driven. He told us how we made him feel like family and genuinely valued, we are so glad we could show him some TWB love!  

Around seven PM we pulled up at New Mexico Military Insitute and we were awed by the castle-like architecture on campus.  Everybody was eager to set up their eno as we quickly constructed our eno village on the cluster of pull up bars and those without an eno set up a sleeping bag circle on a neighboring hill. As we waited for dinner we ran amuck on the football field having some fun with spikeball, soccer, Frisbee, and catch. Dinner was a warm and scrumptious mac-n-cheese, hot dogs, and popsicles for dessert.  After dinner we all gathered for a sing-along, we did MUCH better this time.  We sang Party In the USA and our awesome counselors Lauren and Gray started a little dance party and the rest of the girls joined in!  Once we were done, the counselors told us to get in a huge circle and hold hands.  Two hula hoops were placed between us and we had to get it over our head and to the next person before the music stopped.  If the music stopped on us we got a mouthful of green bean or squash baby food!!  Once we were done we all raced off to the showers!  Time for bed, we have a 5:30am wake up call!  Dopey’s OUT!

Caroline and Anna Riley

Caroline and Ethan.  Ethan loves his new shark as you can tell

On the long bus ride through New Mexico Emily and many others made string bracelets 

Hayden, Gage, Kailee, Casey, and Emily in the back of the bus on the way to the Carlsbad Cavern

Gotta rep those panthers out west!

Gage and Hayden

We made it to Carlsbad Caverns!
Sierra, Marina, Savannah, Jenna, Danielle, and Sydney taking advantage of the beautiful view overlooking New Mexico

Sydney, Brantley, Jade, Charlie, and Caroline by the Carlsbad Caverns National Park Sign

Logan, Camryn, Casey, and Kailee

Sydney, Brantley, and Anna Riley. 

Grace Kisting, Anna, Anna, and Emma 

Madison, Kendal, Emily, and Gracie

Savannah, Jenna, and Danielle

Lauren and Phoebe 

The girls chilling out after hiking through the bat cave in New Mexico and shopping in the gift shop!!

Lauren and Casey

Lauren and Gray - Our favorite counselors! 

Rachel and Emma

Everybody heading into Carlsbad Caverns!  We had to hold our noses to avoid the lovely smell of bat poop.

Craig's group in the middle of their hike through the smelly bat cave. 

Lauren's group going through the narrowest part of the bat cave. 

All smiles in the cavern because it was 60 degrees!!!

The group stopped again after the bat cave to take more pictures with the beautiful view!

Brighton, Gage, Garrett, Chris, and Hayden waiting to go in the caverns!

Alayna and Will

Chris, Alayna, and Hayden. 

Cade's group relaxing after their hike though the bat cave

Cole, Emma, and Andrew

Cole, Andrew, and Marc

Ashley, Brina, and Emma

Henry and Cole, besties for the resties!!

The Dopey group takes over the blog!!

Everyone sitting in front of New Mexico Military Institute!

Everyone who brought an eno built an eno village and got ready for bed

Emma and Ella 

Sydney and Joe

Danielle, Sierra, and Jenna hanging out in the eno village.

Devin and Cody chat before bed time

Kailee, Logan, and Casey hanging in eno heaven.

Mary, Madison, Ella, Sam, Bryton, and Cade hanging out in their enos before bed. 

 The group played various fun games at the New Mexico Military Institute including spike ball, soccer, frisbee, and football.
Spike Ball!  Our director josh joined in!

More people gathered around playing spike ball

Camryn showing off her cool soccer tricks

 Our new cooks, The Grumpy's, made us a delicious dinner of hotdogs, mac-n-cheese, strawberries, watermelon, and popsicles for dinner

Lilly with the biggest bowl of mac and cheese you will probably ever see

Jake and Grant doing a hot dog eating contest with the leftovers!

Hula Hoop game that resulted in people eating baby food

Sydney Foster got some yummy green bean baby food!

Mary Beam grabbed the jar and took a big spoonful so she could shower first!

Jessica Curtis got some too!

And emma...

Cody's face after his bite but then he said it was actually good!

Aubrey took it like a champ!

Mabry Sumner was a victim too!