By Virginia Lee
There are certain places that everyone at Shrine Mont knows and loves: The Shrine, the pool, the pond, the pavilion, and countless others. But there are a few special places where the structures are unique and the locations are meaningful. Below are five of the best spots on the Mountain:
1. OOCC Platform/Cabin Zero
2. Nellie's Garden
On the pond side of Maryland House there’s an unassuming door with a pretty painted sign that says “Nellie’s Garden.” Walking through that door, there’s a short hallway and then, all of a sudden, you’re in a beautiful little courtyard, complete with trees, shrubbery, and flowers. A statue of St. Francis lurks in the greenery, and the ground is lined with moss and cobblestone- sometimes birds even stop by. It’s picturesque to say the least. The garden was built in memory of the beloved Nellie Moomaw, the wife of Shrine Mont's long-time Director Wilmer Moomaw. It’s a beautiful spot to sit, relax, or hide (in the case of scavenger hunts or Walkie-Talkie tag).
3. Bathtub Graveyard
This spot has some lore attached to it. There are many stories told at camps regarding the bathtub graveyard (many of which are created by campers and counselors). Some say the ghost of a little girl, Emily Floods, haunts the bathtub graveyard. St. George’s counselors claim that Emily creeps up to St. George’s on a regular basis. If you see her, she’ll haunt you indefinitely. She is described as having blonde hair that lies over her face, a white dress, and the affinity to dance around and make spooky noises, so keep an eye out!
4. Dead Sea
However, you might rather call it the dying sea; apparently the pond has been slowly draining for a while due to a leak in the retaining wall. There are also some rumors (again, mostly made up by campers and counselors) surrounding the Dead Sea. Some say that there’s a train sitting at the bottom of the sea. Others say there’s a nine-foot long frog that sits at the bottom of the pond, making those ridiculously loud croaking sounds you hear at night. Be sure that you don’t fall out while canoeing, lest the giant frog eat you!
5. The Labyrinth
In Shrine Mont years the labyrinth is a rather new feature, having only been constructed in 2009. It’s located just off the path to the Cross, a little ways down from the Shrine. Some fun facts you may not know about the Labyrinth:
Spreading the good news of Shrine Mont Camps into the Valley of the World.
The View from the Mountain is written by a rotating cast of staff writers and contributors.