Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This is...

This is Kaitlin's birthday cake we devoured in less than a minute. Good job CILT girls.

This is country hoe down night.

These are the Session 1 CILTs that graduated.

These were my CILT counselors in 2003. They were two of the best counselors I ever had.

These are the girls that I miss.

This is precious. Duh.

i love these girls.

I really love when people follow through. It's a big deal when people keep their promises and show up. So many times last year my Young Life girls said that they would visit me at camp and I always hoped that they wouldn but I didn't know if they would make it happen.
This Friday it happened. Taylor, Dommer, Sam, and Taylor showed up with a bouquet of flowers and a large McDonalds Diet Coke- I almost cried when I hugged them. It was the best present having them here to meet my friends and really see this place in action, this place that I love and talk about so much.

I'm so glad that the girls made this overlap happen. I won't see them again till August- thank goodness for snail mail.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

heart to hearts

I've been listening and talking a lot in the past couple days.
I have heard some things that break my heart. I have prayed with friends and sat on porches till late into the night and we have cried a bit and hugged often.

And I'm re-learning that it is so true that everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. We all can seem to have it all together.
But no one's life is perfect and you can never really guess what type of world people are living in. Sometimes life is really hard and messy and sad and scary.

But I know that even though life is sometimes all those bad things, I love a God that is always waiting with open arms. I know a God that cares about us more than we can possibly imagine. This God will never leave us, he always wants the best for us, and he is sad right along with us.

And with all of that, I'm trying to remember how important it is to treat everyone with love and grace for we never know what battle they're fighting. And with that kindness we may bring hope to someone who has given up or companionship to someone who feels alone or we may be able to shine a bit of the love of the God who so loves us.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Welcome to camp.

Meet my friends Rach and Emily.

This is world service carnival animal themed face paint. I made Eric become the walrus on the left.

These little 8 year olds are in my friends' cabin. J'annah, on the left, cracks me up.

Meet my friends. They're really good at dressing up.

I LOVE Annie and Maisy. I met them 2 summers ago and every week 1 I can't wait to hang out with them. Maisy and I found a stick on a mud-hike that first summer that we named Imajean. Maisy still brings her stick back each year.

The CILT boys live in a Yurt this summer. In a mini-clinic this week the boys taught us the proper way to enter their crib-like bunk-beds, deer-punch spiders, close the rain flaps, and to appreciate the skylight.

This is who I work with everyday. How is this a job?

I love being a CILT counselor because I get to hang out with girls like this everyday.

Once campers of mine, these girls are OFFICIAL day camp counselors now. They're the best.

This is CILT love.

Chapel in the Green Cathedral is one of my favorite parts of the day. This is real, genuine, beautiful life.

Sitting on my bunk with 3 girls at the end of the day laughing and telling stories. This is perfect.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Totes. Magotes.

"Wake up in the morning feeling like a CILT..." and the rest of our cheer can be heard echoing through the Tecumseh plains. A favorite line is, "we're leaders, not cheaters, you love us more than Justin Bieber."
I love how quickly people become your friends at camp. I love how quickly you find out all the things you have in common. I love how quickly you become a family. I love how people are pushed and encouraged to be the best versions of themselves here. I love that God is so very present in every day.

As camp has kicked off week 1 I can unfortunately no longer post as often although I don't want to quit this blogging-hobby yet. Two days ago I met the 42 campers of Session 1 2010. Let me tell you, they have already exceeded my expectations and I can't wait to see what the next two weeks will hold.

I get to work with these kids all morning. Today after chapel we went to the leadership center to practice our team-building with some mouse traps. (Trust me it's cool) At lunch we performed our cheer for the first time and I was so proud.

In the afternoon my campers go hang out with their adopt-a-cabins of younger kids. With my campers out "adopting" I follow them around to observe and play with all the little kids too. Today I went on a mud hike with Warriors, did some friendship bracelets with Catawba cabin, and tried to finish the pool challenge with two Brave girls, Leonie and Alex.
Yes, I get the best of both worlds- it's a sweet deal. Already I see such potential in these CILTs and know that there are so many future all-star counselors in this group.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Top 10...

Top 10 Reasons I Loved Camp T the past 2 Days

1. Before lunch my friends took turns impersonating more camp friends and guessing who it was. It was hilarious and it made me really thankful to be back with these people and miss friends who couldn't return.

2. I participated in a game called Gumdrop Mountain and got to be the Queen. My team won. I miss being able to play camp games like this because I'm usually the counselor leading it. This was a special treat.

3. Getting under the porch just before a downpour began, I got to sit on a carpetball table and watch the rain with friends.

4. Last night I sat in a devotion circle with the other women of my cabin. We went around the circle and each said what we love about the other people. I wish that this was something we did more often. I think it's incredibly valuable to tell people why you appreciate them but we don't often make the time to do it. I was talking to my friend Arielle about how strange it is to sit and hear people say those kind things about you. We feel uncomfortable and sometimes start to tear up and are relieved when it passes to the next person-I'm not sure why we feel that way...

5. One of the highlights of staff training is the Touchstone Energy Dance Party. The Touchstone group of leaders and about 80 kids brings in a DJ for Friday night. This dance party is epic. People wear tennis shoes, white t-shirts (b/c you don't want people to see your sweat), and athletic shorts in preparation. We sweat more than we would if we were running a marathon on the fourth of July. I witnessed my fellow counselors dancing to everything from Justin Beiber to Kesha to Rihanna to Cotton Eyed Joe to Journey. This lasted till 1 IN THE MORNING (I had to quit at quarter till).

6. My friends Brit and Libby came to the before mentioned dance party in Tutus. This was absolutely acceptable.

7. I moved into the cabin I'll be living in for 7 weeks. I'm in Choctaw in the same bed for the third summer in a row. I love how I feel like I'm moving back home.

8. There was a tornado warning today and the sirens were going off at camp so I ended up in my basement with four of my friends. We sat on the basement floor in the midst of the piles of stuff down there and watched the Bachelorette. We love Kirk and the guy from Cape Cod. Weatherman keeps us entertained but he really needs to go home.

9. I was sitting on my couch and all of sudden I saw someone running onto my porch and banging on our glass door. My friend Emily ran across camp to come get me. There was a HUGE VIBRANT rainbow totally covering camp. It was incredible.
My camera couldn't capture the whole thing.

10. Anticipation is one of my favorite things. Tomorrow camp starts. Tomorrow hundreds of kids who have been counting down all year will move into our cabins. Tomorrow some of my favorite campers will return and I can't wait to see them. Oh goodness. This is going to be a great summer.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

bffl (best friends for life)

I have the best friends. Really. Like you might think you have cool friends but if you met all of mine you'd want to be friends with them instead of yours. They're that great.

I'm so thankful that these friends have come back to camp this summer. They make me laugh and we take care of each other and they make me want to be a better person.

My camp friends have become my second family. I started working 7 years ago and no one from that first day camp staff is still working today. Yes, it's been hard to have friends leave each summer but I've gained more friends along the way.
dc2k5 love. I haven't seen some of these girls in years and some I talk to pretty consistently but I know that we could all meet up tomorrow and it would be like no time had passed.

Colleen Drasga is like no one else I have ever met. She always made me feel like I could be a great counselor and friend- even when she's screaming at people trying to win at cranium.

"Hi. We're Sarah, Sara, Sarah and guess." "Sarah?" "Nope, Carolyn" These three are people I know that I can always count on.

In 2007 Eric and I became Pathfinder Coord partners. We then worked together in both 2008 and 2009 with the CILTs. In those 3 summers I learned so much about being a counselor from him, laughed hysterically when our campers did and said crazy things, and experienced some of my favorite camp days with him.

Sarah Roberts was one of the best counselors I ever got to watch. She got to known every single one of her girls, had incredible character, lead by example, and loved camp and all that it stood for. I'll never forget her asking me for chocolate EVERY SINGLE day even though I never had any. She was never good at staying in touch but has quit facebook and changed her phone number and we're worried that we'll never find her again.

Lil and Moll both started working Day Camp the summer after me. Molly giggles like nobody's business. Lil took a long time to get to know but is now one of my favorite people. I think she is brave and creative and incredibly loyal. I miss her being at camp this summer.

Sarah Fitzpatrick is one of the coolest people I've ever met. She has not only worked with Katie Couric and been published in the Washington Post, but has also tromped around Chicago for hours with me to find the perfect hamburger and walked all over camp to talk about the craziness in our lives and take the time to sit and pray and took me kayaking on the Potomac River when I visited her in Washington D.C. and challenged me to be a better counselor, friend, and person.

During staff training 2007 I went up to this girl at the salad bar line. Her name is Rachel but I prefer to call her Racher. She has been one of my most consistent friends in the past three years and has been such a blessing.

Then I met my friend Emily and it was like she'd always been working with the rest of us. I love how she is so laid back but always up for anything. I love that she tells her friends that she loves them.

Libby was one of my "adopt-a-cabin" kids when I was a CILT in 2003. She was one of the reasons I wanted to become a counselor. Then last summer we were counselor partners in the Longhouse. She is actually one of my longest camp friends. I'm so excited for her to be a resident counselor this summer.

Which brings us back to today. I love my friends.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


This morning at chapel we tried a new skit. We based it around this picture that we've all seen..

...and how no one we know actually connects to God or Jesus picturing him like this.

This God that we love can show up anywhere. We talked about how we see him through our friends and our conversations with them. People see him in nature--the tall green trees here at camp, the stars at night that shine so bright, and the lake at night. Lately I've been connecting to God through this blog- thinking about what I'm going to write about during the day, remembering key conversations, purposefully spending time with people I care about. My friend connects to God through playing his guitar and just singing by himself. Tonight another friend told me that she experiences God in her car when she's listening to klove and a certain song comes up- I can relate to that.

How cool that this God can show up in so many different ways.
Tonight I saw him through this group of women as we talked about beauty.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bo's Backyard Cookin'

Only at camp do I so sincerely love venturing out into the woods with four milk crates filled with food, building a campfire and six mini-fires, sitting on log benches, telling weird stories, and appreciating being right in the middle of a great pine forest.

This is bug juice. It's juice... made of bugs.

These are carrots (I'm guessing you would have known that.)

These are potatoes.

These are made with soy-peanut butter.

Usually we run out of ketchup and mustard but today we had so much!

These are frozen hamburger patties.

This is a hobo dinner.

This is an apple themed hobo dinner.