Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Bye! You seem like a really nice girl."

Two weeks ago we decided that it was time for another CILT reunion because you can never have too much time with your friends or too much time at camp.

We quickly sent out letters and facebook messages to spread the news. A plan was devised and the excitement grew as the day grew closer.

Let me just tell you it turned out great. I loved all of it. It was a smaller group, 6 counselors and 31 CILTs, but I think that it was the perfect combination of people and that everyone was there for a reason.

I love that when friends come back together there is always screaming, running-and-jumping kind of hugs, and so much laughter.

Not CILT counselors but two of my favorite camp girls, Kata and Linsey are fun and hilarious and really get why camp is so great. They were not only excellent cardboard transporters and golf cart drivers but such awesome additions to the group.

I love that kids from different sessions get to meet and so quickly become friends. I don't think these two had even spoken a word to each other before they were stretching like this.

CT CILTs love the FBC.

We created a brand new game that involved every River Village cabin, because they were all open, and 98 hidden plastic bugs.

As the Mystical Unicorn, Codillas, Whombats, and Saber Tooth Lions searched for the prizes the counselors roamed around the village to collect bugs and tell them how much each one was worth.

Before they figured out the bugs were the prizes we were looking for we had many eager CILTs running up with Bibles, a kool-aid jammer, an ipod, trash, headphones, army men, and shampoo.

Let's say that this game was REALLY fun for the first half hour. Maybs we should have stopped then.

We scheduled in a lot of time to just be with each other. To hear people share their life stories. To tell old stories. To laugh with new friends. To hang out in the fellowship room. To play Psychiatrist.

Can I also just comment that I LOVED taking pictures both OUTSIDE and AT CAMP.

You can't see it but there is a swarm of gnats above these girls heads. They were troopers braving the bugs while listening to more life stories. We talked about 1- our family, 2- a challenge or major experience in our past, and 3- a goal or dream for our life.

Our dinner theme was Remember When This Was Cool?

Hoorah for concert T's, stretchy shirts, gauchos, crocs, fanny packs, and scrunchies.

These kids have impeccable style.

Dinner featured a playlist of used-to-be-cool songs which was enhanced by interpretive dancing, the bernie, crumping, and nostalgic singing.

After much anticipation we competed in a facebook stalking test.

Session 1 just beat out Session 3 by four points with a grand total of 104.

We screamed and stampeded when Soaps and Maddie arrived. It was good to have two more members of Team CILT arrive.

Soaps wrote another song for the reunion- this time to Katy Perry's Firework.

"We're back at Camp T again,
for our second reunion,
share songs and CILT session cheers,
we might even shed a couple tears."

Before devotions we hung out in the CAC. A little jump-roping, ping-pong, and talking.

During devotions I saw this group of incredible young people create a space where everyone felt they could be totally vulnerable. They shared what they're struggling with and hard things they've gone through. I saw friends reach out to each other when they needed to know someone cared.

We were reminded that we must "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." I love the chorus of a JJ Heller song, "Who will love me, for me? Not for what I have done or what I have become." As I looked around the circle at each of these kids I was overwhelmed by how God loves us unconditionally. It doesn't matter what we have achieved or what mistakes we have made. He doesn't care if we're smarter, skinnier, stronger, or funnier. He uniquely made each of us and loves us for just being us.

Love tanks are always one of my favorite things to do with this group. Everyone writes notes to everyone else to fill up their paper bag aka their love tank. I love when we sit around the cabin listening to Jake Ousley and Brett Dennen while writing and talking. It felt like we were home sitting in Choctaw.

The morning came early. We were tired.

We got to walk back-and-forth between River and Lake twice today. I love this walk. I love that you sing songs or tell stories as you go. Just walking is one of the things I really miss about camp.

Chapel continued our conversation from last night with songfest and cardboard testimonies. Seeing each person flip their cardboard gave me hope.

We played running charades, it totally beat the bugs game from yesterday.

Our lunch with a group from Peoria and a group of Girl Scouts was one of the most epic I have ever had at Camp T. Having fly battles, screaming almost every camp cheer, having the other groups add their own beats and swagger, and a crumping battle that made all of us get to our feet made it an unforgettable event.

Our last walk back to River I told my life story to Alli, Molls, Mary-Claire, Maggie, Colleen, and Annie and heard more about their lives. I love that these girls trust and care for each other with such acceptance.

I'm thankful that all of these CILTs could have a brief escape from things going on at home.

I'm thankful for the chance to spending time living life with these friends.

Yes, I realize I look exactly the same in all these pictures but I couldn't pick just one. I love all these girls and they're each so special.

Life is just better when you're sleeping on the floor, starving by 10:00, not showering, screaming till you lose your voice, searching for plastic bugs, and getting 4 hours of sleep.

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