Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"Did you know that Choctaw has a harvest tradition called the Green Dance? Now you know..."

Good-bye CILTs, hello Blazers! For the last three weeks of the summer Arielle, Shannon and I will be partners in Choctaw cabin for some of the youngest Tecumseh campers. It's bittersweet to transition from our CILT army of 41 16-year-olds and 8 counselors-- I already miss so many things about CILTs but I'm excited for the change of pace and all of the new things we'll get to do with our girls.

At the pool we met Shoshone and they taught us to make this really pretty and face and say, "Want to be friends?" It worked. We're all friends now.

After green-hatting ideas for opening campfire  we decided to be hobos. As we were getting ready the girls kept asking Arielle and I things like, "Do hobos wear tall socks with sandals? Do hobos wear cowboy hats? Do hobos wear dresses? Do hobos wear tye-dye?"

The knapsacks on sticks and dirt on our faces really pulled us all together. Kiersten and Ryan got their fifth year banners!

Many of our campers are at camp for the very first time. Opening campfire can be a little overwhelming if you've never been before but they sat by new friends and did a great job of jumping into all of the new songs.

I don't do well with big changes in life but I do like creative twists on routines you've gotten used too. Carolyn was in hammock before the camp soup chapel. We all tried to do the cotton eyed joe before lunch on Monday.

Monday, July 25th is Jesus' half-birthday so we celebrated wearing red and green. I'm getting used to looking for girls like Ava and Margaret when I'm looking for my campers to play with instead of tall teenagers running around.

Our cabin is made up of twins, sisters, cousins, multiple sets of best friends and two girls that didn't know anyone. Already they're doing such a great job of including everyone and being the 11 best friends that anyone could have.

Extra blob time after rest hour was a blast. During lake time you have to wait in line for so long to go on with your buddy but today we got to go right on with our whole cabin.

Then we taught our girls to play the first sport of the week- tennis baseball. We worked on our Jersey accents, fielding skills, and positive attitudes. "Playin' sports, gotta love it. Sweating in the sun, gotta love it. Scoring a run, gotta love it."

During pool time I got to play with five of the best campers I've ever met. Kiersten, Caroline, and Alex I've met in the past few years even though they were never in my cabin and Abby and Olivia were with me in Choctaw last year. We played the question game off of the diving board and talked about Lake Village and all of our new cabins while we waited in line.

Tecumseh campers are just the best kids in the world.

And then the best Tecumseh campers turn into the best Tecumseh counselors like Annie, Annie, and Eileen.

After trading post the Choctaw Ladies hiked out to the closing campfire stage to make neon headbands, one of the hottest trends of the summer.

Tuesday afternoon we played more sports--we love dodge ball.

And I just took pictures after I got out, but when I was in the game I was a catching, throwing, dodging sports maniac.

Wednesday morning before flagpole Creek cabin started an all-village dance party. Yes, 7:30 dance party. And then we were surprised attacked by an Abnaki pillow fight.

Those were great ways to start off Wolf Shirt Wednesday.

Our girls also proclaimed Wednesday as National Choctaw Day so we wore blue and towel headbands and drew on wolf whiskers to celebrate. At lunch we stood on our chairs and told interesting facts about the Choctaw tribe.

Arielle got us wolf beads for hair wraps. We're intense. Nick and Eric did a great job with props and costuming for the Wimmics skit in chapel.

For the first time this summer I'm teaching clinics. It's fun having small groups of kids like this again and watching Jonisha learn to cup stack a 6-stack or Lauren master an 8-count of fast choreography. One of the craziest and best parts is that all of my co-counselors (Grant, Marie, Mary, and Molly) were my campers in 2008. It is so cool being able to teach alongside them, brainstorm ideas, and encourage the kids together. They should all be so proud of the work that they're doing as counselors this summer.

Wednesday night after Noodles and Red Mango a group of counselors came back to do a devotion together. A couple Day Camp counselors had asked me earlier in the summer to lead one for all of us and tonight was the night. We're used to sitting in a circle with our campers every night but it was different and special to get to have this conversation together tonight. These are women that I love and respect and care about so much and I'm so thankful for the roles that we get to play in each other's lives.

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