One of my favorite things about the CILT program is that this group of kids stays for two weeks. While other cabins might have a handful of stay overs we get to hold onto all 40 of them and they get double the time to grow closer to each other. It was the best feeling to walk back into the Longhouse on Sunday to find all of the girls inside. This place is home and for two weeks these kids are our family.
I got to have one on one conversations with a small group of girls about how they felt they had done in the first week and what they could challenge themselves on in the second half. I love this chance to focus on one kid and get to encourage and know them better.
Opening campfire was a celebration of creativity. I love the first ten minutes as everyone is just milling about acting out their cabin's theme. I'm so excited that Natalie, in the blue t-shirt, is at camp for the first time ever this week. One of my very first students, she was finally convinced to become a Tecumseh camper and I know she's going to love it.
The CILT counselors scavenged in the Nightingale basement for outfits and Teton just happened to find thirteen umbrellas left behind in their cabin.
Team CILT went as Little House on the Prairie. I think this will be one of my favorite themes ever.
Monday was declared overall day, we were impressed with how many pairs we uncovered in the Longhouse. These pants are just so practical and versatile.
We spent the first half of the morning working on planning the devotions the CILTs will lead in their adopted cabins later this week. After being a participant in so many devotions it's interesting to watch them figure out what story they want to share, what they want their campers to learn about God and challenge to take away.
I was talking with one of my friends about the counselors that have been on staff in recent years and how it seems that the ones that are sticking around are really here for the kids. Their heart is invested in this place because they've seen what a difference a week can make in the life of a child and they've reaped so much joy from what they've invested. It's such a blessing to work with people like Arielle and Jamie, Kristyn and Molly, Brad and James, Smooney and Maddie, KJ and Morph, Coll and Chrissy and so many more that love their kids so much.
Monday swim time was such a pool party. We're really into making everything a party here.
We like when we match swimsuits...
and when we spot kids having so much fun with their campers.
Hayden, Annie, Lesem and I took the CILTs on a cookout in Upper Pioneer.
At this point everyone knows each other well and it's so nice to just have time to hang out together. There's nothing like soy not butter and jelly sandwiches and hobo dinners cooked in the fire.
And of course I had to take advantage of the time to take group photos for the girls that wanted to.
The Tippy Trio of Maddy, Jocele and Emma was being exceptionally strange and I loved getting to spend a night on with Annie.
I love when everyone is being goofy and creative, willing to do anything in a picture.
Back in River Village we played Fugitive, a massive game of tag mixed with hide and go seek. Our six fugitives had to get from the OC to the Longhouse without getting tagged by any of the other CILTs. I loved the suspense and strategy when the kids got so excited and then hearing the stories of how Rachel, Craig and Sam all made it back.
I love nights like this. In devotions Lesem had us talk about how faith is such a part of our culture here and how we can take that back home with us in a week. If anyone can do it, I know these CILTs can.