Saturday, July 7, 2012

"If I'm not hyper, I'm crashing."

CILT counselors led chapel this morning. I love being on the stage so I can look out at everyone in the audience and witness things like the Catawba girls dancing to every song.

Our Friday chapel was about two different trees, a smaller one looking up to the taller one as an example of how to grow straight and tall. They both continued to climb and were never satisfied with being good enough. Eventually a third tree joined and looked up to the middle tree as her role model.

I then talked about how when I was a camper at Tecumseh I always looked up to my counselors as role models of who I wanted to be one day. But when I was a CILT I had conversation with one of my adopted campers that made me realize I had become like the middle tree in the skit--now I was someone others were looking up to.

Hebrews 12:1 says, "Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses let us through off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us," and camp has such a great cloud of witnesses, people growing towards Christ.

When I look out at the audience I see people who I'm looking up to and aspiring to be like. Then there are my campers and other kids that are looking up to me to see how they should grow. It's a good place to be, one of the middle trees.

I tend to remind the CILTs that it's their last day together when we get to the end of a Session. It's not because I want them to be sad but because I want them to really embrace every moment and not take it for granted.

I told them, "You know how in the middle of November you're missing camp so much you almost can't stand it? If you got to camp for a whole day in the middle of November it would be so exciting you might cry. right? Well let's not think of today being so short because it's the last day--love today like it's a day in the middle of November and you're going to love every second."

They spent their morning writing, practicing and recording their CILT graduation song to Rascal Flatt's "My Wish" and making graduation hats.

It was over 100 degrees outside but we embraced the heat and sun for a little bit to have a CILT girl photo shoot--one of my favorite things to do on the last day.

Ya Session Two's been great, nobody wants to go home
We learned some lessons that our counselors shown

This may be our last year at the old Camp T
And these past two weeks have spent so much to me

So we put God first and we keep ourselves third
We hoped we learned enough so we can spread God's word
And if we don't think we can, ya we still got Dan the Man
But more than anything, more than anything

Thank you, Camp T 
For turning CILTs into more than a memory
Our time was fun, but it flew by
Now it's time for CILTs to say goodbye

And while you're out there getting where you're getting to
I hope you know the CILTs still love you
And we're praying for you, ya this is our wish

Ya we leapfrogged all the way from Pioneer
A full mile and a half without any fear
Sherpa Walk and RFAJWD
Keeping with the love and positivity

Though our hats made fade, our friends will stay
Even though some live really far away
And more than anything, more than anything

Thank you, Camp T 
For turning CILTs into more than a memory
Our time was fun, but it flew by
Now it's time for CILTs to say goodbye

I'm pretty sure that so many of these girls are going to be friends for life. They came here excited for another summer at camp, hopeful that they would have the same fun that so many CILTs that came before them had. But they came away with so much more than they ever expected. These two weeks are such a unifying experience and they won't be forgotten anytime soon.

"Can we do one of those sorority laughing pictures?" Yep.

Our last lunch together was a Sloppy Joe picnic in the party room all together. We relished the Longhouse cold air during rest hour and then the counselors wrapped up final CILTy things in the afternoon. We finished with 30 minutes to spare and I raced to the pool to play with little Sarah for the last time of the week. I would lift her up out of the water and drop her and when she came back up she'd yell, "Again! Again!" every time.

We got decked out for American Pride night, sweating as soon as we walked out the door. But Americans are okay with sweat.

Friday nights bring everyone together-- Day Camp friends like Molls and Erin, Res friends like Mary Bro and Brunner Runner...

all the CILT kids...

and our adopted campers.

We danced and marched and sang through our Asian cuisine dinner...

and then played sports during Trading Post time. I love Friday nights. I hate that everyone is leaving the next day, but we pack in so much fun before that happens.

It was definitely a day of large group pictures...

and more friends and sweat. This Friday was sweatier than most and we carried around our water bottles trying our best to stay hydrated.

The CILTs finally got their brown shirts, last week we had to wear white ones to campfire. We were in uniform--brown shirts, white shades, wooden name tags and neon hats. They practiced their song a few more times extra loud and then we were ready to join in the horse parade to closing campfire.

Closing campfire is about one final celebration. Closing campfire is about everyone coming together as one camp.

Closing campfire is about Unit cheers and a chance to show your pride.

Closing campfire is about loud songs and funny skits.

Closing campfire is about cheering on kids in their hip-hop, guitar, martial arts and show choir clinics.

Closing campfire is about love for Camp Tecumseh and the friendships that are grown here.

Closing campfire is about enthusiasm, goofiness, being silly and having fun.

Closing campfire is about what we've learned and how we've grown in the past week.

Closing campfire is about recognizing Torchbearers and letting them light the way.

Friday nights are late nights with the final devotion and packing up our stuff before bed. Saturday comes early with more packing before flagpole and one last morning together.

I'm so thankful for these past two weeks-- for the heart to hearts I've had with these kids and all that they've taught me...

for stories and playing with kids and growing closing together...

for how God consistently shows me that first impressions aren't always accurate and that his plans are always better than anything I can come up with...

for people that inspire me and remind me why I'm here.

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