For Sar's birthday Mary Ellen and I got her a collection of all her favorite things. One of the things in that mix was a box of new stationary but we told her they could only be sent to us. Kind of as a joke, kind of serious. And then today I opened up my mailbox and found one of them addressed to me. I love letters from Sarah Briggs. They're the kind that I stick into my journal so I know exactly where it is and I go back to it to read again and again.
Tonight was a special night, the first big 2012 CILT reunion dinner in Indy with kids from all three of the sessions. I'd sent out a message about it last week but wasn't sure what kind of turn out to expect. Payton, Will and Rachel were already there when I showed up and more CILTs just kept showing up, most of them sporting their neon hats.
The first reunion is special because same-session-friends run and attack each other and people from the other two groups aren't really sure what to do. For most of them it's the first time they've seen the other people. We had two girls that go to the school say, "Wait- YOU were a CILT? I didn't know that," and people that had been in Pathfinder cabins together.
For most of the Session 1 CILTs like Quinn, I hadn't seen them since they left camp over two months ago. We had 15 CILTs show up, we missed the rest of them and I wished more counselors could have made it.
These kids have spunk--I'm pretty sure everyone in Steak n' Shake was wondering what force of nature had arrived and set up camp in the corner of the restaurant.
They even insisted on singing the Johnny Appleseed grace before we ate.
These kids, like Emma, are sweet and sentimental and retold a lot of stories from their time at camp this summer--like when we though raccoons would eat us during the Ghost Cabin sleep out, stories of people running away during Fugitive, how they became so much closer with people after surviving RFAJWD together.
The thing I love about CILTs after the summer is over is that it's never a competition. Now they're Team CILT, all three sessions combined. In a few months we'll have a reunion together back at camp and next summer some of them will get the chance to join the Day Camp staff.
I'm thankful for hugs after you haven't seen people in a long time. I'm thankful for milkshakes and french fries. I'm thankful for neon hats and Theta Kappa Lambda tanks and torchbearer patch key chains and Tecumseh sweatshirts. I'm thankful for old stories. I'm thankful for new friends. I'm thankful for these CILTs.