Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hula hoop parties, Black Attack, Mar Bro's Bday and Lake photo shoots

Little kids are funny, especially my Blazer girls this week. They're caught in-between being the littlest kids in camp and not quite being old enough for Warriors yet. The ranges of their height and maturity and size is incredible seeing as how they're all within just a few months of each other. Our group is a mix of two-weekers, first time campers and multiple year returners. Basically Choctaw is an interesting and entertaining place to be.

I'm so glad that Erin is staying for a second week and that I get to keep getting to know her better. Last Wolf Shirt Wednesday of the summer--I'll miss this weekly uniform.

I'll really miss these friends. We're all extra sentimental during the last week because we're more aware that this whole seeing each other all the time routine isn't going to last for much longer. Kendall, Jamie, Paige, Annie, Brunner and Chrissy are some of the best friends, counselors and people I know.

Bob Goff writes about embracing whimsy and I see it all over the place here--in the intricate patterns of our friendship bracelets, in random skip-it sessions, in the way we all love baby Lincoln so much, in the joy of finding clay in the shallow end of the lake and the way the sun shines through the trees in the Oak Forest.

This Wednesday all of River Village competed in a Four Cones style Capture the Flag game. The Black, Red, Green and Yellow teams each got a corner of Main Field for their hula hoop, the place where you keep your flags.

Once the game began it was awesome madness with no team boundaries. You can run anywhere and tag anyone and take anyone's flags and two people can tag each other at the same time. Someone from your team tags you to bring you back into the game. The goal is to get as many flags as possible back to your team's hula hoop. It was crazy.

Choctaw was part of the Black Attack and I was so impressed by how all of our kids worked as a team and gave it their all the whole time. We're pretty intense.

Before dinner Mom and Katie dropped off all the hula hoops from our garage that they were going to get ride of so we had a spontaneous hula hooping party pre-flagpole.

At camp I love Mary Brody, Jessica and the dress her mom gave her, neon hats and Indian vests, kids that make you laugh, friends that are consistently there for you...

hearing from old campers, back massages, talking about life on the trading post steps, nights on with great counselors...

taco night, tortilla faces, creativity and goofiness, funny stories, when someone in your cabin is always wearing the sunglasses tank...

being friends for life, Chaco Tacos, getting kids to buy animal key chains, watching Braves go crazy with jellyfish yo-yos...

Savannah's faces, Abby's freckles and her sweet heart, Catawba babies, when people all know each other's names, new bright sunglasses...

love so strong it's almost tangible, hair that's a little chloriney/humid/fuzzy/tangled/messy, bug bites that remind you of last night's sleep-out, making best friends in a matter of days...

CH time (CHickasaw, CHerokee, CHoctaw... CHeyenne was busy...), friends from other units, looking extra excited in pictures, not caring about being a little dirty, and always having way more highs than lows.

We played the Airport Waiting game while we waited to hear about the approaching weather and got to have about 5 minutes of our night swim time before returning to the cabin. The Hopi girls worked on their newest caper--putting balloons under Ellyn's mattress so they would pop when she laid down later that night. We did a devotion with lists from the bible and lists that we wrote and it was really cool for me to hear what the girls wanted to share.

In week 9 we go all out. Breakfast in Bed this week was not just on our individual porches but instead was a Village wide picnic around flagpole. Everyone circled around their crates to eat donuts and cereal before joining in the massive dance party.

I love when we think out of the box and do something different than our usual routine. I love when we can all be together as much as possible and all the counselors can feed off of each other's energy.

Chapel was awesome because we sang some of this summer's best songs and then they did the 10 lepers skit where just one returned to kneel at Jesus' feet and thank him. I've always loved chapel but they have improved so much in the past couple of years and I consistently leave feeling like I got something out of it just like my campers.

French Braiding's field trip was to the Wright house living room today. The girls learned how to fishtail braid and enjoyed the comfortable seating and AC while they practiced.

We're in the middle of cleaning and packing everything because of the move to Michigan and Ellyn walked away with several impressive things including two sombreros, an Indian vest, two quilts and a YMCA duffel bag.

Hip-hop clinic finished choreographing the dance. At the beginning all of the girls pretend they're asleep and the boys run in to wake them up.  I love seeing the kids get so much better as the week goes on and how proud they are of themselves.

Friendship Bracelets learned the fishbone, possibly the most popular beginner bracelet.

Did you know that today is Mary Brody's birthday? Must be why she's wearing those fun shorts and that  party hat.

We decorated the party room big and sang the Order of the Oar so loud. I first met Mary when she was just fourteen years old and I feel so lucky that I've known her for this long.

p.s. Did you know that it is my half birthday which means that my birthday is her half birthday? And that Lizzie Evard and Diver are both celebrating their birthdays today and Liz Maher is celebrating her half birthday as well? We're just all connected.

I was really hyper before lake time and so excited to wear all my favorite things and get to dance with overall Arielle and to discuss the moral implications of pop culture songs on the way to the lake with our girls.

The Longhouse porch is just the place to be.

Up at the Richard G everyone was in a great mood, so full of Camp T excitement.

Nina loves Camp T, the Hopi girls love Camp T...

Choctaw cabin loves Camp T.

I wanted a picture with the Brunner sisters and we hoped to make it really fun but we had to keep taking it until everyone was satisfied with how they looked. So we took three almost identical pictures and I just really like the photo shoot as a whole.

Then the swimsuit triplets had to have one last photo shoot together.

Basically we just freaked out for 30 seconds...

and splashed around until we had to stop so Jordan could give instructions to all the kids.

At pop stop I was excited to find a massive letter from Olivia Odle waiting for me. I knew it was coming but was still blown away by the length and impressive details like a song with lyrics all about me. Well done Odle.

A bunch of Blazer cabins played Dominican Chaos in the Tecumseh Dust Bowl. We ran hard and were so intense crawling to try to get first place each round. There were a few skinned elbows and knees but the kids still loved it.

A large group of our friends went to Scotty's to celebrate Mary's birthday. They placed us at four separate tables on the patio but we just scooted our chairs around so we made one giant circle.

Annie is working Res this week and I'm so glad she was there. Kata is hilarious and I just love her. I love Arielle and Molly's friendship and how they're so different from each other but they just work as a team so well.

I'm so thankful for all of these girls-- for Annie, Molly, Chrissy, Mary, Lesem, Arielle, Molly, Katie, Kata, Linsey and Andrea--and that I got to spend part of my summer with them.

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