Friday, June 28, 2013

"I promise to not talk about the Crow's Nest. If I do you can cut off a large chunk of my hair."

Rachel Lombard and Maeve-- two of the greatest people I know. Seriously. I wish they didn't live all the way in Chicago but I love getting to play with them in the summer. I fell in love with this pair when they were CILTs two years ago and am so thankful for their friendships.

When I grow up I want to be more like Lizzy Dale. I'm so thankful for Annie Fazz and her consistent friendship.

We visited St. Elizabeth's nursing home this morning to visit with the residents. I met Helen first with Marisa, Megan, Amanda and Hannah. We stood in her room as she told us stories about her family and her HS days with the basketball boys and the principal that played marbles with them. She was a hoot.

For a lot of the CILTs this is their first time doing something like this.

They share camp songs with the residents and some of them will clap along. One man sang the muffin song right along with the CILTs.

Watching them quickly make these connections is so cool.

We played Running Charades in Main Field when we got back to camp. Each round was a list of that counselor's favorite things. While we were there Farm Discovery passed by and we each took a pic with our animal alter ego.

It was a good time watching the kids act out things like,
"Laying on the beach in the shade drinking an ice cold iced tea"
"Climbing 14,000 foot mountains"
"Running a half marathon in the Bahamas" and
"Handmade presents on my birthday."

Do you think you know which favorite thing belongs to which CILT counselor?

When clinics let out we went to find kids to play with. Caden is a new camper this summer and loving camp like a boss. Rachel and I short-twinning today, she's really fun.

I'm so glad that Alli, Coll and Moll are all on resident staff this summer so I can see them so much more.

Camp friends are some of my oldest friends and sharing camp makes those relationships that much stronger.

Annie and I decided to declare today, "Annie and Sarah Picture Day," because we haven't been getting nearly enough lately and she'll be gone next week.

I'm so lucky to get to work with Smooney and Jamie Z all day every day this summer. Together we get to prove over and over again that CILTs really do have more fun than people.

Country Hoe Down, one of my favorite themes, was tonight. We whipped out our overalls and bandannas then braided our hair for the occasion.

I had to miss the first theme night of last session so I was really excited to get to do this with our session two crew. I didn't know too many kids in this group before it began and this week has been all about getting to know them.

We're already having so much fun and I'm stoked that it's only half way over.

Friday nights are without a doubt the best nights of the week. Everyone dresses up together. We get to have a dance party during dinner. All of the resident and day camp counselors are on. Clinics perform. Everyone in camp goes to closing campfire. We dress up in a rainbow of unit t-shirts. We get to watch the stars as we walk back to our cabins.

This is a life that sizzles and pops. This a place where joy permeates everything we do. These are people that celebrate each other.

These friends are absolutely part of my second family. I've got their backs and they've got mine.

Dinner was a country party. We ate fried chicken and cheesy taters. Our table talked in country accents. When the music didn't start at first we sang two different TSwizzy songs on our own. When the music did come on we stood on our chairs and sang like we were at a jamboree.

There's nowhere else I would rather be on a Friday night.

Ain't no party like a CILT party cause the CILT party don't stop.

The Trading Post is crazy on Friday nights. Cookie Sandwiches and Strawberry Shortcake Bars literally fly through the air. All 40 CILTs come to our window at once wanting water bottles, neon sweatshirts, ice-cream and sunglasses.

They're an enthusiastic bunch.

I love working with Smooncat this summer. We've been great friends for six years but we've never gotten to work in the same village let alone do something like CILTs together. We mutually inspire one another and do our best to love each other well. She's one of those friends that I can be comfortably silent with or sing "22" so loud with that I think I might pass out. Smooney is one of those friends that I know I don't have to worry about losing.

It rained on and off during Trading Post but we toughed it out and danced in the rain anyways singing every song we could think of that had "rain" in the lyrics.

I love these friends and am so lucky that I get to work with them. I've watched them grow from CILTs to counselors and I couldn't be more proud of the big things they're each doing with their own girls.

 Warrior CILTs are swaggy.

Oh how I love closing campfire. The horse parade. The running for the benches. The pharoah-ettes at the beginning. The unit cheers and four year awards. This is the best show around.

I'm so glad that Fran is working on DC this summer. She brings me joy.

I'm so lucky that I got to have Anna in my cabin-- her best friend told me about her last session and one of her old counselors warned me that she's awesome. I'm sad that Devon is leaving tomorrow but so glad that I got to cross paths with her a lot this week.

I officially met Megan last summer when she asked me to be a CILT counselor next summer. I was so flattered that she thought so highly of me and am so glad that it worked out for us to be together this year.
Cate is a veteran camp kid herself and a good family friend of mine. Tonight she gave me the craziest, biggest, most awesome friendship bracelet I've ever seen or received. It's so massive and awesome that I tied it on my backpack so I'll never have to take it off.

Seriously--coolest thing ever.

 Nart was the best photographer ever during the CILT cheer tonight. I love this team.

Sometimes I really wish that Mags lived in River Village because I would love to get to play with her all the time. But then I remember how good she is at being a Pathfinder counselor. Her life story inspires these girls and she always wants to hear their stories. Maggie's heart is one of the most genuine and kind I've ever known. She's doing big things.

One of the things I love most about closing campfire is seeing this whole camp family together celebrating one another. We cheer each other on for awards and songs. Every clinic gets a standing ovation.

The River hip-hop kids were beasts tonight. They danced to LeCrae and were worthy of a music video.

They brought back Tecumseh Counselor for the first time this summer-- Adam the Plumber, Maggie and Nart as KJ and John Amy, Alex the undertaker, Annie and Liz as Braves, Andy and Todd as Patrick Star. Hilarious.

Liz and the LV hip hop crew did a dance to a techno version of Taylor Swift's Love Story. It was phenomenal, Lizzy was an all star in her first big performance. I'm sure it won't be the last.

King Kyle got the crowd excited during Toast. Beef and I jumped up at the last minute to add One Camp to the agenda. Mike, Maddie, Jamie and Becca Hough shared a new song called "One Voice" at the end of campfire which was really cool.

At the end of the night the Torchbearers stood on the Wright Way to light the way for others on their way back to their cabins. They each had tears on their faces, predictable for this group, but I think they're always genuine. Camp impacts you in a way nothing else does and it's so sad to think your time here might really be over.

While the CILTs did devotions with their cabins, the CILT counselors got to visit with Mel and go back home to the Longhouse. Eventually we had a star gazing devotion in Main Field as I shared a chapter from a new book I'm excited about called, "More or Less." As we walked back to the cabin afterwards my girls just talked about how the stars really do shine brighter here than anywhere else they've ever been.


  1. ahhh that's my little sister in the last picture at the start of the torchbearer line!! I was so sad not to see her be a torchbearer, she's my only sibling I've had to miss that ceremony for. thanks for the pic. :)

  2. What LeCrae song did they do? I LOVE LeCrae! Can't wait to see you week five!