Sunday, June 9, 2013

Welcome to Session 1 CILTs

I was so nervous at the staff meeting. I've been a counselor forever and have worked for CILTs for over half that time but I was still full of nerves and energy as we gathered in River Lodge at 12:44. A whole summer ahead. This is a very big deal. Today is the start of something that has the potential to change so many kids lives and change my own. It's exciting to be part of this.

I'm so excited to be living in the Longhouse and leading CILTs with Jamie Z and Smooney. They are two friends that love people well, care about these campers and point me to Christ.
I love seeing campers run up to the Longhouse during check-in. I got to run across the field to the Wilson sisters, see Ellie Fitz and then Natty B showed up too.

The first Sunday of a Session is always so... interesting. We're meeting all of these kids for the first time and it's so different then how they've experienced camp before. I know the kids had to of been just as nervous as I felt sitting in the staff meeting.

But once the girls showed up I was pretty much good to go. Being a counselor is my favorite.

I love helping to facilitate friendships. I love having all the CILTs yell hi in unison to cabins walking by. I love talking to campers for the first time and knowing that you just love them already. I love seeing first year counselors walk by with their new kids, being rock stars on day 1.

Here is our crew of brand new CILTs. A few of them I've known since they were Braves and Blazers at camp. They're younger sisters of my old counselors. Friends of past CILTs and kids that my Pathfinder counselor friends have told me. I've got great expectations for this group.

The first order of business after moving in is always swim checks at the pool.

I love how kids are just thrown into camp and being best friends.

At dinner we got our CILT jar for the first time this summer. It's full of ideas, themes, adventures and activities for us to complete all six weeks of CILTs. The hope is that it will keep us on our toes, make each week new and help us stay creative with every group.

This week we drew out these four slips. So much fun is in store.

Team CILT dressed up as TV for opening campfire. The counselors were couch potatoes... get it? As we flipped through the channels different shows popped up onto the screen. We'd watch them for a minute before going on to the next show.

We saw Mean girls...

American Idol...

Peter Pan...

the 2013 Tecumseh Marathon...

ESPN summer sports preview...

and Duck Dynasty.

The potatoes had a grand time just watching and commentating on each show.

Eventually all the cabins made it to River Village flagpole where we all paraded around and showed our outfits. There were several more cabins of Duck Dynasty. It's counselor Claire's birthday so her girls dressed up as a birthday party and she wore her flamingo birthday suit.

This is the week most of the HSE kids I know come to Tecumseh. I LOVE having all of them here. I gathered most of them together: Emma and Sydney Benham, Rachel and Eliza Wilson, Jimmy and Mason, Ellie, Marie and Hannah. Natty B is a CILT this session two. HSE is good at bringing out awesome kids.

It was so fun seeing the Opening Campfire circle completely full again. There is so much energy and excitement in the place--especially week one when all of our anticipation comes down to this day.

After campfire the CILT girls gathered for their first devotion together. This is going to be a fantastic group of kids. We met back up with the boys for CILT initiation. This night is a good indicator of the mood of the group and what we can expect from them. I'm excited for the next few days as we get to know them better.

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