Saturday, July 20, 2013

"My grandma is tweakin, she just doesn't understand."

Ellyn and Tommy have been mildly obsessed with their alien friend Zork and creating more and more stories about his life. Zork has a spoon shaped hand that he uses to drink the milk he loves so much. On this last morning together, Tommy, Ellyn and Alex all taped spoons to their fingers and slurped up milk in honor of Zork.

We had one last morning together. Later in the day, on their CILT wall almost everyone's high of the day was getting to wake up and spend the morning with their 40 best friends.

Because of rain we had our last chapel inside the dining hall. Everyone squeezed together into the main room to sing and then watch the skit about the trees growing towards God.

In so many ways it felt like the very last day of camp because so much is about to change. Our kids were with their cabins so I just stood with Jamie and Smooney in the back. From where we were I could look around and spot so many of the kids I've loved playing with this past week and I couldn't help but smile because of how much I love them and tear up because they were about to leave.

In the summer of 2008, after CILTs was over, I had Maddie Buel in my cabin for the first time. I loved this girl. Sarah Mooney, who I had in Teton the summer before, came to visit me at the Longhouse while she picked up her sister. All week long I'd thought that Maddie reminded me of a young Sarah Mooney.

It was so cool to get to go through CILTs with both Maddie and Sarah. After so many summers we all ended up back on this porch together again. In some ways they still remind me of each other but they've also grown and changed since then. The thing that's stayed the same is that I love these girls so much.

Another cool full circle moment was having Maddy, Hannah and Nate Johnston all together. Hannah was a CILT in '08, Nate in '10 and now Hannah in '13. This family has some pretty exceptional kids and they're all so different from each other.

The next two hours we said good bye to all of the CILTs. They packed up in cars and vans and left a few at a time. I'm always extra sad at the end of Session 3 because it's the end of CILTs for me too. I look forward to this experience the other 46 weeks of the year and it's over in a blink.

While it feels like CILTs was all just a dream and it never really happened, I know that I've got a whole summer of stories and adventures and conversations that prove it did. This summer was pretty incredible and I wouldn't have wanted to do it any differently. Thank you to Smooney, Jamie Z and Alex for being one of the best teams I've ever been a part of, for being some of my best friends and for loving all of our kids so well. Thank you CILTs of 2013-- I was lucky to get to be one of your counselors. We believe in you guys so much and know that you're going to do great things. Love you Team CILT.

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