Last night as we were leaving devotions Emily said, "Some of us are going to run in the morning and we want you to come with us." I decided to take opportunities and wake up early with them. Back in the day CTXC, camp Tecumseh cross country, was one of my favorite things. It was a bonus hour with my girls everyday and something special we got to do together.
This morning we woke up at 6:45 and headed outside to run up to Lake Village and back. I was excited that I could actually keep up with the girls. Getting started is never fun but once we got going I was so glad we did this. I love hearing their stories and laughing and just being together.
It's strange to think about what it would have been like to be on staff before two villages. In some ways I would love it because everyone would be together. But I often forget that we'd have to cut camp in half and lose so many awesome counselors and kids. I can't imagine not having all of these people on staff and so many of my old kids on Day Camp staff.
We've got a new gnome in Team CILT named Spinelli. Counselors will hide him in a kid's backpack. When the CILT finds it then they get to hide it back in a counselors backpack. We think it's going to be a good time.
Daily Ellyn and Sarah pic:
We got to watch the 10 lepers skit this morning in chapel. While Brad and KJ sang "Oh how we loves us," the lepers each came to Jesus and were healed. Only Katrina came back at the end to say thank you. This is always one of my favorite stories and skits about how our faith can heal us and how important it is to have that personal relationship with Christ and go back to remember what he has done.
The CILTs went to St. Elizabeth's in the morning to visit with the residents. I love seeing our kids make connections and step outside of their comfort zones.
They shared flagpole and chapel songs with the residents. All the CILTs were smiling so big up their as they sang. For most of them, this is the first time they've ever gotten to lead a camp song like this.
For us CILT counselors it's special to come back and see our old familiar friends each time. Jamie has developed such a sweet connection with this lady who will be celebrating her 100th birthday next week. Alex and I got to go into Ruth's room to chat with her for awhile. She's been my favorite lady here for years and I love how she recognizes us and we chat about her recent crafts, her grand kids showing sheep at the fair and what's been going on around here.
It's strange to be thinking about how we're doing all of this for the last time now. Our last visit to St. E. This week was the last rock devotion. This weekend will be the last CILT chapel. We only get to do all of this three times but I always wish it was longer. CILT Session 4 anyone?
Back at camp we split up in Main Field to play running charades. Once again the CILTs had to act out favorite things of each of the counselors like Australian Shephard, big dogs, Bob Marley, watching movies with Diet Coke and popcorn, laughing on mud hikes with Sarah and Jamie, fresh baked homemade pepperoni pizza and a movie with my family.
Fridays are always so fun at camp, especially the middle weekend of CILTs. We don't have to worry about leaving yet but everyone knows each other, all the counselors are on and our campers are so excited.
I love getting to play with Annie Fazz everyday here. We only saw her once during the year since she was away at school and even though we talk all the time I still miss her so much. Here at camp we get to be in each other's lives without even trying really hard.
She's the best.
I love that here at camp you can have so many best friends. It's supported to have close relationships with everyone. Here I can be best friends with Katlyn and Annie and Chrissy. Being friends with all of these people makes me be a better person and makes like better every day.
I'm so excited about the River staff this summer. These counselors have so much enthusiasm and creativity. I feel like there is such a community of unity and encouragement.
CILTs and their kids- so precious. Especially when they're triplets.
I don't know if I can say it enough but I just love these CILTs. I'm so excited about Katie, Maureen, Katlyn, Kerri, Val, Sam, Jackie and the rest of this crew. They're doing big things around Camp T these days.
So at the end of lunch they brought out Turbo Tubes. The kids know the drill now so they all laid down on the ground to HOH (hang out horizontally). We're laying there eating our Turbo Tubes when I say to Katlyn, "Wouldn't it be so funny if we drew on people's faces with these?" And she says, "You can draw on my face." So then we did.
After her face was thoroughly coated in sticky orange goo she said, "Can I do your face now?" At that point I had to say yes so I psyched up and she started putting the drippiness all over me. It was colder than expected and I could smell it right away. We didn't wait long before running to the bathroom to wash it off together.
#NoFilter is the theme of River Village this summer. We want to be our authentic selves here and not cover up with any facades. On this banner we've been writing amazing moments of when we saw different counselors shine. I love when we just stand and read all of the different things people have added to the wall. For each one of the stories on here there are still dozens more that don't get added. I love getting to be part of this.
It was Super Hero night for Tecumseh. So many capes, cartoons, and heroes.
I love nontraditional costumes. Smooney, JZ, Irene and I all went as Kid President because he's one of our heroes. Jackie and Chachi went as Patrick Kane, Blackhawk player and winner of the Stanley Cup.
I love easy costumes like this that are still so great-- white vneck, red tie, matching shorts and our fav Kid president quotes. That kid is such a champ.
I've loved getting to know Gianna this week and hear more about her life and the Student Council camp she works at. I love Maeve's spirit and this quincenera dress. Libby Whiting is so much fun and has been so good at getting to know people this week.
CILT nation is so much fun. It would be pretty difficult to be friends with 40 people for two weeks and not have a good time.
Back in 2008 at the end of the summer I had two little girls in my cabin named Maddie and Rain. I loved both of them instantly. The next year they were in my cabin and then we stayed in touch for years. This year they moved back into the Longhouse one more time to be CILTs.
Just look at how we've grown. We've aged well I think and I still love them just as much.
Lizzy bo bizzy is the bees knees. I love getting to hang out with her here all summer. She's got such a big part of my heart and I'll miss her so much this year when she goes to school. It's been so fun having Kerri here as a CILT this summer, she loves camp so much.
Friday night dinners are such a party. Tonight we got to sing songs from Hercules, Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, Lion King and Sponge Bob.
Alex Allison is my favorite. He's one of the best things that has ever happened to Team CILT. And I'm pretty sure that this fur coat is one of the best things that has ever happened to him.
Gosh there are just so many people I love at Camp T. Smooncat is one of my rocks this summer and I can't imagine doing this without her. She's one of my favorite people to go on adventures with, to be really efficient together and just talk.
I'm so excited that Katie Swanton is in Choctaw with me this Session. This girl is so positive, joyful and kind. She radiates love.
Once again-- Alex Allison is so cool.
Raiona is here in CILTs right now and spreading her swag all over this place. I love Scarlet and Abby and am so glad that I got to play with them this week. This pair has been so fun forever and I've been lucky to get to watch them grow up here.
Sitting in Main Field with friends and watching the CILTs play Ultimate Frisbee v. the counselors is one of my favorite things on Friday nights.
One of the cutest pictures of my life and some of the greatest girls I've ever gotten to be a counselor for.
I love that Katlyn and Emily are best friends and take good care of each other.
WE FLIPPED OUT when Katie and I figured out we were right next to each other at the Taylor Swift concert.
I love being real life friends with Emily Parkes this summer and getting to play all the time.
The Warrior CILT girls get to spend extra time with the counselors while they wait for their cabins to show up. I wish I were a Warrior girl so I could have these CILTs.
I love them.
I love them too. I miss working with Arielle, Amy and Rachie.
We performed our CILT cheer on stage and I think it's the best we've done so far.
The LV step clinic did the hand clap game that I found on YouTube earlier this year with my 8th grade girls. It's SO COOL. We tried to learn it but didn't get past the first like 30 seconds. I was so impressed when these kids busted it out.
William, Joel and Tom brought back the squeegee hunt for the first time this summer.
River Village hip hop will always be one of my very favorite things to watch.
LV Martial Arts was such an army tonight.
The LV hip hop kids were neon and so fun.
At the end of the night this Torchbearer line is always one of my favorite images. It's so symbolic of the legacy we get to leave behind and the light we'll take back home with us.
The CILTs did devotions with their cabins and then came back late to the Longhouse. For devotions we laid in Main Field and looked up at the stars while we read part of Blue Like Jazz. "There is something quite beautiful about the Grand Canyon at night. There is something beautiful about a billion stars held steady by a God who know what he is doing. They hang there like stars, like notes on a page of music, free-form verse, silent mysteries swirling in the blue like jazz." Everyone slowly went back to their cabins to go to bed but I stayed out there for a little while longer just looking up at the sky and talking with Maddie, Katlyn and Maddy. The stars were so bright over Main Field and even though I missed every shooting star it was still so special.