Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"We were watching the whole time and we just want to marry you."

A lot of the Day Camp counselors got these Lincoln shirts that I'm obsessed with. "Drop beats, not bombs." I want one. I want Baby Lincoln to have one. I need to make a Wal-Mart visit.

This morning the CILTs completed the Sherpa Walk. I appreciated Rain's bonnet tie with her bandanna.

The blindfolded kids can't touch the clappers or counselors but sometimes they get a little too close for comfort.

When Forrest heard my Diet Coke can open he asked for a drink. Conveniently I had some straws so I went and gave him a drink. He was a little confused at first but then really excited.

They ended with everyone underneath the parachute together and finally got to take off their blindfolds. We did a big debrief about teamwork and communication and why both are so difficult and important.

Josiah the CILT is a master on the guitar. We were so thankful for his talent as we had the first ever CILT morning songfest. One of our CILT Jar Challenges this week, we didn't know exactly how it would play out but it ended up being one of my favorite things we've done.

We sang a lot of songs together but the lyrics of the old "Servant Song" really struck me today and reminded me of what CILTs and Tecumseh are all about.

Brother, sister, let me serve you,
 let me be as Christ to you;
 pray that I may have the grace to
 let you be my servant too.

 We are pilgrims on a journey,
 and companions on the road;
 we are here to help each other
 walk the mile and bear the load.

 I will hold the Christ-light for you
 in the night-time of your fear;
 I will hold my hand out to you,
 speak the peace you long to hear.

 I will weep when you are weeping;
 when you laugh I’ll laugh with you;
 I will share your joy and sorrow
 till we’ve seen this journey through.

 When we sing to God in heaven
 we shall find such harmony,
 born of all we’ve known together
 of Christ’s love and agony.

 Brother, sister, let me serve you,
 let me be as Christ to you;
 pray that I may have the grace to
 let you be my servant too.

We brought the Party to the Party Room during lunch today. After decorating and setting the tables, everyone ran back to the cabins to dress up crazy. It's one of our strengths.

At camp people are up for anything all the time. It's so fun to just be crazy and weird for no reason at all.

We had streamers, balloons, crazy straws and music during lunch. All the CILTs were singing along and dancing as we ate our pizza.

These friends are the best. I love seeing Maddy and Hannah together and think it's so great when they bust out their show choir moves. I love Grace and having her around all the time and wish she could just stay longer.

Max made his first appearance in the dining hall today because he wanted to get dressed up too. Max is Kat's cat but he has become a big part of the last two weeks-- especially when he needs his own bedtime and wake up routine. Max loved the Party Room Party and getting to be part of everything.

Ellyn and Sarah daily picture. Whipping my hair back and forth with Max and Kat.

I love these kids so much my heart hurts when I think about all of them leaving in just a couple days. They're fun and crazy and smart and enthusiastic and love to make memorable scenes.

When Shauna Niequist wrote this part of Puppies I think she was really writing about CILTs and my life as a counselor and girls like Katlyn and Emily and so many other kids that have touched my heart,

"When I think about how God made us to live, when people talk about true community or true intimacy, I think of them, this lovely bizarre group of teenage girls. They let me into their fears and their secrets, and cared about my fears and my secrets. They loved me with a force that I think only comes with youth, a wide and fierce and expressive force, and I loved them with that same love, because being with them let me live like I was young."

This afternoon all of River Village got to participate in the official Tecumseh Olympic Games of 2013. Smooncat, JZ and I got be some of the roving reporters that did interviews with campers about how everything was going.

I got to hang out with Mia and Hadley for a little bit. They both told me that they're having such a great week and it's better than they could have predicted. I'm so glad that this place is part of their lives.

I walked all around the Main Loop stopping to watch the games and interview campers. I got to see some shot put...

hula hooping, archery, home run derby...

free throws, frisbee toss, and tennis ball bouncing.

Everyone was incredibly sweaty and hot by the time they made it over to pop stop. I got to see my friend Anna who is in Eel River this week. We met on Sunday and have just been so excited to see each other every time we cross paths. I saw Courtney for a little bit, one of Sara McSoley's favorite kids ever.

Grace and Annie Fazz remind me so much of each other. Something about my friendships with each of them and how Grace is so much like Annie was a CILT. I'm so glad they are getting to know each other this week.

WE GOT A CARE PACKAGE FROM TAYLOR FISCHL TODAY! We knew it was going to be a good one because we'd been waiting in anticipation of her creativeness.

Inside we found colored pictures, letters for everyone and at least thirty bows that she'd made for us. This girl is awesome. We can't wait to sport them all over camp and the real world.

We were planning chapel in the afternoon so we didn't get to go to pool time on time. We still had to go to ask Llama a question though and were surprised to find everyone still in the water. You've got to take opportunities though. Go big or go home. Live like you're dying. Never say never. Carpe diem aka Seize the Day. So... we jumped in with our clothes on.

I got some quality time in making George Washington hair with girls, chucking Sarah and Anna into the air and then playing toss the camper with friends.

I got to eat dinner with Chickasaw tonight. I love the eating habits of nine and ten year olds. One kid just ate cottage cheese and bacon bits. I chatted it up with some new friends and took Avery to try to find her mom on the wall of all the old staff photos. Being a CILT counselor is the best of both worlds when I got to play with my campers all day and join in cabins of these younger kids.

Tonight Smooney and I ran the Trading Post. We got our campers to trade for anything they wanted. At first most of them were confused and a bit defensive about having to make a trade. But they really wanted those sour skittles and drum stick ice-cream cones so we soon had a nice stockpile of stuff.

I love Smooncat. I can't imagine this summer without her by my side. After years of being friends it's been so cool to get to share this whole experience together.

Arielle and I always said that with the way the economy is these days, maybe we should all go back to trading. We were pretty profitable tonight as we ended up with bug spray, cheerios, two packs of fruit snacks, jolly ranchers, a yellow apple, three pens and two pencils, two types of hair ties, ice breaker chews, two new packs of gum and two band aids. Not bad at all.

There was a hula hoop party going on in Main Field that I couldn't help but join. Courtney and Gabby were doing great work.

Avery was precious and going two or three at a time.

Alli Kenney was playing Speed Bubble Racer for most of the time but stopped for a little to show us her skills. I couldn't get it spinning on my waist today but could whip it around my neck.

Smooney and I went on a camp tour to find more CILTs that we could observe with their cabins tonight. We found Maddy and Allison playing shuffle board with their girls up in Kampen. We walked in to find both of them totally engaged with what was going on and making their campers laugh and have so much fun.

We found some Pathfinder cabins by the ga ga pits and I got to talk with Emily, Madison, Hannah and Allie for awhile. We discovered so many connections between HSE and their schools and young life people. Just talking and hearing their stories made me feel like a regular resident counselor for a little while, sometimes I really miss that.

Back in the Riv we stopped by the pool to watch the water polo game and sand castle building content. When we tried to get going again nothing happened. Lucky for us, this cabin of Brave girls was just walking by and offered to give us a push. They wouldn't quit and ended up pushing us all the way back to River Lodge.

Smooney and I sat on the Longhouse porch for a long time as the sun was going down. She wanted to be like grandmas on a porch together. We talked about this summer and how we want to live in a place we love like this when we grow up. I convinced her to write top 10 lists with me and we got to look back at the last six weeks of campers and adventures and devotions and sleep outs and late night conversations and hilarious moments and stressful situations and things we'll never be able to forget.

Because they were leading devotions, it took forever for all the CILT girls to get back tonight. We had time to shower and hear about their nights, all crowd around my bed together, hop from room to room and write love tank notes. We started devotions late and talked about sea glass and the story behind the song Worn. I'm so thankful for the way God uses our brokenness to turn us into something beautiful.

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