One of my new favorite traditions is Choctaw Cabin Nap Time in-between eating breakfast and cleaning up. Our girls are champs at it and came up with it themselves.
After taking a hiatus for a few weeks we brought back the wolf shirts.
The River Warriors walked back up the hill for chapel at the Deep Woods campfire with Lake Village. We sang, "I get down, he lifts me up," and did the dum-dum-dada-dada motions to "My rock, my sword, my shield," and it was so fun with my girls.
James was rocking out on the guitar and they did a great 3 Trees skit. Claire did the wrap up and talked about how sometimes we wish we knew how everything was going to work out in the end but that things actually would be boring and not awesome at all if we were just given all the answers. Instead we've got to trust God and his plans for our life even if they're not what we expect.
I flipped out during Friendship Bracelet clinic today when I discovered that Gavin and Declan are the brothers of Grace/Katherine/Elise McGill and Maeve McDermott. I've known all of those girls for years and Grace is in so many of my early memories as a counselor. I knew they had younger brothers but didn't make the connection until today.
Hip-hop clinic is still going strong. The three small groups figured out their routines today and we added them into the dance. Tomorrow we'll finish teaching all of the choreography.
No matter what village I'm in, the time before lunch will always be one of my favorites. Today I loved sitting in the grass with these Hopi and Choctaw girls. I got to hear about their mornings and funny stories and ask questions and they're just really great.
One of the reasons today was a huge day in our lives was because we got to play Empire on team Vallanor! Empire is an insane Lake Village game/tradition/obsession/competition/legacy. Today we put on the blue for our team and ran our hearts looking for and stealing both coins and keys. In the end our team came in second out of five, a new summer record for Vallanor.
All of Lake Village went to the Lake together for the rest of the afternoon. I got to be partners with Emma who said she just wanted to do whatever I wanted to do. We started out on the paddle boards which she was thrilled about because it's on her mom's bucket list. Then we got to go off the rope swing, answering questions before we dropped into the water.
Today was chilly so most of our cabin was already sitting and talking on the hill together when lake time finished. We ate dinner with Hopi at two tables pulled together. Then we soaked up some sun while we ate our ice-cream from Trading Post.
Our second campetition of the week was Running Charades against Hopi and the Dots. Emily, JZ and I made up the lists of words for the girls to act out and kept score. This game never gets old. It was so fun watching them help their team figure out each one and then sprint back to find the next one on the list. In the end Choctaw came away with the most points, making it our second Warrior victory of the week.
We were headed to make friendship bracelets when we decided to look some more for the Golden W. After looking at all the high ropes elements in Lake Village we realized we had yet to look at the far end of the Zipline. There was a trail into the woods and after they'd walked a few feet in my girls started screaming. There hanging from a tree branch was the Golden W.
We flipped out screaming and shrieking and dancing and running around. Liz and Todd were on the lake hill with their cabins when they heard the cheering and ran up to see what all the commotion was about. So proud of these girls.
We finally made it to our friendship bracelet time and attempted to start some sweet new bracelets. While some of the girls made it pretty far others realized this might not be one of their strengths and that's still ok too.
While they were busy making knots, Emma and Hannah sang us a song that Hannah wrote herself. I was blown away it was so good.
James Black and the men of Chippewa joined us for an Adventure Hike. The girls and boys paired up and did well with our frequent buddy checks. We had them all say one of their favorite things about camp and then spit in the creek. Before going up the hill to the South Pasture they had to help carry a large limb that we could use to build our alter in remembrance of our week at camp.
The sun was just setting and the field and sky were beautiful.
The field is filled with semi-young pine trees and James had a brilliant idea. We played Sharks and Minnows in the field with all of the kids trying to get from one side to the other. The trees made strategy and sneaking around extra fun. We want to play it again later this summer.
Choctaw headed back to the River Village through the Oak Forest and one of my girls caught a lightning bug. I told them about Katlyn, one of the CILTs from last session, and how she ended up eating four lightning bugs while she was here. I had wanted to eat one too but just didn't have the opportunity yet. The time had arrived. We learned that when you bite down on a ladybug your mouth momentarily lights up. So cool. It tasted very buggy and naturey. If you're planning on eating one make sure you've got some water nearby.
The girls thought it was hilarious and I ended up eating a total of three by the time we made it to the River Lodge. I made it look so fun that my girls wanted in on the action too. Maddie, Ally, Danielle and Stella all ended up eating one.
We set up hammocks out in the Day Camp site tonight for our sleep out. The girls were good about getting theirs all hooked into the trees and carrying their stuff out their from the cabin.
We circled up on the little stage for devotions and had a really cool conversation about being our authentic selves instead of giving people a fake version of us. This cabin is full of so many different types of girls and I'm loving how they're coming together. They are realizing that you can't judge a book by a cover and that you have more in common with people than you initially realize.
We all climbed up into our hammocks and only two girls flipped right out onto the ground. They were okay and gave it another shot, this time getting settled in safely. We fell asleep with the stars shining brightly above us. At about 4:30 am the counselors woke up freezing cold and decided to wake up the girls to go back to the cabin. We all quickly packed up and walked back home to our warm bunk beds. The last few hours of the night we slept peacefully all cuddled up under our blankets and quilts.