Thursday, July 18, 2013

"You go to Cathedral?" "Qdoba."

This morning we set out on an adventure. We told the kids we'd be getting muddy but a few thought they'd manage to avoid it. Soon they realized there is just no possible way of going around it all. At the first big mud pit poor Kate slipped all the way in, momentarily lost her croc and got her arm covered in mud. Good thing the girl is resilient and she was able to keep going strong. Hiking with all of the CILTs is always one of my favorite morning activities.

It may be hot and sweaty and buggy and dirty but that's all just part of the fun.

Jamie and I climbed out onto some rocks, we all climbed over fallen limbs and I just had so much fun with this whole group. Jamie is such an adventurer and I love getting to do things like this with her. She gets so excited about the whole hike and being rugged.

We made it up to the top of the mountain and we'd all reached Level 2 sweat. Everyone was so excited to be at the top and raced to the shaded pavilion.

Getting to the top of a giant hill like this always make me want to scream in victory.

We were just a little tired once we arrived.

Alex's sweatiness is incredible and he embraces it so well. I've loved getting to work alongside him this summer and have been so impressed with him week after week. He wasn't sure what to expect coming into this summer but has done such a phenomenal job. I've been lucky to work with him.

On the trail we were talking about how all of this is almost done and Kat said, "Well, we've just got to figure out how to make these last two days seem really long. A lot can happen in two days." She's so right. We've got to live up the CILT life while we've got it. This is what I think about all year long and I only get to live it for six weeks. I'm planning on having so much fun and loving these kids as much as I can for the next few days.

Grace brought along her Rainbow Loom on the adventure and was teaching Libby how to make bracelets. There's no bad time to make a craft.

Each session has done something different up at the Gish. Session 1 did team building rotations, session 2 built forts and today we invented a new crazy capture the flag kind of game.

The teams started on opposite sides of the land with the goal of getting the four objects from the other teams castle. The first team to get all of the opposite objects back to their castle won. Anyone could tag anyone anywhere, there were no boundaries. You got untagged by having someone from your own team crawl under your legs. I played with these awesome kids on team 2.

The first round was SO fun. It was over in about ten minutes which was crazy too. Then we let each team make a rule change for the next two rounds. Team 1 had us play with rock-paper-scissors to determine a double tag. Team 2's round had only 4 tagger/untaggers for each team. Organized chaos and awesomeness. I loved that everyone was so into the game and excited about each round.

It was the last really big, exciting thing we'll do together and great last hurrah. The explorers of Session 3.

While we were waiting for the bus to come pick us up we found a little baby snake that Emily so bravely held.  Back in the Riv we got to hang out with fun kids like Finn and Katie.

William Scales walked out of the Lodge just as everyone was getting back from clinics and said, "This is my favorite part of the day." He wasn't really saying it to anyone in particular, just putting it out there. I love this part of the day too with everyone just playing and running around and being friends.

Reasons why lunch was awesome:
Max the cat came to eat with us
Smooney got loads of sweet potato fries from multiple tables
Kat and I did Turbo Tube face painting again
I got to sit with a table full of really fun girls

We got a care package from Sophie Wagner and Amanda Miller today! All the counselors got so excited and opened it up together. Inside we found a letter, glow sticks, bubble wands, hair bows for Smoon, a glow in the dark puzzle, glow in the dark stars, lots of candy, ring stamps and sidewalk chalk. So much fun. Then I got letters from Natalie Brosius, Becky and Tay Fish-- mail from old campers is one of my favorite things.

At the end of the school year it was always so sad at bible study when we'd talk about how I was going to be gone all summer at camp. I was so used to see my girls every single day at school and usually at once on the weekend. We're part of each other's extended family. At some point we dreamed up how cool it would be if some of the girls came to visit me at camp. Tonight it actually happened.

On my night off tonight, Janelle Dewolf drove up her daughter Julia, Alli Sams, Alana, Molly, Olivia and Maddy. I was beyond excited to see them and raced across the parking lot when their car pulled up.  They all spilled out and we attacked each other with hugs. I love these kids.

It was just so fun for me to get to see my two worlds collide. CILTs ran up to say hi to them, they got a tour of the Longhouse, Ellyn and hugged all of them twice, met little Sarah, played in Main Field and ran all over the place together. I loved seeing them again and getting to show them a glimpse of my camp counselor self.

Oh goodness this is joy. I don't know if many things could make me happier.

We drove into West Lafayette together and ate dinner together on the porch of Chipotle. They decided to all put their phones away while we were together so we really got to laugh and tell stories and be ridiculous together. Janelle went to Purdue so she was so excited for us to get to walk all over campus. We found this sweet painted alley, they got shirts at the Den and explored Vons.

It was just so good for my heart to be with these girls that have become such a part of my world. It meant so much to me that they would drive all the way up here to hang out for just a couple hours. I'll only be at camp for three more weeks but once I get back I can't wait to go back to seeing them all the time.

When I got back to the Longhouse I was talking to the girls on the floor when I rolled over and spotted Max. He had the urge to be dangerously adventurous while I was away (with some help from Maddie) and was just hanging out on the light enjoying the view.

My girls have been talking about how much they miss Chipotle, how they spend all their money on Chipotle and about how it's all they want in the world. So tonight I brought back a burrito and 15 forks so they could all share. Their reactions were incredible and totally worth it.

We waited for all the die-hard Chipotle fans to get back to the cabin and then they dove in all at once. They tore open the tortilla and chowed down.

In just over a minute the whole burrito disappeared and all that was left was a splash of rice on the floor. They did impressive work.

We had our last letter writing devo of the summer tonight. As we wrote to our future selves in the Party Room, Jack McGee played the piano for us. He plays a mashup of all the worship songs we sing in chapel here and I love listening. I wish there were a way to record him so we could all get a copy of it.

I pray that the letters we wrote tonight will be powerful when we get them in a few months. I pray that these kids really will take the best versions of themselves home. I pray that the joy and faith they've grown will be consistent once they've left camp. I hope that these friendships will continue to grow despite the distance. I hope they take camp with them.

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