Tuesday, January 7, 2014

#tecumsehtuesday Memories

On this freezing snow day with plenty of time to invest in texting and stories, I asked my camp friends to send me one of their favorite camp memories in 3 sentences or less. Even with 26 years of my own camp memories, reading all of these stories made me fall even more in love with the best place on Earth. These are our stories. We all share this mutual appreciation for the way a place in the middle of Indiana can change your life. 

Dancing on tables with Teton and Shoshone during rest hour. Big trouble. Worth it. -Maggie Shadid

During CILTs we laid under the stars and Sarah read to us from Blue Like Jazz for devotions. I'm not sure I was ever more at peace than right in that moment. -Abby Murin

We had a devotion where we put all of our worries into a rock to give to God. It was raining cats and dogs, but when we left the Longhouse to throw our rocks in the river the rain stopped. When we came back inside it started again. GOD MOMENT. -Ellie Vandenberg

Playing Catch Phrase on the tennis courts and laughing so hard that I peed my pants. -Ellie Fitzgerald

CILT song fest at night in the Green Cathedral. -Ellie Pearl

After singing a chapel song while walking to clinics with a Brave girl, we talked about God and how he is present in all of us. I've always known that camp is a place where kids connect with God, but hearing that girl tell me she felt God in her heart is something I'll never forget. -Alli Kenney

Night swimming, especially my last year as a camper with all of the Pathfinders. It always felt like we were doing something mischievous, which we weren't, but that made it so much more fun. -Alex Chandler

During RFAJWD it was really late and we were all exhausted but Natty B and I took a ton of silly pictures that are my favorite pictures ever. -Emily Peterson

Day Camp was amazing. I absolutely loved being myself with tiny adults under the age of 6. They were the perfect playmates and had the best imaginations. -Kennice Wroblewski

When Day Camp went on a mud hike during staff training! There was a huge storm the night before and we ended up having a mud slip n slide. -Courtney Graham

Sneaking in the walk-in refrigerator on a hot day after tube steak buffet with Sara McSoley and eating bananas. -Kathleen Bradley

I loved how when RFAJWD got all messed up we were all bummed out and stressed that we'd have to finish it later. Then we ended up having a blast and got through it without any fights. Even if something didn't go as planned as a CILT, we all had fun with whatever the new plan was and we became close so fast. I still consider them all my best friends even though we don't talk very often. -Annie Aderman

After the deep CILT devotion by the river a lot of us went into Hopi and created a circle. We talked and got super close in just one night. -Jackie Welch

Sitting in the lake on the Beaz Boardz. Everyone was trying to fall off and make it look real while just getting to know your cabin mates better. -Chachi Sheppard

I loved getting to spend every 4th of July at Camp T. In Teton we raided Sarah Wright's garage and had a "yard sale." As a counselor I loved having 6 different campers trying to sit on my lap during fireworks. I never felt homesick. -Noelle Freebeck

I will never forget the moment I was initiated as a Glenn girl. Mel screamed, "AND IT BURST INTO FLAMES." It makes me cry of laughter every time I think of it. One of the greatest feelings is when you know you made a difference in your campers' lives, whether that be by how they act or what they tell you. My greatest camp memories would have to be my best friends, the people I met at camp are the people that will be in my life forever and that's the greatest gift I could ask for. -Maddie Mahoney

One night after our counselors went out on the porch, all of the girls hid in one bunk and talked all night. When our counselors came back in they were all too amused to even yell at us. -Shannon Flynn

When I was a Blazer in Sarah Wright's cabin she had us walk all around the dining hall with spaghetti all over our faces. I'll never forget it. -Rain Hammon

Friday night dinner: Christmas in July, 2007. Sam Glanders, dressed as one of Santa's elves and using helium balloons to keep his voice high-pitched, ran around pouring cane sugar straight into kids' mouths. Although he was quickly stopped, watching the campers with mouths open like dolphins at Sea World was priceless. -William Scales

A Day Camper was afraid to jump off the high dive. Within two minutes of everyone noticing, her name was being chanted by the whole Ranger/Voyager unit until she had the courage to jump in. -Erin O'Farrell

When I was a Warrior my cabin went to do a team building activity called Wilderness Rescue on one of the first days. If you looked at our cabin you would have never expected us to be friends but that really made us get close. It ended up being my favorite year at camp. -Sam Huston

When everyone was trapped in the basement during RFAJWD and I got kidnapped and got to ride the golf cart all the way to the top of the wet willy slide. We just hung out and talked about all the ridiculous stuff we had packed. -Emily Avagian

When one of my favorite Catawba girls cried hysterically and clung to her mom on Sunday. Then she cried hysterically and clung to me when she had to go home on Saturday. Flaming marshmallow to full blown rock star camper in one week. -Carolyn Kata

Summer of 2012: Session 2 of CILTs. Leapfrogging across camp from Upper Pioneer in the Lake Village to Trader Jims in the River Village. -Emma Servies

Being with my campers and worshipping in chapel every morning. -Anna Firmani

Midnight walks and life talks with Smooney during CILTs. -Kate Donlin

When Molly and I told our Blazer campers that Indians lived at camp so we always ran around making Indian noises. -Irene Boldebuck

When I was a Warrior, we slept on the Suspension Bridge and it unexpectedly began to downpour. Instead of running inside right away, we sang "Singing In The Rain," while standing on the bridge at 4 in the morning. We were rain-soaked but more happy than ever! -Gianna Petrelli

Dancing with campers and CILTs and counselors and eating rolls during theme night dinners. -Maddy Wilson

Hiking to the Gish with the CILTs, getting really sweaty and Cody always being told to put a shirt back on. -Madi Surber

Week 2 Catawba went as a slumber party to Opening Campfire. We had a huge dance part and made "No Boys Allowed!" signs. We then proceeded to yell our new motto around camp all week. -Molly Henry

Celebrating my half birthdays with my birthday buddy Sarah Wright, suga butta cheers with Katie Wright and Llamapalooza! -Liz Maher

Writing and recording our CILT graduation song. It was stressful, took hours and there was some arguing involved, but in the end it creatively reflected the best two weeks of our lives. We bonded a lot during those two hours. -Emily Kenney

Chapel!!!! -Oksana

Coming back to campfires years after working to visit and seeing your former campers and CILTs as all star counselors. -Liz Maher

Standing on stage with Arielle during chapel and watching one of our CILTs in the crowd. We'd learned so much about the challenges in her life during the past two weeks, but in that moment she spread her arms so wide at chapel singing, "And if our God is for us, than who could ever stop us," with tears running down her face and ours. -Sarah Wright

Teaching and motivating two of my Pathfinder campers to move up from a red band to a blue band in swimming. Seeing the accomplishment in their eyes made my entire summer. -Kenzie Stark

When the song "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" was blasted through out the dining hall during lunch and every one got up and started dancing and singing the lyrics. -Katie Swanton

I think probably being obsessed with the camera man over weeks one and two! -Rachel Wilson

I loved being on stage with all of my lifeguard training buddies and llama at closing campfire and singing Tecumseh with all the DCs. -Kat Notestine

Lying on the tennis courts surrounded by family and gazing at the stars while Sarah read our CILT session a chapter of Cold Tangerines in her teacher reading voice while light fog drifted across Main Field. It was pure bliss. -Grace Lachmund

That night during CILTs when we had devotions in the Green Cathedral was one of my best nights at camp. Singing songs and hearing my counselors' stories was so amazing and a memory I will always remember. -Rachel Otto

When JZ was my counselor and Emily Dignan and I had a water fight with water picks. We made Jamie cry out of frustration. It sounds bad but it was honestly so funny. Jamie forgave us so it's all gucci. -Olivia Odle

My torchbearer year when I woke up at 4am to go on a run with Maureen. We basically ran all the way around camp while it was pitch black-- and too dark to see the boys' cabins sleeping on the suspension bridge. We accidentally ran over them. Then we got to stretch and pray at Lake Village chapel as the sun came up with the camp smells all around us. -Kerri Carlquist

Dance party in the Dog house! -Molly Bulger

The last chapel of the summer--feeling 100% at peace and enveloped in love. Standing next to my favorite campers and hugging them teary eyed. Heart to hearts and perfect songs and hand holding. -Chrissy Crowe

Saying good-bye to my last day camper Curtis of my first summer as a counselor. I walked back to the site thinking of all the wonderful kids and people I'd gotten to laugh, play, pray, sing, create and grow with in just a few months. -Anna Gibbons

During CILTs when we did devotions under the stars. There is no better way to talk about the beauty of God's creation than to experience it. No stars shine as bright as the stars at Camp Tecumseh. -Kiley Wendt

Bungee coording myself to Arielle Brosman for a day and making a scene wherever we went. -Molly Gigax

When we were at the CILT cookout and Ellyn was in charge. She asked how many of us were scared of her and like 20 people raised their hands. -Soph Soph Wagner

The sleep out at the South Pasture my Torchbearer year started with an awesome devotion. Some of us didn't even sleep in the tent. We had a lightning storm in the middle of the night and the tent started to blow away at 4 in the morning. We got absolutely no sleep but it was so much fun. -Becky Everly

It was Monday night swim with the Pathfinders and I was the DC counselor in Shoshone. The entire cabin and I had a diving contest on the high dives. I just remember so many laughs and sensing so many friendships being made. -Abby Bien

On my first night as a camper at Tecumseh when I was 8 years old, at dinner, my counselor told us all to smash our brownies on our faces. I thought he said to smash them on his face, so that's exactly what I did. Needless to say, he wasn't too happy with me, but it was a solid start to a successful Camp Tecumseh career. -Craig T Douglas

When we were celebrating Madison Moritz's fake birthday and Taylor Fischl and I were super hyper and conjoined ourselves together with our overalls. -Taylor Hoftiezer

I've created a haiku:
Misunderstood slides.
Where is the organ center?
Utter confusion.
-Zach Clark

Getting lost in the woods with Omaha cabin when we were supposed to have a camp out. We cried and laid in the woods until we were rescued. -McKenna Carrell

Chocolate facials given by 6 year old boys in 95 degree weather by day, candlelight devotions with my Brave girls about the importance of being kind and standing up for one another by night. -Sarah Desautels

When I gave my camper Haley an unwrapped Kit-Kat. I expected her to pick it up but instead she just shoved her face in it. -Lizzy Dale

I miss rest hours in my heavenly bunk bed!!!! -Sara McSoley

Probably my first basket in basket clinic. I didn't think I'd be able to do it but everyone in the clinic helped me and I finally made an awkward but complete basket. -Anna Davlin

My favorite memories are Warrior girl mud hikes, water Zumba and sleep outs. -Liz Koch

CILTs 2011. But my other favorite was returning for just two weeks of 2009. With no extra responsibility I got to focus on just being a counselor and living in the background. Since I didn't know the staff as well, it was the first time I was focused 100% on the real reason for camp and it was an incredible epiphany. -Krafty

One Friday night a couple of summers ago, hundreds of glow sticks were passed out a closing campfire to everyone. It was one of the most unique and cool takes on a tradition that so many people love and look forward to. -Caroline Skulski

Torchbearer year when there was a huge furry spider in Claire Wendt's sleeping bag on the suspension bridge and we both freaked out. It was so funny and scary that I know we'll never forget it. -Rachel Davis

Camp Tecumseh Cross Country team 2k7 and our Wacky Wednesday race of Teton girls. -Livvie Murino

When I was a Pathfinder my cabin was going on a sleep out to the South Pasture. I really didn't want to go but Jamie encouraged me and I ended up making some of the best memories of that summer: getting close with the girls of Shoshone, nature and God.

The CILT reunion because it was proof that our friendships were real and lasting. We all walked in and it was just like being back in the Longhouse again. It was like nothing had changed and I loved it. Oh, and the time Ellyn asked to photocopy our Christmas card... it was weird. -Claire Wendt

Being able to become best friends for life with people in a matter of hours over a devotion, shared clinic or overnight weekend. -Maggie Dilts

It was the 4th of July and at the end of lunch it was announced we were going to be having an extended rest hour since it was 111 degrees. The entire room just went nuts and our counselor Bailey Rowland yelled, "LETS START A RIOT!" and started chanting, "HEAT STROKE! HEAT STROKE!" and then we tried to flip a table. It was a grand time. -Taylor Fischl

My favorite memory is the tap on the shoulder devotion the last night of CILTs. All we needed before leaving the greatest place on Earth was the reassurance that they were so great. I loved getting the chance to not only learn about myself but to show others how great they were too, without any motive of being recognized or thanked since no one knew who was tapping them. It was awesome. -Saaya Nath

I loved when the CILTs collected the gold during Gold Rush. It was terribly hot, but still the CILT girls had a huge dance party. We stayed positive even in the heat. As Kid President would say, it was awesome. -Madison Pettet

CILT blob time for the entire morning when our extended float trip got cancelled. -Sophie Millsaps

Laughing until we cried in the Party Room when Arielle played a Russian lunch lady. Also walking down the aisle toward my future husband. I guess that's a kind of unique one that only a few other lovely ladies can say. -Mel Lang

I was in CILT Session 2 of the summer 2010. The second week of CILTs at our closing campfire was the Christmas Sweater Campfire. Sara McSoley had this crazy sweater that got passed between counselors so that it was on stage during every step of the campfire. Shelby Barrett handed me the sweatshirt to wear during our graduation song. I've never felt more proud of myself in my life. -Soaps

Laying in the Main Field as a CILT after devotions. Thrilled that the cool kids (Eric Glanders and Caitlyn Scales) were letting me hang out and not making fun of me. More stars than I could count. -Beef

Carolyn Kata negating the rule, "Don't play with your food," and playing "Tortilla Face" at every taco dinner. Brave girls have never laughed so hard. -Arielle Brosman

One of my favorite memories is watching the night sky light up with the 4th of July fireworks. Not only did I have my best friends from home around me but newly found friends I had no idea would one day become some of my best friends. -Paige Evans

Having devotions at the South Pasture with the Seminole girls and feeling so close to nature, my campers and God. -Megan Nocita

My first week of DC, I met a camper who had a condition that may have inhibited his jaunt but never his spirits. Wednesday of that first week, his mother pulled me aside at drop-off to share that Sam would be wearing his leg braces that day. Although it had not struck me as different at first, she noted that this was the first time he had ever felt comfortable wearing his braces in shorts, without covering, because he felt so accepted at camp. It was the greatest feeling to know we had created an environment where he felt so comfortable and free. -Quinn Divens

Having cookouts on Friday nights with counselors after our campers went to bed. We had card games, brats, massage trains and parent letter writing parties. -Paige Coapstick

Although there are millions and zillions to choose from, one of my favorite memories from camp would have to be standing on the Longhouse porch belting out all the words to the Little Mermaid's "Part of Your World" with my new best friends Claire Smedley and Cat Yardley. So much has happened since then but I still can't help but smile and sing along when I hear that song and think back on all the amazing things that happened that summer at Camp T! -Madison Mooney

On Jock Jams day all of the CILTs belted our Space Jams as we danced our way from River Village chapel, through camp, all the way to the TLC. -Natalie Brosius

We walked to Upper Pioneer for a cookout when I was a Pathfinder in Shelby Barrett's cabin. She started a huge water fight and all of Teton and Arapaho got soaking wet. We layed in the field laughing forever. -Annie Fazzio

I love the feeling of walking to River Village chapel in the morning. Everyone is so excited to sing with everyone in the Green Cathedral. -Emily Parkes

One time after songfest all of us Omaha girls and our counselor Kellie realized that the sun set was SO PRETTY. We decided to chase it and we ran all the way until we hit a gate. Then we took fun pictures and told funny stories in a circle. -Julia Plant

MAX! During CILTs my mom sent a stuffed animal cat in a care package to remind me of my cat at home. We took Max everywhere and dressed him up for the Friday theme dinner. He refused to change afterwards  because he didn't want the party to end. -Katlyn Freeman

Sunrise spectacles at breakfast every day with our Choctaw girls week 9 and taking a minimum of five rest hours per day. -Ellyn Hessong

I love when my brother Tommy, my sister Abby and I are all at camp at the same time and everybody knows that it's a "BIEN WEEK." There's nothing like sharing my favorite place with my favorite people and knowing that we are as close as we are as a family because of camp. -Maddie Bien

We did devotions under the stars out by the lake one night late in the summer. In the middle of our conversation we heard this loud crack and before we realized it had just been a tree falling in the woods, we were all running in different directions screaming. It was funny and scary and powerful and magical and for some reason it pops into my mind as one of my favorite moments. -Casey Dawson

Oh gosh, how about the time we hiked to the Gish? Becky broke her shoes and trooped through it. I peed in the woods and got poison ivy everywhere. We built forts out of huge trees. Then the day ended with me, Ellyn, Justin and a Warrior boy going to Med Check and getting shakes on the way home. -Natalie Finney

It was the day during staff training when all of the counselors find out their unit and partner for the summer. Sarah Wright and I were Lake Village coordinators and feeling such a mix of emotions about our leadership position for the weeks to come. While of the counselors were hanging out at the end of the night, she and I took a walk together and sat on the hill between villages and talked for hours. It was one of the defining moments of our friendship. -Sarah Fitzpatrick

Jump roping between 3rd clinic and lunch time in a one piece swimsuit and tennis shoes or practicing Country Line Dancing with everyone in River Village. Pretty much all group activities before lunch times were the highs of my day. -Molly Brunner

It was my first year at camp as a Brave. As soon as I walked into Delaware, Sarah Wright deemed us cousins and made me feel so welcome. -Monica Wright

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