Tuesday, March 11, 2014

An ode to #tecumsehtuesday

When Tuesday rolls around each week my Instagram feed is filled with pictures from Camp Tecumseh, a series of counselor's and camper's memories for #tecumsehtuesday. Today I read a blogpost from my friend Michelle about how she first fell in love with Tecumseh. One of my CILTs just wrote all of her etymology sentences about Tecumseh to make her homework more fun. The @camptproblems twitter stepped up their game today with more tweets about our favorite place. I'd like to join in with my friends with writing a thank you note to Camp T.

Dear Camp Tecumseh,

Thank you for over two decades of friends, adventure, life lessons and faith. Thank you for letting people like Kata shine as they lead dozens of children on an attack of Lake Village with face paint, war cries and tiki torches.

Thank you for the way relationships form here. That in just one week campers can fall in love with this place, their cabin mates and counselors. That kids like Lily and Sarah have squirmed their way into all of their counselors hearts--for totally different reasons-- and we will never forget them. I often find that these kids change our lives more than we expected.

Thank you Camp T for letting us wear overalls, dress up like characters from the Bible and wear Wolf Shirts without ridicule. Thank you for flipping what's considered "popular" upside down so that we're all on an equal playing ground.

Thank you for kids like Smellen and Cali that make us laugh until we cry. Because of these little girls we will forever have a greater appreciation of Fabio and nicknames like Diet Pig. Your age doesn't make you more valuable or more important than the next person. 8-year-olds and 15-year-olds can both say brilliant and ridiculous things. Heart to hearts are not age restricted.

Thank you for allowing dreams to come true. Only at camp would we dream of making a giant blimp and then make it happen with 40 kids holding inflated trash bags above their heads. I know that anything is possible because of Camp T-- things like great blue whales in a man-made lake, a gigantic Indian filled with maple syrup and 500 people being third at the exact same time.

Thank you for keeping us safe. Seriously. Injuries happen sometimes (we'll never forget when Annie accidentally bit Molly's head so hard she had to get stitches) but we take care of each other here. Last summer a mom told me that while driving a car of girls to camp she asked them to explain what made this place so special. One of them said, "I just feel safe when I'm at camp." Thank you for that. Thank you that kids feel emotionally, spiritually, socially and physically safe when they're here.

Thank you for helping us grow friendships with roots so deep that they'll stay planted long after we leave this place. Because camp becomes a part of us, we take it with us wherever we go. I know that because of camp I've got a whole crew of friends that would be there for me if I ever needed them.


My longest lasting friendships were first sparked here at camp--Arielle and I have been friends almost our whole lives, Murphy and I were cabinmates for years, Kraft and I were CILTs together in 2003, Fitzie and I became friends our first year on staff. These people have shaped my time at camp.

Thank you for the spontaneous dance parties in Main Field, for the silver clay on the bottom of the Richard G Marsh lake, for the walks back to our cabins under the stars that shine so bright and for the way the light shines through the canopy of leaves at the Green Cathedral every morning.

Thank you for letting quiet kids come out of their shell for the first time. Thank you for proving that every kind of kid is capable of making friends and learning to be a good friend. Thank you for teaching an army of counselors to love selflessly every single summer. Thank you for showing God's love way more often than you preach God's love.

Thank you for having a way of surprising us every summer with not only new activities and traditions, but new friendships, new opportunities to grow and new reasons to love this place. Just when I thought I'd seen it all we sleep out at Ghost Cabin, have the best lake time ever, fly kites in Main Field or go trick or treating in July. Creativity is your strength Camp T.

Thank you for being one of the most consistent places in the world for so many kids. Even if their family moves, their parents split up, they change groups of friends or just grow up-- Camp T will still be there. This place will always feel like home whether you're returning in a few months or you won't be back for years. I don't know of any other place that has so profoundly impacted people's lives. Thank you. Thank you for being the place that Maggie and Meghan and so many others have fallen in love with.

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