Sunday, April 27, 2014

"He's got more tanks than the Russian army."

One of the perks of having 5th period prep is that I get to visit kids in all three of the lunches. Back in the old school there was a year of 5th period prep that I would have lunch dates with different kids. One group of girls came to my classroom to eat every Tuesday and another set of girls ate with me on Thursdays. Today the Pizza Bagel Posse came down to my room to eat lunch with me. Cami, Maggie, Caitlyn, Elise, Julia and Cecilia are so funny and talkative and creative and goofy. I think we may have to repeat this lunch.

Myers and Nick showed up with a couple of foam swords just in time to take our picture.

I drove to West Lafayette after school to meet up with camp friends for dinner. Just as I got out of my car I spotted Hannah Blachly and Liz VanO walking down the sidewalk. Liz saw me first and waved with a confused look on her face. Then Hannah spotted me and attacked me she was so surprised. We just all happened to be going to dinner at Chipotle so I got to hang out with them for a little while.

Soon enough my friends Maggie, Claire Smedley, Lizzy and Claire Edleman all showed up for dinner too. Everyone was happy--busy with Grand Prix or excited to get to camp. Dinner was a storm of funny stories and What Are the Odds dares.

Out at Tecumseh we met up with everyone on the porch of the Nightengale. It's Coord Training Weekend-- a gathering of all the people who will be in a leadership position this summer. This weekend makes it feel like summer is just around the corner, like this year holds so much potential and this new group of people has something really special to bring to the table.

We played a new game called Spike Ball in the field while we still had some day light. It's kind of like volleyball and 4-square. You and a partner work together to pass the ball and then hit it on the net trampoline.

We made it inside to do introductions, including Becca and Marie who were video chatting in to our meeting from their schools. Everyone took a personality test and as a group we talked about where our strengths, relational needs and balance all lie. Whether you're an Otter/Golden Retriever mix or a Buck Toothed Lion you fit in to this puzzle of people that are better as a whole.

After the "business" part of the night we gathered around the table to play a dice game called Farkle. You roll 6 dice and try to score points based on different combinations of numbers, 1s that equal 100 and 5s that equal 50. You can pass the dice and your points on to the person beside when you feel it's too risky to keep rolling. If your roll is of no value than you Farkle, get no points and it's the next persons turn. Basically it's a game of luck where Mike got three Farkles in a row, Dillon had the comeback of the century and Todd had the highest mass of points of the night on his very last turn.

After breakfast Saturday morning, we walked out to Middle Earth for chapel. We sang One Thing Remains together and talked about camp's mission and vision statements. There's something so special about just sitting on the pine needle covered floor, completely surrounded by these tall pine tress, away from distractions and noise. It's simple here.

Tom led us in some stretching and some relaxation while we laid down on the ground. It's a rarity for me to sit and do absolutely nothing at all so this was pretty extraordinary. If only Tom could be around to help us start our day like this all the time.

Next we headed to Trader Jim's for an intense Team Building Scenerio. I was blindfolded and linked up with Claire while the other coords were with their partners. The four teams started in the four corners of the room. All we knew was that the blindfolded person would have to walk through the room collecting puzzle pieces and eventually we'd all put the pieces together. Our sighted partner would stay in our starting corner and give us the directions of how to get it all done.

What I couldn't see was that the room looked like this. Hanging ropes, discheveled tables and chairs, ropes stretched across the room, mouse traps, balls and hula hoops and and random other objects like a denim dress and animal pelt. We collected the pieces as we carefully made our way across the room meeting distractions and surprises along the way.

Afterwards we debriefed the activity, drawing connections between what we experienced in that room and what our role will be this summer. I love these kinds of conversations. There is so much heart, enthusiasm and creativity in this group. I've got faith in all of these people to do a tremendous job this summer.

This summer we'll be working with:
Maggie and Todd (Pathfinders)
Dayna and Pippin (Warriors)
Claire and Mike (LV Directors)
Becca Hough and Jimmy (Blazers)
Becca Huckstep and Dillon (Braves)
Sarah (CILTs), Ellyn (Cac), John Amy and Luke (Lake), Llama and Meg (Pool), Joy (High Ropes)
Matt Radding, Jamie and Marie (RV Directors)
Joel and Tom (Directors)

We ate our lunch and dinner out on the porch of the River Lodge. Wouldn't it be cool to be able to do this in the summer? Maybs this will have to be part of the CILT Jar Challenges.

Before going back inside we played some more Spike Ball, this time with three person teams. The oldest kids in camp, aka Pathfinders and CILTs, have a lot of spirit but this game is not our strength. Good thing we excel at taking great pictures.

We spent the afternoon and early evening brainstorming, learning, talking, practicing and planning. Big ideas and little things that will make this summer great. One of our What Are the Odds Dares was that we would all dress up in costumes for our Dairy Queen trip Saturday night. No one was upset about having to dress up in ridiculous costumes to get our milkshakes and blizzards.

The workers were a little thrown off at first but they didn't make a single comment or ask why we were dressed so crazy. The guy working the grill just stared at us with a huge smile on his face. Other customers couldn't help but stare too but no one approached us.

We asked a woman to take our picture before we left and she was totally into it, very excited to be an extreme photographer and squatting to get the angle just right.

Back in the Health Center we had a vocabulary lesson on what all the kids are saying. Do you know what ratchet, 5ever, bae, ilysm and basic all mean? We played Camp Counselor Fishbowl with the coords before we went to sleep and now know exactly how to act out our friends like Fabs, Riley, Margaret, Kellie Coval, KJ, James Black and Molly.

Sunday morning we ate breakfast at the lodge, had a devotion about the little things that Jesus did, practiced CEDOS together on fictional counselors and created SMART goals for the summer. I got to see Sophie for a quick second during lunch because she had worked Candle Creations that morning. After putting together the new puzzle for our theme we said our good-byes and everyone packed up to head home.

It was an awesome weekend and I'm thrilled to be working with these people. The next time I'm back will be with the rest of the CILT counselors so we can focus in on what we're doing and preparing for our kids. Then before you know it the whole staff will be here for our week long training. I'm pumped to be back for another summer.

I had dinner at El Camino with Emma and Liz back in Fishers. Over chips and queso I got to hear about their weekends and we talked about the end of the year. We're looking forward to things like Bob Goff, the Color Run, our last Wyld Life Clubs and Michindoh at the beginning of the summer. 

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