Saturday, May 24, 2014

Do good. Have fun. CILT Pack.

I met with the large bible study group for the last time of the school year Friday morning. I remember meeting about 8 of them at the YL Amazing Race right before school started in August. That night I told them that we would have so much fun all year. Soon I learned their names, met their friends and we started meeting every other week together. I've loved this time and am glad that we'll continue to meet when they're in 8th grade. 

After school I drove up to Tecumseh for the weekend. Arielle, Smooney and I all met up at Chipotle for dinner. Arielle and Smooney are two of my very best friends in the whole world but they don't really know each other at all. Soon enough we are all laughing and talking and telling stories. I'm pumped to live with both of them this summer in the Longhouse.

Tonight also happened to be our friend Kat's party and graduation from West Side. Arielle and I were her CILT counselors in 2012 and then Kat lived in the Longhouse with Smoon and I for a couple weeks last summer. We had to go stop by and see her for a quick minute. We love this girl and we're so glad she'll be back on Day Camp staff this summer.

It was late by the time we got back to camp and the three of us sat in the parking lot with Ellyn. She's the CAC Queen this summer and will be in Choctaw with me again. This will be a summer to remember and I expect to laugh most of the time when I'm in the company of these friends.

Saturday morning and afternoon Arielle, Smoon and I worked in the lodge making copies, sorting papers into stacks, hole punching, signing graduation diplomas and filling binders. It takes a lot of preparation to be ready for all of our CILTs and we like to be organized ahead of time. Now that the paperwork side of things is ready we can focus on planning "the fun stuff" during staff training.

Mike Jones is the guy CILT counselor this summer and we're thrilled to have him. Last year he was a Pathfinder for his first summer on staff and everyone that worked with him raves about this guy. I have no doubt that he is perfect for his role and will do a phenomenal job.  He was busy working this weekend so we didn't get to see him as much as we would have liked. Thankfully he got to eat lunch with us and do a quick CILT counselor photo shoot before he headed back to the Trading Post.

Olivia Odle texted me after I put a couple of these pictures on Instagram and said, "I always get so excited when the CILT counselor photo shoot happens bc it means things are getting real and camp is so soon." She's right.

Not only do we use these pictures on Instagram, but we primarily use them in the hallway of the Longhouse to decorate during CILTs. This program is a family so we like to hang up some family pictures.

After spending a whole summer together the entire staff at Tecumseh gets close, but there is something extra special about doing CILTs. Because we work side by side all day long for six weeks, live in the same building, eat in the Party Room, share 40 kids a session and 120 kids a summer, stay up late having deep devotions, sit in circles debriefing activities and watch our campers grow in new ways the four of us bond in a way that's hard to explain.

This will be my 7th summer as a CILT counselor and I've worked with 14 incredible people : Eric Glanders, Sarah Fitzpatrick, Sarah Delong, Beef, Shelby Barrett, Kaitlyn Kennedy, Krafty, Mel Lang, Arielle Brosman, Morph, Jamie Zurawski, Colleen Kelley, Alex Allison and Sarah Mooney. Because of the weeks we spent leading CILTs together they know me better than most people I know.

I'm so excited to be working with Arielle and Sarah once again because of our history, friendship and the ways that we just get each other. They are incredible and even better than they give themselves credit for. I'm excited to hang out and lead with Mike all summer as we keep getting to know him better. The CILTs of 2014 are so lucky to have all of them as counselors.

In just two weeks we'll be on the Longhouse porch greeting campers and parents, doing lice checks, helping them pick a bunk and then leading our kids to swim checks. We've seen the list of our campers and there is a large group of names we recognize--old campers that have grown up, younger siblings of kids we know and  friends of alumni CILTs. The fun is so close and we couldn't be more ready.

Arielle had to head back to Greencastle but Smoon and I kept adventuring the rest of the night. We ate dinner at The Stone House aka the greatest restaurant in all of Delphi. On our way back to camp we stopped off at the Gish Adventure Outpost to check out the new hammock sleep out spot I'd heard about. Oh. My. Gosh. It's so cool.

They've put up these poles so that whole cabins can suspend their hammocks in the same spot. It'll be so sweet to all be together and a whole lot easier to set everything up. Only Pathfinders sleep out up there but maybe we can get the CILT counselors there during staff training.

We went on a run all over camp before it got dark, hung out with some new counselors in the Fellowship Room, dominated some Sporcle Quizzes and went to bed late in Buffalo. Can't wait to return in just a week.

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