Saturday, May 31, 2014

"If I get corn rows then I don't have to wash my hair. I can get them if I want, I don't tell you not to wear a hair clip."

Weeks ago I wrote about how one of the moments I was most looking forward to about camp was walking to chapel for the first time. That happened today. We could hear, "Be bold! Be strong!" as soon as we passed the Arrow slide. Soon the rows of the LV chapel were filled and we all sang along with Claire and Mike. 

Joel did a twist on the potter skit today-- three new guy counselors. John Amy, the intense lifeguard, Mike Jones, the bball guy, and Brad Hough the quieter friendship bracelet maker. Joel brought in a parent to meet the guys and he ended up picking Brad because of his differences. This story illustrates how we need counselors this summer with different strengths to have the best possible camp and experience for these kids.

Our first session this morning was with Scott about camp culture. Gosh I just love hearing people talk about why this place is so special. Everyone is included. Faith is emphasized. Shared experiences. Stepping out of comfort zones. We're in nature. People respect each other. We're in a camp bubble. Creativity is encouraged. You can be who you want to be. Everyone can make friends here. Happiness. You impact people's lives. Love is everywhere. Relationships continue after you leave this place.

Tom and Joel led a session that introduced us to devotions. We talked about why they're important, how devotions have impacted us in the past, what we should focus on and avoid, and what a typical layout looks like. We watched Tom lead a mock devotion with a group of "Blazer boys" before coming up with some devotions in small groups. 

This afternoon we had a rest hour which was a phenomenal addition to the staff training schedule. I went on a run through the Oak Forest and then around the OT before heading back up to the LV. This place is so beautiful.

I keep having surreal moments when re-realize this is real. I am at camp right now. Summer is really happening. People I love are all around. Campers are coming next week. I'm back in my place and I love it. There are times when I think you can physically feel that your heart is really full. Right now it's bursting.

Last summer Ellyn and I started the tradition of taking daily pictures together. By the end of the summer we had quite the collection of ridiculous, beautiful, amazing photos of the two of us together. We're back at it again for year two.

This is my new friend Stevo. Today I gave him one of my friendship bracelet nametag lanyards and he turned it into croakies for his sunglasses. Stevo not only knows how to make bracelets but he also knits and is really excited about life. Can't wait to hang out with him this summer.

We played Tecumseh Feud after dinner to talk about the personnel policy. Our teams were Indiana v. the Rest of the World. Good news--- Indiana won!!!!

The staff gets broken up into smaller groups to shift through rotations over the next few days. Tonight two groups went through two different stops. The CILT counselors are running Optimist Challenge and the Teams Course which is sweet because we get lots of quality time together and we'll get to meet every single counselor.

Molly is a precious nugget. We first spotted Mike on the course.

When all four of us spotted Scotty D he started doing the inchworm instead of walking on the balance beams. None of us had seen that strategy before.

I love getting to hang out with new and old friends this week. These people are all so awesome and I love that for this week it's our job to spend time together. Once the kids arrive our focus will be on them, but for now we're just being friends.

Smoon and Arielle are two of my oldest and greatest friends and I love seeing them become friends and living art together. Mags and Jordan finally got to do their Camp T handshake together.

Our last devotion time of the night was actually 30 minutes to go off and individually plan, pray, research, create devotions that we'll use this summer. It was good to have time to slow down and think through some ideas and themes for the CILTs.

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