In one month I will be holding a red cup of coffee, weaing nike shorts and running shoes with my neon pink and green backpack hanging on my shoulders. Along with over 100 other counselors, I'll be walking on the path through Lake Village that leads to the Kettlehut Chapel. We'll hear the music from the guitar and the box drum when we're passing the Arrow slide. Then we'll start singing along when we can hear the words. All of us will file into the rows of wooden benches, just like our campers will do the next week.
In one month I will have packed up everything I need from my apartment and have moved into one of the cabins for staff training. Twelve of us will share the bathroom, sit together for devotions each night and eat around a table in the dining hall. I'll know a handful of them from previous summers on staff but there will be new faces in the mix too. Some of those new people may just become some of my best friends.
In one month I will be working with the other CILT counselors--Smooncat, Arielle Face and Mike Jones. The four of us will plan for our campers, the oldest ones in all of camp. We'll make up a CILT counselor cheer that we'll sing just during staff training. There will be papers to organize, ideas to brainstorm and pictures to take. All of us will be anxious to move into the Longhouse and Brova, ready to start living the CILT Dream with all of our kids. Ellyn will keep us entertained all week.
In one month camp will start feeling real. That excitement comes in a series of moments for me--turning left up the hill at the flashing light by the general store, getting a hug from friends I haven't seen since last summer ended, when I'm walking back to my cabin at night and look up and really notice how bright the stars are, the first time I laugh so hard that I cry and I think someone just might pee their pants. Each of those moments indicate that, "Yes, you have arrived. It's summer. Welcome back."