Friday, June 6, 2014

"Are there any alligators in this River? How come there aren't turtles though? I still don't know what a mammal is. Are alligators born out of eggs?"

Thursday mornings mean breakfast in bed. Breakfast in bed means you get to sleep in till 8. Sleeping in is glorious. We got the usual bagels and cereal but today's crate also came loaded with nutri-grain bars and applesauce.

Two friends' of Katrina's came to lead music at chapel this morning which was awesome. They played The Desert Song, a chapel favorite, and Forever Reign, a song I've loved at church all year.

The skit was something new that we hadn't seen before. Fizz was a returning counselor at Tecumseh with some worries and fears. Ben, Brad and Katrina all came up at different points to try to fill her cup, both literally and figuratively, but she wouldn't let them.

Katrina sat Fizz down to talk to her. God tells us that he wants to fill us with his living water and that he will fill our cup. Some people may say that we're filled so that we can empty ourselves into the lives of people around us. The problem with that is that at some point we'll be an empty cup. And if we're focused on filling someone else we lose our focus on God. Instead, Katrina said, God wants to fill us until we overflow. Then we will remain full and that overflow will fill other people's cups while our focus stays on him.

I love this illustration and how it's applicable to our lives as counselors and my life as a teacher and YL leader in Indy. I want to live in such a way that the overflow of hope, joy, faith and love in my life naturally spills out of me into other people so that I can continually be filled by Christ.

Today is Erin O'Awesome's 19th birthday. Alli Kenney thought ahead and brought a sash and crown for her. We did the Order of the Oar at lunch and she wished for a Great Dane Puppy and a dance party.

Arielle, Smoon and I made a CILT supply run to Wal-Mart after lunch. We needed to pick up a couple cool things that we need for the program and stumbled upon the perfect gift for Ellyn: an American flag doo rag. She was stoked to say the least.

She put it on right away and didn't take it off for the rest of the day. Good thing she was wearing her elastic band jean shorts too because it really completed the look.

Late in the afternoon the whole staff met at LV Chapel for the all staff photo. This year's summer staff shirts are dark gray with this really cool 90th year logo that Mike Lang created. Arielle and I have been in these staff photos since we were little girls just like Bryn and Shay. Camp kids for life!

I'm beyond thrilled that I get to share camp for another summer with both Smooney and Maggie. They're two of my very best friends and know me better than most people. I know that they've always got my back. Their campers are so lucky to spend their summer with them.

I'm thrilled that Arielle has come out of retirement for another summer of CILTs. She's basically like my little sister and so many of our memories in this place overlap. Can't wait for more laughter and heart to hearts and days of playing with kids.

And don't forget about Ellyn. Since 2009 this girl has been such an important part of my life and I'm thrilled that we get to spend another summer living in Choctaw together. The CAC Queen and The Wright Way in one cabin-- you know some pretty awesome things are going to happen.

The Mooney sisters and the Pfanshmidt girls had to get some quality pics together too. Sisters make the best kinds of friends.

JAMIE Z CAME TO CAMP TODAY! She was here life guarding at the lake so we got to see for a little while. This team of four women has gotten to work together in so many different ways. First Jamie and Smoon were partners in Shoshone while Arielle and I did CILTs together in 2011. The next year Jamie, Arielle and I were CILT counselors together. In 2013 Smooney, Jamie and I were in the Longhouse together. Now in 2014 Arielle, Smooney and I are teaming up for another summer of CILTs. SO MUCH OVERLAPPING.

Ellyn makes our 5th and most unforgettable partner in crime. These women continually inspire and encourage me. They also make camp incredibly fun.

After a word from each member of the Board of Director's we walked into the other room for a wonderful surprise! RED MANGO CAME TO MAKE US SMOOTHIES! Such a sweet deal for everyone.

Oh Ellyn, Arielle and I also have these new fun name tags. We take really weird pictures together sometimes too...

The River Village gathered together for a special event next. The Braves, Blazers and CILTs fill the Riv with all kinds of cute fun and enthusiasm.

In true Riv style, we broke out in an impromptu dance party. This also fulfilled one of Erin's birthday wishes. We've got all sorts of moves.

We continued to dance and sing as we walked through the forest. I'm thrilled about this team of counselors that we'll spend most of this summer with.

Matt, Jamie and Marie were waiting for all of us at the Green Cathedral. We spread out on the benches to answer some reflective questions about this summer that we sealed in envelopes to get back in a few weeks. This will be a summer of growth for all of us and there is so much potential.

Next all the units broke up to go on sleep outs. The CILTs took our time... I got to try out Ellyn's long board around the parking lot. We passed some 4-H campers on the road and realized one of them was Paige, one of mine and Ellyn's campers from last summer! She was just as cute as ever and all smiles.

Just as the sun was setting the CILT Pack made it out the Haven. It's this really cool part of the woods right on the water. You can hear the River and see the moon and stars through the tree branches. We set up our hammocks all together and Mike built a fire for us. This night is always such a good night of conversation when we all get to know each other even better. I'm so excited to work with this team for the next six weeks.

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