We did cardboard testimonies at chapel this morning, a staff training tradition. A whole crew of people who are in leadership roles at camp write their testimony on a piece of cardboard-- their old story on one side and how Christ has transformed them on the other. It's an experience to get watch all of these camp people so honestly share where they've been and where they are now.
This morning Claire, the french-braiding expert, made Ellyn's hair into a lower case e. It was so cool I asked her if she would try to make an S in my hair.
SUCCESS! Daily Sar and Ellyn pic with an S and E in our hair today. This will be a memorable one for sure. Claire's got talent.
Project 441 is camp's initiative to raise money for scholarships for campers in a variety of programs. The number 441 comes from the hope that we'll have one campership camper in each cabin all 9 weeks. This morning Scott talked to the staff about camperships and then invited Ellyn to share a little bit. Ellyn told everyone about her best friend Lilly Martyn who was a rock star camper.
In 2009 Ellyn and Lilly were both signed up to be CILTs but Lilly tragically passed away June 8th. Now there is a Lilly Martyn memorial fund that sends a camper to Tecumseh each summer in her name. It's a beautiful way to give back to the place that Lilly loved most and honor her life of joy and love.
I got to spend a lot of this morning laughing, talking and sitting with Amy, Claire, Mags and Steph. These four are going to be Glen counselors this summer for the oldest Pathfinder girls. I was in Teton for multiple summers and that place holds a special place in my heart. I'm so excited for these four to make so many friendships and memories this year with their girls.
I spotted Todd taking a bit of a snooze this afternoon in the fellowship room. He was smart to make a light guard over his face but our favorite part was the pug dog he was snuggling with. Todd's the best, even while napping.
There's no better way to end staff training than with a country hoe down theme dinner. Everyone got all snazzy in their overalls and plaid shirts. Some of theses people I've been friends with forever but I'm excited to call people like Stevo and Ben friends now too.
It's kind of a funny thing to have a theme night with no campers. We're all just crazy enough to dress up and have fun when it's just us.
I'll miss Rachel when she's up in the LV as a warrior. I'm so excited to play with the Daluga sisters and Erin all summer.
Once dinner started everyone was up singing and dancing the whole meal. Tom told Joel that this is one of his favorite nights of the year and I totally understand why. Tonight we're on the brink of something huge-- it's like being on the edge of yikes right before you jump off the waterfall. We're trained and prepared, ready to jump into 9 weeks of campers.
The room was bursting with line dancing, counselors playing with camp kids, singing on chairs and country accents.
Sometimes I love realizing that even though so much has changed since Fitzie and I were on staff together, so much is still exactly the same. We're still singing Taylor Swift before dessert and becoming best friends in the span of a week. These counselors still have such a huge capacity to love their campers. These 9 weeks will fly by but the memories made in them will last a lifetime.
I love that Arielle eats her cottage cheese on her chair if we're all standing up singing. I love when Mags comes over and just sits on my lap and talks.
I love this whole crew of girls--Maeve, Erin, Abby, Claire, Rachel, Amy, Steph and Bryn. The first five were all my campers and have become my friends. Amy and Steph are hilarious and today we talked about how we have friend crushes (aka we want to become better friends).
Here at camp you can be best friends with little Bryn and all your co-counselors. Friendship isn't age-restricted. You can drink Diet Coke all day long and overalls never go out of style.
We ended tonight with the tradition that Heidi Olsen taught Camp T years and years ago. The whole staff circles up and sings "Shalom my friend" as we rotate around the circle to different friends. The next time all of us circle up in this room together will be at the staff banquet at the very end of the summer. I know that it'll be here before we know it but I'm going to do my best to slow time down and soak in every moment in between. This is my very favorite time of the year.