On Monday night the girls went to bed just after 11. Little did they know, the night wasn't quite over yet. At 12:30 am Arielle, Smoon and I woke up each cabin for a special surprise. We played Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas" is you while I whispered, "Wake up girls! It's Christmas! We have a present for you." They were all very confused to say the least. A solid crew made it out of their beds and to the bathroom to find all of the donuts we had waiting for them.
Sydney was dreaming that we were in the bathroom playing with foam, which she's afraid of, so she didn't come at first. But she said Mariah Carey trumps everything so she got the courage to get out of bed and see what was going on.
Syd couldn't stop smiling and laughing and jumping up and down she was so excited and very possibly still half asleep. We gobbled up our donuts and quickly made our way back to our bunks for the rest of the night.
In the morning we enjoyed the leftover donuts from the previous night. The girls who hadn't woken up were very confused about what we'd all been up to while they were asleep.
Every morning counselors fill out Trading Post forms so our campers can order pop stop, stamps, gymp and patches. Their was some sort of computer glitch today though because the forms printed out the names from week 1 last summer. While most people were confused, the CILT counselors were just sad and nostalgic about all of our old CILTs.
Because of the rain, we had chapel in the Party Room this morning and the Warrior girls got to stay with the CILT counselors instead of joining their cabins.
We've never had indoor chapel in the Party Room before but after today it seems crazy that it took us this long. It was so very Day Camp chapel like with everyone sitting on the floor together and singing Behold He Comes.
The CILTs spent the morning in the Oak Forest in the Group Initiative course. We split them into four teams-- Sharknado, Monsoon Mermaids, Baboon Monsoon and Squirrel Quake.
Their teams rotated through four different spots where a counselor facilitated each one. They got to try Acid River, Whale Watch, The Puzzle and Spider Web.
It's so interesting to watch four different groups approach the same task in different ways. My favorite part is debriefing with them after they finish and talking about what went well and what their group might try differently in the future.
It was also really cool to see the groups bond after going through all of these activities together.
We debriefed once more as a giant group and I was very impressed with the CILTs comments and observations. There is so much that we can learn from one another and these experiences.
Devon taught us a new game called, "What's In Your Milk?" One person stands in the middle and tells the group what's in their milk like band-aids or pancakes or Oprah or an iPhone. Then everyone rapid fires questions and the person in the middle has to keep answering with the same word. The goal is to ask a question that will make the person in the middle laugh and then you get to take their place.
We sang as we walked back to the Riv for lunch, my favorite transitional activity. A little Hannah Montana and High School Musical always improves the day.
We made it back to the Riv in time to set our tables for lunch and play with kids outside.
The CILT session is full of so many fun kids like Sam, Grace, Sydney and Jimmy. I'm really pumped about them.
This week the CILTs yell at Riley to do a cartwheel every time we see him. It's going pretty well so far. I love hugs from Molls after clinics and Diet Coke breaks with Alli Kenney.
I can't tell you how much I love working with Arielle and Smooney. They're two of my very best friends and it's so cool to get to spend every single day with them. This is the first time we've had three girl counselors returning to the program and things are running smoothly. I love seeing these two becoming friends and laughing together during the day.
The CILTs taught campers their new "What's In Your Milk" game.
I love games of course, but I think it's the coolest when I see CILTs like Olivia just talking with her girls. I think it's those small conversations that can make camp so special. Soaps is the safety officer of the day so she's taking care of everyone all over the Riv.
Maeve is a rock star. I'm thrilled that she's a counselor in the Riv this summer. She is always playing and laughing with her girls and making sure they have the best week ever.
Erin is really good at a game called Ruckus and one of her girls' missions today was to go pretend to take pictures of Wolfdancer the camera man.
I love how quickly become friends during CILTs and how fast I get to them. I think Suzanne, Robby, Avery, Maggie, Chloe and Kate are awesome.
Avery somehow accidentally got the blue tray of food before we even sang grace at lunch which was awkward. Sydney spilled garlic sauce on her plate but didn't want to have food waste so she licked it all up.
I'm trying to bring back one of my favorite traditions-- CILT girl serenades from the Longhouse porch as campers head home for rest hour.
This afternoon I walked up to the lake with some CILT girls and talked the whole way. It's fun to get to hang out with a group of girls like regular resident cabins do.
I came back to the lake again today so I could play with the Blazers and Warriors. So many of my HSJH boy students are here at camp this week. Jack, Nathan, Sam and Henry are pretty darn awesome.
We all hung out together on the Wet Willie slides, the rope traverse and then paddled around in some kayaks in the lake. They told me about the Warrior riddles of the week and I gave them a new riddle.
I think it's pretty awesome that I get to hang out with my kids at camp. Being a teacher and counselor is grand.
Papo is pretty awesome. He was in my Spanish clinic when he was a Blazer and now he's a CILT! I'm such a fan of Olivia Davis and glad that our lives at camp finally overlapped.
Olivia and Ashley are partners this week and doing such a great job. They're both so positive and fun.
Eliza and Katrina are in the same cabin this week and I love seeing them. Olivia and Kaya were in my cabin when they were in the River Village and I'm so glad that they'll be here for a couple weeks.
Today I got letters from Ellie Pearl, a 2012 CILT, and Cassidy Ogan, an old student, which both made me so happy. When we're in the Tecumseh bubble it's so fun to get notes and letters from friends. Sydney surprised with this giant diamond bracelet when she got back from her adopted cabin tonight. IT'S SO COOL!
Teton and Catawba were bonding during friendship bracelet time so we paid them a visit. I'm such a fan of all of these counselors and their campers. I got to see Julia and my little Fishers girls.
Next Smoon, Arielle, Ellyn and I traveled to the stables to observe cabins but got the brilliant idea that maybe we should get on horseback too. Magnet helmets...
Our friend Kevin got a horse for the first time ever. Then it was time for Ellyn and I to mount up.
The most photogenic horses for the most photogenic gals.
We do it all for the mems... and the likes on Instagram.
Ellyn's allergic to the chair she's sitting on.
Since we were in the adventurous spirit we decided to check out the Secret Room that Arielle and I discovered and played in when we were little. It's still there!
We can't tell you where it is but even if you tried to find it we don't think you could. It's very well hidden. We're not sure why there is this secret little room with a door handle, light bulb and finished walls, but we're thinking about making it the CILT counselor club house.
Catawba + Tacos = The Best Dinner Ever
Carolyn Kata used to always get her girls to make tortilla faces and these campers took things to a new level. We've got all sorts of tortilla facial hair going on.
Arielle, Smoon and I convinced these Catawba girls that they should try to make some trades at the Trading Post with Suzanne and Molly. Surely they can get some skittles or ice cream with some really good grass, sticks and rocks.
We got to hang out with the CILTs all night. We talked about how their adopted cabins have been going and gave them some advice. Then it was time to start brainstorming their cheer. Nothing helps brainstorming more than snacks so they all brought out their best stuff. I know campers love food, but this much is a bit surprising.
We're not ready to unveil the cheer just yet but we've got a rough draft that we're working with. I've got faith that it'll be great.
Back in the Longhouse we went on a search for Annabelle. She's been missing ever since she was in Smooney's bed during rest hour yesterday. Finally we found her reclining in my drawer of tshirts.
We decided to suspend Annabelle from the light that hangs over Ellyn's bed so she'd see her when she got back tonight. Mo and Max wanted to hang around and make a new friend too.
The girls did a devotion tonight about choosing to have a joyful heart and attitude. I loved hearing their thoughts on the subject--we've got some wise ones. Then we each worked on lists of all the things we love, trying to get to 100.
CILT girl devotions
giving away friendship bracelets
dinner dates with Brookie
looking out at kids and counselors faces when we sing Tecumseh on the closing campfire stage
"Rest hour is the best hour"
Club at YL camp
being great friends with Maggie
when we all eat Big Cookie together
laughing till I cry
Campaigners on Mondays
living at camp all summer
seeing Meghan the Pathfinder
how I never get tired of CILTs
1 on 1s at camp
Catawaba girl hugs