Smoon and I woke up early enough on Sunday to go to Northview Church and Starbucks before driving back to camp. By 12:44 the dining hall was packed with grey-polo-wearing counselors and so much enthusiasm. I think we all felt jittery and shaky with first day nerves--this was what we'd been waiting for. Arielle, Smoon and I held down the Longhouse porch as our 30 new girls arrived for Session 1 2014. We couldn't be more excited.
Not only did we get to meet our new campers but we also got a bunch of visitors. We saw Emma Flynn, a 2012 CILT and a DC counselor, as she dropped off her sister Kate.
Maria and Hannah, two CILT girls from last summer, stopped by to say hi. It was so good to see them and it's crazy that they were with us a year ago.
I love the energy and fun that happens right away with this many girls. People are moving in, setting up bunks and becoming new friends all at once. We gathered this group of girls together to take the first CILT girl group of the summer even though they didn't all know each other. Soon they'll be great friends.
The Fitzgeralds are here this week and I was stoked to see Henry, one of my 7th graders, and Audrey. I flipped out when I saw Meg walk by with her cabin because I wasn't sure if she'd be here this week. She's such a rock star. Julia, Jack and Lucy Dewolf are all here this week for the very first time. I saw Julia walk by with Teton and she couldn't stop smiling she was so excited.
The CILT girls got busy decorating their binders and filling out info sheets will give to their cabins tomorrow.
Kate, Ashley, Ellie and Grace are our Cathedral crew this session. I got to hang out with these four girls earlier this year at Ellie's house where we spent the whole night talking about how great CILTs was going to be. I'm so excited to spend the next two weeks with them.
Soon all 30 girls had arrived and we headed to the pool for swim checks.
It's the little things that make camp awesome-- like doing swim checks in the deep end so the CILT counselors can cheer for our kids from the diving boards.
Molly, a Catawba counselor, grabbed me and said, "I have girls that know you! They keep asking when they can see Miss Wright." I wasn't sure who it was going to be but then saw Taylor (Sam and Hannah Huston's little sister), Ayla (her cousin and baby-sitter were both my students this year), and Izzy (Audrey's neighbor who has come over to play before). They were all talking a mile a minute.
When Ellyn got back from check-in, she gets to do that now, we put all our stuffed animals together for our daily pic. Ellyn brought four this year, probably more than any Brave girl.
The whole CILT Pack met on the porch for the very first time to do introductions and share something significant we'd done in the last year. This group is already full of so much personality and enthusiasm.
We quickly set our tables in the Party Room and then took the opportunity for some "creative" cabin photos. We've got Choctaw: Chloe, Lydia, Rachel, Maggie, Marina, Avery, Grace, Olivia, Elise and Devon.
Abnaki: Natasha, Samantha, Sam, Kate, Brooke, Sydney, Ashley, Ellie, Maggie and Kirstyn.
The Brova guys: Jimmy, Wes, Robby, Sean, Chris, Tommy, Papo, Riley and Jackson. (Casey came later).
Hopi: Sarah, Sami, Rachel, Kelsey, Katarina, Maggie, Courtney, Olivia, Lydia and Sloan.
All of River Village was outside playing games with their cabins around the flagpole. This is one of my favorite times of the week when we get to see everyone together and spot returning campers that we love and haven't seen in a year. Madeline is back in Catawba with Suzanne and Molly. Ellyn is pumped to have Jessie here.
The CILTs played Robot Master on the volleyball court and it was beautiful, organized chaos.
My fav "pssst" friend is back again. We found Devon's mini me and became friends with Leah. I'm already so excited about becoming friends with Olivia this session--we're pretty sure we were friends in the past but can't remember when.
Lucy and Audrey's cabin led the very first song of the summer at flagpole. Then all of the CILTs went out to sing The Princess Pat.
After dinner and the all camp picture it was time to get ready for Opening Campfire. The CILT Pack green-hatted a long list of ideas before deciding that we would be a giant group American Flag. Mike Jones also broke out the CILT flag for the first time of the summer. He made it this weekend and it's pretty amazing. The three black stripes represent the three sessions. There is a 40 symbol in the opposite corner for the 40 campers in each group. There are four yellow stars for the four counselors. The two symbols of faith represent not only faith but the two weeks each group spends together.
Once we lined up all the CILTs they definitely looked like an American Flag. It was even better when they swayed in sync and sang Party In The USA or The Star Spangled Banner.
The counselors just went for the All-American route. We love 'Merica and patriotism.
The time between getting ready and opening campfire actually starting is the perfect opportunity for a lot of picture taking. It's like taking a billion pictures before prom, but a lot more fun.
I'm so excited about all of these kids-- Courtney, Lydia, Samantha, Avery, Papo, Maggie, Sydney, Kate, Grace and Devon.
All of camp meets up at the Riv flagpole so we can see each cabin's costumes before going back to the council ring. Tonight I ran around gathering up all the HSE kids that are here this week. We've got the Barr brothers, Jimmy Wallace, the Fitzgeralds, the Hustons, the Dewolfs, Nick Miles, Ayla and Izzy, and the Wilson sisters.
Fishers kids are a party. Such a fun of all these people.
I couldn't be more thrilled that Julia's first week at camp is with Maggie in Teton. They're two of my favorite people in the world and I'm thrilled that they're going to get to know each other so well.
I was very impressed with Soaps and Kevyn's whole cabin full of grapes.
Smoon and Peanut are loving another sister summer together.
I'm so glad Rachel, Kaya and Olivia are all Pathfinders this week. These three girls are fantastic.
The CILT counselors got to lead Little Cabin In The Woods. A part of us was missing all of Alex Allison's famous facial expressions for this song.
Back home at the Longhouse the girls broke out the snack stockpile in true CILT girl fashion. We did devotions with the thirty girls for the first time this summer and explained that they are now part of Theta Kappa Lambda.
Alumni CILTs Dillon, Soaps, Jackie and Michelle came to the porch to talk to the CILTs for a little while and shared about their own experience. The last big event of the day was CILT Initiation but I can't tell you about that...
At the end of each day, once we're all ready for bed, Ellyn and I go around Choctaw and hug each girl goodnight. Then I climb up on my bed and read a chapter from Cold Tangerines or Love Does. Tonight I got to read one of my favorites as the girls fell asleep. It's so surreal, the summer has definitely begun.