It's another camper initiated Overall Day. I love theme days, I love matching and I love when the kids make it happen. Luckily I have several pairs to loan out so lots of friends joined in the denim party.
I love Alana's contagious spunk and Maggie's genuine heart.
I love shanztherapper's creativity and fun. I love Tara's joyfulness and dependability.
Jillian and Tanner just follow us around camp I'm pretty sure. It seems like they're just always popping up and giving us hugs or doing something silly. They're the best.
The CILTs took their field trip to St. Elizabeth in Delphi this morning to visit with the residents. For some of these people, we're the only people who come in and chat with them.
This man serenaded his CILTs this morning with a song about bubbles.
For the last time this summer, the CILTs shared Tecumseh flagpole and chapel songs with the audience. This is their first time leading songs upfront like this and it's so cool for them to have that role. This weekend and next week they'll keep getting new responsibilities.
We were waiting on the Longhouse porch to start playing something predictable like Running Charades. But then I said, "Girls, want to do something weird?" They said yes so we snuck across the road and piled into the laundry hut. We started brainstorming all the best parts of being a girl and then had a girls room dance party with washer and dryer percussion to keep the beat.
One thing led to another and soon we were right in the middle of the Mini Farm Parade with the baby bunnies and goats.
Arielle regrouped the girls and got them focused on being stealthy, secretive and sneaky. We ran off pausing to hide between trees and posts so no one would notice us.
We snuck into the Yurt to show them the ol' bubble wrap roof with the built in waterfall and the crib bunk beds. Feels like just yesterday that the CILTs boys were calling the Yurt their home.
Our next stop was the basement of the Nightengale where the girls looked around at all the treasures we store down there. We let them explore to find their favorite objects and then put everything back the way we found it.
It was time for a pre-rest hour to psych up for the real thing. Everyone found a comfy spot to lay down for a few minutes. Rest hour is the best hour of the day and it's important to practice.
Lucy found her inner koala and rested on the side of a tree.
Back home at the Longhouse we debriefed the activity with the girls and talked about what we learned from this experience and how it made us feel. I shared that it made me very proud of them and helped me realize just how fun and creative this group can be. I've got a lot of faith in them.
Then we found this little punk on the Longhouse wall. What the hobb. This sucker was trying to start a whole colony of hairy scary dudes. Good thing Keith was close by and could come take care of it before any baby spiders crawled out.
I quickly found with Suzanne and Riley and played with them for awhile. Riley was so much fun this morning and she danced with me all over the place as I twirled her around and around.
Yesterday Kelly told me that she wants us to work on taking more pictures together. I'm all about making wishes and dreams come true so we made sure to find each other before lunch.
Today is one of the very best days of CILTs because we get all the excitement and fun of Friday but we don't have to worry about saying good bye to anyone yet. We've still got over a week left to keep playing and having fun.
This afternoon Smoon, Arielle and I placed campers for next week and then went out to observe cabins. They're the goofiest friends around and I love getting to play and work with them every day.
We watched a ton of Blazer cabins playing Dominican Chaos.
The Day Camp counselor Mike stopped to beat box for us for a little bit and we broke out our best moves.
Sophie and Grace were out at the Day Camp site so we chatted it up with for a little bit and heard all about their week.
These two have become great friends of mine and I wish I got to see them more often this summer. I'm so glad they'll both still be here next week.
Back at the Longhouse all of the CILTs got changed for Sports Mania night.
This is always one of my favorite theme nights of the summer. Even though I'm not an avid sports watcher or participant, I still love wearing a jersey and singing Jock Jams with everyone.
Chicago girls always love the Blackhawks.
Friday night outfits also mean that we're going to take a bazillion pictures with our friends which I don't mind one bit.
Ellyn, Arielle, Smoon and I are the sportiest homies around. We're pretty much always the first ones picked in gym class and always make the varsity team.
All the CILTs met up at flagpole before heading into dinner.
Carrie has been in Oneida all week and she's awesome. I'm pumped that she's a stay over.
Alana's Crazy 8 sneakers are ridiculous.
The lodge was a party tonight. We ate hot dogs and pop corn, sang on our chairs and danced all over the Party Room.
I'm so impressed by Maeve, Linsey and Becca's tennis racket and tennis ball outfits.
You know there will always be a dance circle back in the Party Room. And tonight you could find the girl counselors singing every word of Aaron's Party and That's How I Beat Shaq.
As a CILT counselor I don't always get to see everyone else, but I love nights like this when I get to hang out with lots of counselors. Sarah, Libby, Suzanne, Saaya, Taylor, Ellyn, Natalia, Erin, Alli and Amy are rock stars and they're all part of my camp family.
Tonight instead of finding little kids to play with, I just played in Main Field with CILT girls.
Being a CILT counselor is one of my favorite things in the whole world. I'd rather be here hanging out with 16 year olds, listening to their stories, walking with them through their last camper summer than anywhere else.
I learn so much from these kids when they don't even realize it. It's such a gift to help coach them as they work with one another and all of their little kids.
They're the main characters of our lives for these two weeks but they stay such a big part of our lives even after they go back home. The impact that we have on one another here makes an impression that lasts.
I will miss little Sarah and getting to play with her and give her hugs every single day. She's been here for three weeks and it'll be so strange to not see her anymore.
Smoon only has one more week here this summer and we really don't want her to leave. There's been something so special about working with these friends that I know won't happen again soon. They're the kind of friends that I know love and encourage me just the way that I need.
It has been an amazing first week with our kids and I'm thrilled that we still have a whole week together. This group is so good at loving one another and making sure everyone is included. I love that about them. Smooney pointed out the other day that they're making a family with a culture of love. It's a beautiful thing.
Grace and Olivia from Session 1 came to visit tonight! Normally CILTs can't come back to visit, but Grace's brother is on staff and their parents came to campfire tonight to see him. Sooooo that means Grace and Olivia got to come along for the ride. We love them and were so happy to get to see them again.
Odle's a thug. That's why we love her.
Anna and Maddie are such great Day Camp counselors and I've loved seeing them with their kids this summer.
Ben has started an awesome tradition of getting a Longhouse porch picture on the way to closing campfire. Tonight our girls were all way so the picture is just Ellyn, Arielle, Smoon and I. True story, I love my life.
Tonight we brought back an old tradition. There used to be a counselor named Sara McSoley who had a really ugly/beautiful sweatshirt. She came up with the idea to have her sweatshirt be passed between people during a Closing Campfire so that it would be on stage during every single event. Tonight we used Arielle's sweater and brought the tradition back.
At first we threw the sweater at people and yelled at them to put it on, but soon they were asking for the sweater and helping each other take it off for quick transitions.
Can you find the sweater in every picture of campfire tonight?
The CILT cheer this session rocks. I'm a really big fan of it.
When the Buffalo brothers went up on stage I was on the edge of my seat for what was going to happen next.
ELLYN IS THE NEW BUFFALO QUEEN FOR WEEK 6!!!!!
"I'd like to thank my parents for sending me to camp even when I didn't want to go my first year. I'd like to thank J for hiring me. I'd like to thank the campers and counselors for being great. And I'd like to thank God of course. A good friend of mine, Will Smith, once said, people spend money they don't have on things they don't want to impress people they don't like. I didn't spend any money on this."
All hail the Buffalo Queen Ellyn!!!
Keep looking for the sweater...
Session 1 Reunion-- Jackson Otto was here with his sister Rachel too.
Devon has been my buddy since she was a little 8 year old. Tonight she was a torchbearer after 3 weeks as a Pathfinder. She's a gem and I'm such a fan of her.
I'm so lucky to have a picture of the day with the Buffalo Queen. I live with royalty in Choctaw.
The one and only, world renowned choreographer, worked with Lake Village hip hop clinic this week.
Then Ellyn got the limelight again for her second 15 minutes of fame in the bandanna skit with Claire Edelman. She screamed, "RIGGED! IT'S FAKE!" from the audience until she got to be the "volunteer" in the skit.
Ellyn's facial expressions are hands down the best in the world. Luckily her parents, grandma Jarnie and cousin were all in the audience tonight too
Jamie Z is back from the wedding and came to campfire tonight. Between the four of us we represent four summers of counseling CILTs together.
Sarah and Val were in the sign language clinic together and did a medley of popular Disney songs. It's was fantastic.
Carolyn Kata visited campfire this weekend and we were so excited to see her. She is so many of our favorite Tecumseh memories and will always belong here. She's a rock star and the inventor of the Camp Tecumseh dance move.
Smoon and I made it to the front row of Tecumseh (which is difficult to do since our bench in the very back). I can't believe that next week is the end of CILTs and Smooney's summer at camp. We're going to make it the best week yet.
Tonight another group of torchbearers graduated to the crying line holding candles. It's such a rite of passage for campers as they finish their Pathfinder years. Maybe they'll come back as CILTs or one day as counselors, but wherever they go they'll carry the light with them.
We continued our sleep out tradition and took the CILT girls to Mt. Wood tonight. We unrolled our sleeping bags on the gravel inside and Arielle read us our bed time story of 10 Year Old Adventures from Love Does. We could still see the stars and no raccoons were going to get us in here. That's our kind of adventure.