Thursday, July 3, 2014

"Ellyn what I can I do to make my flower crown last?" "Oh I'll just spray some pottery glaze on it. That'll do the trick."

After chapel we had the CILT Pack circle up to debrief the previous night. It was actually cool to reflect on the experience after we had slept and been able to get in a different frame of mind. I think it's such a cool learning experience and special part of CILTs. Then it was time for the CILT Adventure!

I love our hike to the Gish Adventure Outpost along the Tippecanoe River. Today was uncharacteristically cool and still so sunny. We talked as we walked and had great chatting buddies all around.

Smoon and I love our hiking buddies Megan and Kristen, and Julia and Mallory.

Haley and Alex are best friends but they live on opposite sides of the country. They've managed to stay close since Alex moved when they were in elementary school. I think it's so cool that Haley spends Thanksgiving with Alex's family and Alex spends a month in the summer with Haley's family. I've loved getting to know them better this session.

Once we make it to the top of the Gish we always spend awhile just taking pictures and hanging out. It's one of the most picturesque views because you see so far off into the distance.

Today is also the day when I start realizing that this Session is coming to an end and we only have a few days left together. It makes me extra thankful for being together right now. We've only got two days left with kids like Julia and Lauren, but Arielle and I also only have two weeks left with Smoon.

I'm so glad that I got to get to know Emily and Colleen so much better during these two weeks and wish that they could stay here even longer. They're both so awesome.

I've loved getting to know Klaire and Sofia and seeing their sweet hearts and how they lead by example.

Every day I think about how I'm just so gosh darn lucky to be living the CILTing dream with both Arielle and Smooney. They make me a better counselor. They encourage me and make me laugh. They help me when I'm feeling stressed and scratch my back if I don't feel good. They show me more about how to be confident in being different and finding my own unique gifts. I love them both more than they love exercising and fruit strips.

Someday I'll have to grow up and put away my staff polo and wooden nametag. I'll find another way to spend my summer instead of living out of plastic drawers, brainstorming new ideas for campfire every Sunday and writing a stack of parent letters at the end of every week. But when that time comes I'll miss this season of life when I got to make sure my girls were having the best weeks of their entire year. I honestly never thought my life would look like this. I never thought so many of the people I admire, stay in touch with, trust and have the most fun with would be younger than me. I never thought I would be a counselor for so many years. But now I can't imagine anything better I could be doing.





The Fab Five. We've actually never called ourselves that once, but I have loved working with these people. It's added such a different dynamic and been really cool to have Andy join us for Session 2.

All counselors grow close with their partner. Coordinators bond in a deeper way as they oversee a unit. But I've experienced nothing else quite like leading CILTs with a group of people. We have such a shared life and community here at camp for these weeks that can't really compare to anything else.

Just like when we were little girls, Arielle searched for the best flowers in the field and I braided them into a giant crown for her. Today's crown also had some purple and orange flowers woven in.

Arielle's such a star. I'm so thankful that we've been friends for a whole lives and that we get to keep being there for each other. Love her so much.

We split the CILTs up into to teams to compete in a few rounds of running charades.

During each round they had to act out 6 of that counselor's favorite things. My list was:
1. talking to kids during passing period
2. playing games during Friendship Bracelet Club
3. tall socks, nike shorts, party tanks and snap backs
4. Diet Coke and pepperoni pizza
5. taking fun pictures for the blog
6. dancing and singing at Young Life Club

I chatted about books with a couple girls before lunch today and it was so nerdy and great. We talked about the pros and cons of popular books like The Fault In Our Stars and Wonder and the I Am Number Four series.

I went to take a fun picture of Erin O'Awesome and her girls but captured the moment just as she realized they had spilled her Diet Coke. This is raw emotion people.

Transformation Thursday right before your eyes people...

Actually the boy on the left is Cameron and then his brother Randy Dandy is on the right.

Smoon and I got to hang out with best friends Steph and Amy tonight. I took them to Arni's in Monticello and then we got back to camp in time for songfest and the fireworks. After being so used to CILTs and the River Village it was interesting to be back with all the Pathfinders and Warriors for a little while. 

We got to see our five Warrior CILTs in action with their kids. Ellyn and I snagged our daily pic on a fire truck. The fire men were excited about taking our picture.

Soon all of camp was ready to watch the fireworks. And I really mean all of the camp. The Day Camp sleep over kids and River Village sat on the hill. The LV kids stayed at Kettlehut chapel. Camp families and friends came and lined the road.

The show started with Nurse Holly singing the National Anthem and then Marie and Claire glided across the zip line carrrying sparklers with them. Next the fireworks started shooting off from the beach into the sky. It's a phenomenal show and it lasts for a really long time. I sat beside Kat and her day camper Bailee during the fireworks. Watching the excitement and fun on Bailee's face was the coolest part of the night.

We met back up with all of the CILTs at the Longhouse and headed to devotions. Tonight we wrote letters to our future selves and talked about running this race that we've started together.

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