This morning we raced to the fruit bar one more time, Katherine and Ellyn got matching braids and Erin gave back rubs to all of the counselors. We told stories from the past two weeks and avoided talking about how everyone would be leaving soon.
Day Camp lined the back of chapel like they always do but I realized it'll be the last time I'm there with a lot of them. I'll be gone their week 7 so if they're not here next week this is it. I love being on staff this summer with Kat and Emily and I'm so proud of both of them. They've loved their kids well and done such a great job of carrying on Tecumseh's traditions to make this place awesome. I will missing seeing them all the time.
We saw Desert Pete at chapel this morning for one last time. It's Smooney's favorite one so we were glad we got to sing along in the back one more time, "You've got to prime the pump, you must have faith and believe. You've got to give of yourself before you're worthy to receive." And then just like that it was time to head back to the Longhouse to say good-bye to everyone.
Saying good-bye to people may be my least favorite thing in the entire world. But I've got to be thankful for Tecumseh because it has brought me so many friends that are difficult to say good-bye to. Summer after summer, and session after session, I've met counselors and campers that have made an impact on my heart. These CILT girls have loved me with a force that comes only with teenage girls and I've never experienced love like that anywhere else.
Shannon is one of those girls I'll never forget for so many reasons-- she ate lightning bugs with me in Main Field, clipped bows to her snap back, peed her pants in the shower because you only cilt once and shared her story and her heart with me. In just two weeks shanz the rapper became one of my great friends and I'm so thankful for that.
When I think back on the summer, it'll be the little moments I shared with these girls that will pop into my mind: watching Brenna play a ring toss game with kids at the pool, riding in the minivan with Erin, sitting with Gaby on my bunk bed every night, my handshake with Maggie, brushing teeth with Kelly and our matching toothbrushes and watching Cara play with her campers before lunch.
In a conversation with Lucy on Friday, she told me that she'd realized, "I'd much rather grow up and be happy than worry about making a lot of money." Amen. Living and working at Tecumseh with kids all summer brings me so much happiness and joy that I wouldn't trade for anything. CILTs only lasts for six weeks of the year but they're six of my very favorite weeks. Even though we write stacks of parent letters, get little sleep and often have a cold or cough, it's actually the best job I've ever had.
When I think about living life to the full, investing in people and choosing joy I think of camp and all of the campers that I've met here. People talk about how their counselors changed this life, but I continually see that my campers actually change my life too.
There are still three weeks of summer left and I know that they'll be awesome. I'm excited to have Blazers, to go to Sharp Top with Young Life kids and then to have Warriors at the end of the summer. But today also feels like an end of a very important chapter. It's been a phenomenal year of CILTs and I loved all three sessions and the 120 kids we got to know.
Today I also had to say good-bye to Smooney, one of the best friends I've ever had. She's heading off on a new adventure and I know she'll be great. I'll just miss being the kind of best friends that get to see each other every day. It's been such a gift to have our lives overlap so much.
I spent the rest of Saturday with counselor friends in Zionsville. We ate delicious food, they napped while I wrote Parent Letters, met Ellyn for pizza and ate ice cream while we played What Are The Odds. It was relaxing and productive and filled with friends-- just what I needed. Tomorrow will bring new campers and a whole new kind of camp experience.