At the end of every Christmas Break I head back to Tecumseh for one more reunion, this time of the resident summer staff. Counselors and full time staff gather to brainstorm improvements for next summer, fellowship and so many games that camp counselors can't help but love.
I was so excited to hang out with my friends Claire Smedley, Abby Bien and Michelle Mooney for the weekend and the rest of the staff that came back. I've known these girls forever, they were my CILTs in 2011 and they've been counselors ever since.
Late Friday afternoon we headed out to play Empire, winter reunion style. We were divided into three kingdoms, there were special rogue cards and so much strategy. As a River Village counselor, I rarely get to play Empire so when I do I'm pretty excited. I did a lot of hunting for coins and keys, got tagged, tried to create alliances and pretended to have attack strategies.
This year we got to brainstorm about chapels and devotions, two of my favorite parts of the day of summer camp. I love that we're a place that wants to continually improve and get better.
Joel reminded us that while camp operates all year long, there is a special enthusiasm and community that comes with summer camp and counselors. We all have a passion for this place and our campers that you just don't really get until you've spent a summer continually counting 10 heads, facilitating the best week of people's lives and regularly wearing wooden name tags and overalls. There is no place like summer camp at Tecumseh.
After dinner we got to play Running Charades, a winter reunion tradition and one of my favorite games. I think we played at least 18 rounds and I would have happily continued playing. Counselor competition is fierce and we play to win.
Then we all headed over to Kampen for a brand new kind of competition. Each time got a huge box of Kiva Blocks (small wooden rectagular pieces) and was challenged to build a ramp and track for ping pong ball. Whichever team got the ball to roll the furthest would win. After building, testing and adjusting the track our team won by a couple feet.
We made some LNMs (Late Night Moves) after devotions and headed to McDonald's with Ben Dehr. It was "so college" and hanging out with these friends was just what I needed.
Sunday we had chapel together that Josiah, Noah and Jack McGee put together. I'm so thankful for the way camp helped build and shape my faith. Jack reminded us that Jesus' death on the cross is not the end of the story, but the means of our relationship with Him. Getting to have a relationship with Him is the greatest gift.
After more brainstorming about camp responsibilities, sleepouts and cookouts, it was time for one last lunch together. I got to quickly see my parents which was a treat and then had to say good-bye to camp friends before heading back to Indy. I wish camp could last all year round, but I'm very excited that I'll be returning for another summer with the CILTs.