Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tecumseh Stories

I love Tuesdays. I love that once a week I'm joined by campers and counselors that are all remembering Camp Tecumseh. In honor of #tecumsehtuesday here are some of my favorite stories from this past summer.

Maggie and I kidnapped Linsey from another cookout group during staff training. We detained her in the Giant Chair and sent a ransom note, "To whom it may concern, We kidnapped Linsey. If you want her back, you should prove it. She is hungry and we will not feed her. She is locked up on the giant chair. --Your worst nightmares" We didn't anticipate her whole group to come charging through the woods to rescue her. 

It's tradition for the whole staff to go on a mud hike during staff training. The veteran secret is that the first to the mud pit is the first to leave and get to the lake to rinse off. The first ones back to the cabin after rinsing off get the first showers. Sooo.... when we headed out from the LV Arielle, Smooney, Michelle, Claire, Alli and I sprinted through the Oak Forest. We were ready to jump in the mud pit but then got held up at the RV flagpole and told we had to wait for everyone else. Alli and the rest of us were not too happy about running for nothing. 

Ellyn and I love taking daily pictures during the summer. We wanted to come up with an original shot one afternoon and one of the barn assistants let us saddle up for the sole purpose of taking a picture. Ellyn is allergic to horses but that didn't keep her way.

Session 1 might have a record for the longest it has ever taken a session to write their cheer. We spent a whole rainy, stormy night inside the River lodge brainstorming ideas. While we were trapped inside we consumed all of the snacks the 40 of them had brought with them to camp.

During the World Cup in Brazil, Tecumseh hosted it's own World Cup. The CILT counselors and a couple campers ran the score board. Between each game we lowered the tarp, updated the scores from the runners and then hoisted it back up again and secured. The games were short so the transitions came about every two minutes.

I wish I could tell you more.

Arie loves working out. All day. Every day. Every where. This girl should have her own work out show. Smoon would always join in with the leg lifts and squats and creative push ups.

Smoon and I took the early morning shift working on the new boat house at the lake all summer. Did you know we were such handy carpenters?

One of our creative ideas this summer was a little game called, "Spit Water On Your Friends." Smoon and Arie didn't even know I invented it until we started playing. They caught on really quickly.

One of our goals of the summer was to have a sleep out with ever CILT session. In an attempt to not repeat the raccoon encounter of 2012 we opted for locations where we'd be off the ground and hopefully in a place not easily surrounded by vermin. Session 2 marked my first sleep out at the Three House Tree House. I'm happy to say there were no ring tailed bandit visitors that night.

Session 2 got to have an Easter Egg Hunt in July. Smooney also got them to do it with one eye covered while hopping on one foot. Two lucky kids found friendship bracelets inside eggs and two more found quarters to get an extra pop stop in theirs.

After I couldn't find acceptable Best Friend Necklaces at Wal-Mart, we opted to make our own with a bag of assorted beads I found at the CAC. Arie, Smoon, Ellyn and I wore our necklaces every single day for the rest of the summer. Fingers crossed, these Best Friend Necklaces will catch on like potholder headbands and wolf shirts. Everyone is invited to show up with their own Best Friend Necklace next summer.

In a completely unplanned move, we took the CILT girls on a spontaneous tour of the main loop. Arie, Smoon and I took our gaggle of 30 girls on an adventure through the Yurt, paused for a game in Main Field, into the Nightingale basement, had a pre-rest hour and then headed back home again.

Never had I ever slept inside Mt. Wood until Session 3. We unrolled our sleeping bags on the pebbles and shut the door so no raccoons could sneak in. We also may have locked a few frogs inside with us...

Historically, the last few days of CILTs are always filled with surprises. After spending our last night off at Indiana Beach, Smoon and I picked up a gallon of ice cream to bring back to our girls. We got them all to close their eyes, counted down and then threw plastic spoons like confetti when they looked up. Nothing beats chocolate ice cream right before bed.

Many moons ago, our friend Sam Glanders pulled off a stunt on Christmas in July that Stevo brought back this year. Just like a true Christmas elf, he skipped around the dining hall pouring sugar into the mouths of all the delighted children.

It's a CILT Pack tradition to hike to the Gish on the second to last morning of their session. It's a hike along the Tippecanoe River that is muddy in spots and extremely steep at the end. After an especially fun night with our Blazer girls week 9, Ellyn and I decided to be adventurous and take our girls up to the Gish. We made it there and back in just under an hour and they loved it.

I was surprised when I returned from one of my last nights off of the summer to find Annabelle in my bed with a note. The Choctaw girls had created a scavenger hunt that wound around the cabin following a trail of clues. Using my flashlight I followed their hints until I found dog up on the bunk of the girl who snores.

10 weeks of Tecumseh culminated in this: Lilli sitting in an Uncle Sam hat, zebra floatie around her waist, reading her new camp bible. Last camper of the summer. When Arielle and I told her the night before that we loved that she was weird, she smiled and said, "I'm REALLY weird."

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