Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dear Camp Tecumseh,

Greetings from the Indy CILT girl reunion where every Session is represented, it feels like we're back in the Longhouse and Caroline is figuring out the different flavors of veggie straws. Tonight we made time is our busy weekends to gather together. Today at church we read the verses Hebrews 10:24-25, "Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another." And I couldn't help but think of this little team. 

It would be easy to just keep living our separate lives in Indy, to just post #tecumsehtuesday pictures and talk about how much we miss CILTs. But I think we'd be making a huge mistake if we didn't take advantage of living this close to one another. So this CILTie reunion will be the first of many this year. 

Camp T, you've made this group a family. Even though some of these girls only met tonight, they've got shared memories, shared history, shared connections with counselors like Liz and Alli and Ellyn and Tim. They know that awesome dwells in the Party Room, that RFAJWD is serious business and that few things are more holy than singing in the Green Cathedral beside your adopted campers.

Lauren and Kaya loved spending week 1 and 2 with Session 1. Tonight we missed friends like Jill and Rachel, Sara and Corinne, Megan and Mak, and of course Cal Pal. Thank you Tecumseh for the longest bunk beds the night we pushed them all together, for making potholder headbands at the end of the day, playing Sardines in the lodge, a record amount of rain that actually flooded the Black Hole, Liz swimming in her puddle and the birth of my Fit Bit. Session 1 was the best start to the summer and the the rest of our weeks at Tecumseh were filled with, "Remember in Session 1 when..." 

Maggie "Big Girl" Drake and Caroline Cross represented Session 2 tonight. The night would have been even greater if they'd been able to bring along friends like Maggie, Clare and Elise from Chicago, if Nikki Lanigan Jones had flown in, or if Allie Vanneman had been able to make it. It feels like Sesssion 2 just happened. We won't forget trying to squeeze all 40 CILTs in the Wolve's Den because we may have said that Session made it happen. The night the hobo dinner was cut short due to a torrential rain storm but it was ok because the Bescaks brought all of us pizza over the weekend and a few days later we woke them up for midnight donuts. We can still hear Emma's screams when Liz pushed her fully clothed in the shower. CILT boys have never been more proud than after Session 2 guys made the leaning tower of corn dog sticks.

Session 3 had the most girls tonight--Caroline, Lilly, Rachel, Swanton and Julia. Their Session ended the summer on such a strong note and I'm so thankful for their friendships. We missed the rest of their CILT Pack like Lucy, Katie Giovani, Bridget and Mags and Lauren's energy that never seems to run out. Those weeks were sparkled with moments of more glitter rain, the most fugitives ever, waking up to yarn webs, a hike to the Camp Tecumseh sign, best friend necklaces, weekend CTXC, Liz's epic birthday celebration and an all CILT polar bear swim.

It was a summer of epic proportions and those 6 weeks were easily in the top 10 of the whole year. I saw people try new things because they were encouraged by their friends. I witnessed vulnerability and honesty give people a new sense of freedom. I saw laughter that brought people back to their real self. I saw joy overflowing on the walk to the lake, between counselors and campers before lunch, and in love tanks stuffed with notes. I saw life to the full.

At the end of every wake the Torchbearers are recognized at Closing Campfire. They receive a candle that reminds them to "let their light shine as they go back home so that others may see their good deeds and praise their Father in heaven." These girls are letting their lights shine in their schools, with their families, on their teams and with their friends. I love that Camp Tecumseh isn't constrained to just the summer, but that it's affects, relationships and lessons cover over the rest of the year.

This reunion tonight was the first of many and I can't wait till the next. Thank you Camp T for introducing me to these sweet girls and for the weeks we got to spend together living the dream in the Riv this summer. You're the best. Love, Sar

Honorable Blog Title:
"Last night I put an alarm on my phone for midnight with Mariah Carey and wow, made me miss camp a lot."

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