Friday, July 15, 2016

"I told myself the other day I'll only come back if you come back. I didn't think we'd get to that point but we're totally there." LIZ'S BIRTHDAY!

Liz Koch is one of the greats. I'm lucky enough to get to be her partner for the 2nd year in a row. Celebrating her birthday has become one of my favorite days of the whole entire year. I've been working on the itinerary for a week and have been SO EXCITED.

We filled Abnaki with 24 balloons (because she's turning 24) and wrote compliments on each one.

The all the CILT girls serenaded Lizzie with Fight Song (her favorite song right now).

She joined them in singing.

Then we announced, "WE'RE DOING POLAR BEARS!"

The boys came too!

We made it through every activity at the pool (almost) and Meg signed our names on the Polar Bear.

Liz has this thing about always wanting to be matching the rest of us. Ellyn and I walked into Abnaki wearing matching green tanks and navy shorts. Liz looked back and forth between us, very confused. Then I pulled out a third green tank from behind my back. WE ALL GET TO MATCH!

Liz's Love Tank was overflowing thanks to the Longhouse girls.

In the Party Room there were birthday signs everywhere.

This is James. His birthday is today too. He's turning 12.

Ellyn gave Liz a tiny basket and Kayla gave her the greatest hug in chapel.

 I'm so lucky to have a friend like Lizzie and to spend so many weeks with her each year.

We sang iPod shuffle on the bus all the way to the nursing home in Delphi. I think I have to declare this Session the winners of the iPod game.

I couldn't wait to reunite with my best gal Ruth. She opened her eyes when I walked in and she said, "The mountain climber is back!" I brought my laptop and showed her all of the pictures from Wilderness. She laughed and asked questions and it was so much fun.

When we rolled down to the dining room to listen to the songs Ruth reminded me to grab her CILT hat from Session 1. 

I love seeing the CILTs get to know the residents each week.

Liz's reaction when the CILTs started singing Happy Birthday to her instead of their third chapel song:

Liz's reaction when she realized that we had just pulled into the Dairy Queen parking lot:

Dilly Bars for the CILTs and a Monster Cookie Blizzard for Liz!

Back at the Longhouse, Todd sat in the middle of the porch with all the CILTs around him. He held up three signs: YOU GET TO. CUT. MY HAIR.

While Ben Rector serenaded us, Lizzie snip-snipped off two inches of his glorious locks.

We had a dance party on the porch.

Then Liz picked Running Charades as our last game before lunch.

Nurses Ruth and Kelly rolled up with a birthday cake for Lizzie. (I didn't even plan on that one.)

Another round of cabin pics for the CILT Pack.

Matt Hicks led the Order of the Oar line through the dining hall for Liz. She was shocked when the conga line pulled up at our table for her.

And at the end of lunch Liz got to be the Dessert Queen.

This is Meg. I freaking love her. I want to be more like her when I grow up. I'm so lucky to be her counselor two years in a row.

Session 1 and Session 2 all sent emails through the camp website to Lizzie. We had to kick her out of the group chats yesterday to tell the kids the plan but she didn't know why-- now it makes a lot more sense. 

I played Space Team (BEST GAME EVER) with Liz at the start of Rest Hour and WE MADE IT TO SECTOR 13!

Camp T posted Lizzie on her special day with a pic from the lake yesterday. 

Alli Kenney compiled a birthday video from so many of Liz's previous campers and current friends. It brought tears to her eyes and so much laughter.  

Unexpected surprise guest-- Day Camper Melissa happened to be outside the Longhouse! They're best friends and have already made a pact to be lake buddies next week on our DC day.

We headed up to Upper Pioneer for Plunder. We kept on our matching green tanks to be part of Team Triton.

This is Hannah. I freaking love her. Whenever I'm around Lake Village I make sure to find her and give her a hug.

Lucky for us, we were randomly on the same team as our friend Josh.


This is what I'm actually like during Plunder:

This is what I think I'm like during Plunder:

This is what CILT girls Caroline and Stephy are like:

Guess who the only Triton Captains were at the end of the game? These gals!

Right after Plunder we headed to the Richard G. to be on the blobs for all of lake time with Grace and Todd too.

Meet Anna and Mia-- both of them are precious, kind, considerate and oozing with joy.

What the hob would I do without Diggy and Ellyn? They're just the best.


It's Hawaiin Night in the Riv-- leis on leis on leis.

When we headed back to the cabin we had another birthday surprise before we could change. We gathered together the Warrior CILT girls and told Liz that they were her new basketball team. She needed to give them a pep talk before their Championship game. Little did she know, Ellyn and I were sneaking up behind her with a Gatorade cooler of water to dump on her head because she won the championship.

I had been nervous, but SHE LOVED IT! She said, "You guys just know me!"

The champions and their coach!

Lizzie's friends came to visit for campfire!

I got to walk to Closing Campfire with Mags Drake-- my fav gal pal. I really, really, really, really miss living with her in the Longhouse. And this is Stephy-- I've become even more obsessed with her in the last 24 hours. I'm so glad we've still got another week together.

SO MANY FRIENDS CAME TO VISIT TONIGHT! I was so happy to see Shelby and Shannon I had tears in my eyes.

Ellyn, Kata and Arielle had fun calling to Lillia and seeing which person she would run to.

Then Lizzie got to sing Roostasha with Ellyn and Brother Nature. (Just for the record, Nurse Holly was supposed to be with them too.)

I was so happy to have Arie back again today too-- at chapel this morning and campfire tonight. She has been my longest and most consistent friend in my life. 

Earlier today Liz said, "Sar-ah, I think I figured out which bracelet I'm going to ask you for next summer. The 'merica one." Guess what? GAVE HER A 'MERICA BRACELET TONIGHT!

Next we gave her the book, "Why You're So Awesome" filled out and signed by so many of her best friends at Tecumseh from Day Camp counselors to J and Mama Kat to John Amy.

Last Liz got a stack of cards from Session 3 CILTs that they wrote to her last night. She was happy going through them and reading all of their math puns.


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