Sunday, July 3, 2016

"We can be friends. We should do that. We should be friends with him."

After returning to the good ol' Camp Tecumseh YMCA at 1 am last night I nearly cried when I realized I got to sleep indoors on a mattress. It's the little things isn't it? 

Smoon and I woke up with all the CILTies bright and early. We took a run around camp before ending up at Kampen to watch their chapel. The opportunity to be in a skit, lead music, or pray for campers is one of the really cool things that the CILTs get to do each Session. For most of them, this is the first time they've taken on this kind of role. 

The Session 2 CILTs have already been at camp for a week so I jumped right into all the action and fun. I tried to quickly learn all of their names (I think I've got the girls and will master the rest of the boys tomorrow). I was so happy to reunite with Overnight and DC counselors that I've missed this past week.

Check out these fun CILT girls-- can't wait to live the Camp T dream with them this week.

There are a handful of girls in this Session like Ava Baby and Caroline who have been part of my camp story for years. I love getting the chance to be their counselor one more time and seeing them grow in so many new ways.

Ah! My heart! There is something so sweet about reuniting with friends at our fav place in the world.

YOU GUYS. BIG NEWS. My sister Katie came to camp tonight and brought my nephews Lincoln and Redford. You better believe that Linc and Red came with costumes for campfire.

In honor of Lincoln's Spiderman costume the CILT counselors dressed up as heroes too. Smoon and Grace were Wonder Woman.

Ellyn and I were Camp T Super Heroes.

Running around outside with Linc and Red was probs my favorite part. I can't wait for both of them to be campers here one day.

Tonight President Lang addressed all of Tecumseh and led us in the patriotic version Little Red Wagon. "You can't ride in my Air Force One..."

But here is one of my favorite things, or actually maybe #1 favorite thing, that has ever happened at an Opening Campfire. There was a creepy alien wandering around all of campfire-- lurking in the corner, looking in the back windows, crawling along the side of the room. When the CILT counselors sang Shake Your Foot on stage he showed up behind us and I nearly lost it.

But I found out that this alien wasn't dangerous, he just wanted to make some friends. So I got Mia, a Brave girl, to go be friends with him. At first she was nervous, but slowly she started to get closer. Then I got our Blazer girl Lulu to be friends with him too. As soon as I told her that he needed a friend she headed right over, unafraid, to talk to him. Mia and Lulu had the alien cornered and kept trying to talk to him. Lulu figured out how to communicate with him first. They tried to give him a party hat and a stuffed dog but he quickly threw those back. Then the girls reached out their hands bravely and he tickled the palm of their hand.

Soon the President Lang security found the alien and was ready to get rid of him. But Lulu and Mia told her, "No! He's our friend!" The security asked the whole room, "He wants to be friends? Should we?" Lulu yelled to all of camp, "WE SHOULD! WE SHOULD BE HIS FRIEND!" It was so freaking awesome. The alien went on stage next. Jamie talked to everyone about the Tecumseh Family and how everyone, including the alien, was included.

Family at Tecumseh looks like hugs, high-5s and holding hands.
Family looks like campers growing up and becoming co-workers with their old counselors.

Family looks like celebrating people who are different than you and making sure they're included.
Family looks like reuniting with friends after a year apart and being so excited to see each other that you can't stop smiling.

OH MY GOODNESS! Smoon, Liz and I made the Camp T instagram. Day made.

This week I get to live in Choctaw with Ellyn and Smoon-- two of my very best friends-- and I feel pretty darn lucky. In devotions tonight we talked about friendship and the kind of love God calls us to share. Because the Sagamore Creed is so cool we decided to each write our own Friendship Credo.

I will show up for big and little moments
I will practice grace and forgiveness toward my friends
I will challenge them and support their wildest dreams
I will pray for them-- cause I love them fiercely 
I will prioritize our relationships regardless of the distance
I will embrace their authenticity and learn how to care for them best
I will let them change my life and make me the best version of me
xoxo, Smoon

I will be there when you need me, for the happys and the crappies
I will celebrate birthdays and try to embarrass you in public but end up embarrassing myself
I will become a part of your family
I'll send you lengthy texts
When you're mad I'll be mad with you
I'll defend you until the end of my days
All this because laughter is first, trust is second only to us and you're awesome

I will show up in your life--even if it's inconvenient because I want to be present with you
I will listen when you need a friend, try to notice when you need me and help however I can
I will stay in touch over the years and over long distances
I will laugh and dance and sing and celebrate life with you
I will be with you when words aren't enough
I will pray for you because I know that God has such great plans for you

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