The Finish Line

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What a summer it has been.

We have anticipated this 100th year for a very long time. Expectations were high and we felt the weight… so we got to work and we prayed for God’s Blessings. We knew that it would be an amazing year, the best summer ever; but we also knew that “the best summer ever” is not going to be an easy summer. At this point we look at God’s provisions with misty eyes and joyful hearts… all the hard work was worth it. God has once again smiled upon this place and blessed us beyond all hope and expectation. We are grateful.

Council Fire and Closing Vespers were wonderful last night. The girls were absolutely silent as they heard the “Me Me Bird” story. Mesmerized by the lighting of the candles. Quiet even as we ended the evening singing Taps… The beauty of so many candles was an image we will always remember. We link the light of the candle with the light of God’s love… it is beautiful and resonates in a powerful way.

Today we heard our last Breakfast Club (The Frog and the Scorpion), our last Morning Assembly (Luke 17, the Ten Lepers), and our last classes (1st to 4th period). These moments are memorable, they put a “spin” on the lessons of camp that we hope the girls remember. Camp is much more than “fun”… life lessons learned and pay dividends for a lifetime.

The girls will complete their packing and take long hot showers during rest hour (everyone is a little “grey”) then we go to an assembly where we sing some final songs, watch some of the video’s Leland has made during this session, enjoy the last part of “Elf”, go through lost and found while the counselors complete their preparations for the banquet.

Banquet day is a day of great joy at camp, one that is sweet in a way that is quite special. I experience each and every Banquet day with similar feelings to the campers. Feelings of deep satisfaction, appreciation, and gratitude. It is a day of deep significance as we anticipate our departure tomorrow. The campers feel as if they have completed a HUGE task. Two weeks is a very long time for some of these girls and their sense of confidence and pride is tangible. The feelings are particularly strong for the staff that will leave camp tomorrow. They arrived in May and most are going straight back to school… this summer has been a major investment of their heart (camp work is more about heart than head)… and with such effort comes great reward… it is hard to describe. So we savor this day and will put an exclamation point on the summer with the Banquet tonight.

“Banquet” is a wonderful word! An evocative and exotic word to a camper. It is the single most anticipated EP of the summer and will be remembered long after it concludes. We talk about the banquet from the first day of camp and will kick the whole thing off after Flag. Campers rank the Banquet as their favorite EP of the summer, so anticipation is running high. Of course the reason for the success of the program has less to do with the funny skit than the fact that this is our last night at camp. It is a mountaintop moment of thrilling success for everyone. Such moments deserve to be celebrated!

The Dining Hall has been completely broken down and will be reassembled into 8 HUGE tables with extravagant decorations and table settings to set the mood. We will run down the road in cabin groups (the pictures are amazing) then take our places that have been reserved. Each camper and counselor has a place prepared (just like heaven!) and will feast with their cabin friends one last time. Afterwards we give out Banquet awards (a huge honor to be mentioned for these highest honors in the departments) and then have a last tuck in at the cabin.

Your girls continue to delight and amaze us with their great attitudes! Don’t be surprised if they don’t appear really grown up to you tomorrow. We hope that you will note how genuinely thankful they are for all the little things you do for them. We hope they will be genuinely helpful in all the little tasks that make a house a home. They are wonderful girls and have made this a wonderful camp.

Most parents arrive between 8:00 and 9:00 (the camp officially opens at 8:00 but there is no rush… we always appreciate the time to organize your bags at the track). Give us a call if you are going to arrive later than 9 (the campers get nervous if you are not here!). We will help you get your car loaded when you are ready. Feel free to stay as long as you like: grab a little snack and some coffee at the Dining Hall, take a tour with your daughter, visit with your counselor and the other parents… but don’t be surprised if your camper just wants to go to Chic-Fil-A! It is fun to cross the finish line.

We encourage you to turn off your cell phone and enjoy the conversation that will naturally unfold on your drive home. It is a wonderful transition out of the “bubble” of camp and you will be amazed at how many silly moments have become important in ways that might be hard to understand. Don’t underestimate the growth that has occurred in the past two weeks.

Camp is great. We are honored to have been a part of your family and hope that this summer will bear fruit for years to come. It has been a pleasure.

Thank you very much for sharing your girls. It has been a pleasure to serve you and we hope that Greystone will work into your plans for next summer.

It is hard to believe that our 100th summer is drawing to an end. I have been writing daily blogs for almost three months… it has become a much loved part of my daily routine. I will miss the connection, but also look forward to the change of seasons. Our thoughts are already drawn to our 101st summer with dozens of details filling notebooks as we prepare to provide an even better camp next year. This is the best job in the world. This place is heavenly and the people (camper and counselor alike) inspire joy and make Greystone special. Thank you for making it possible.

Safe Travels, and may God richly bless you in the years to come.


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