Earlier this week we hosted a tour for an attractive couple from Atlanta. They were grandparents who have put their grandchildren (who live in California) on the waitlist for August Camp next year. They wanted to check us out with their own eyes so they popped over for a look. One of the things they were struck by after an hour at camp was the confidence of the girls walking around the large property. As soon as the bell rings, girls explode out of every corner of the facility, walking (or running) to their next class. Sometimes alone, sometimes in groups, often in clusters (a large group of apparently unrelated girls walking together chatting excitedly), often smiling, sometimes reading as they walk… and MANY of the girls are very small. You would never see a 7-year-old walking unaccompanied in the real world… it is really impressive to see for the first time. Impresses me too, now that I think about it.
Camp builds confidence, grit, coping skills, communication skills, and great resilience. As you dropped your girls off on opening day we saw tears in some eyes as you were pulling out. It is a poignant moment. A moment of transition that wrings the heart… your baby is growing up and you are happy and sad at the same time. We understand. We agree. Embrace that moment…but also be very happy for her. This is a wonderful opportunity and marks the beginning of a growth experience that will enhance her life tremendously. She will be stronger and better equipped to handle the challenges of life after a good camp experience. You will notice the difference next week. You will be shocked to see how much she has grown and how much confidence she has gained. Camp is so good!
After a beautiful morning, rain arrived during rest hour… GLORIOUS! We love a rest hour rain, the temperature drops 10 degrees and we snuggle under our blankets with the sound of the rain filling our ears. We then go to classes as normal… in the rain! Everyone stomps in puddles, catches tadpoles, and does everything we normally do in class but do it in the rain (as long as it is not a thunderstorm). We love it… but we do take thunderstorms seriously. We have a state of the art lightning detection system that is regularly replaced with the latest gear. We put lightning rods in our trees (thus protecting from tree strikes anyone within a 300 foot radius), and we closely monitor the radar… but if it is safe, we are in the rain. It is so much fun!
Counselor Talent was predictably long and predictably delightful last night. Night arrives earlier and earlier as the summer progresses, so now when an EP goes late, we notice how dark it is. Last night we did not dismiss from the pavilion till 8:40 and it was lightly raining to boot… pretty dark, but also pretty exciting. It is wonderful to walk to our tentalows and cabins under twinkle lights suspended in the trees (a wedding put these up temporarily during a wedding a while back… it was so pretty we installed some permanently). August campers enjoy the lights more than anyone due to the early onset of darkness this time of year.
Today is Challenge Day. We will be doing team competitions in our classes, earning points in a thousand different ways. The girls are all decked out in their green and gold, the Dining Hall decorated with streamers, and all are awaiting the big announcement at lunch… WHO WILL WIN? The screaming is very loud and slowly exhausting the girls. Rest Hour is going to be very quiet today!
It’s another beautiful day at camp… slightly overcast, perfect temperatures, good chance of scattered showers in the afternoon. Very nice weather for camp and the girls are making the most of it as they are now well settled into the camp routines and confident in the locations of classes and the routines of the day.
Tonight is Carnival, one of the most anticipated and celebrated EPs of the summer. We will bring in many inflatable rides, serve a massive assortment of food, and end it all with a fun dance contest. The girls will get custom T-Shirts to mark the occasion… it is one of those moments that campers have talked about since arriving. It is a GREAT way to cap off a GREAT DAY!
We are doing fine and are REALLY excited about EVERYTHING!