One of my favorite nights of the session traditionally falls on the Wednesday evening before Friday’s close. Tonight, it started with short vignettes performed by the drama classes…and they were great. There was a scene from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the scene where the nuns sing How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria from the Sound of Music and several others. I was really impressed by how much they accomplished in such a short time, but also how great they sounded…projecting and really singing well together.
From there, we all headed to McLeod Lodge where great memories from the session were projected on the big screen for the first time. The campers know we are taking pictures, but they don’t get to see them until the slide show. Great music plays in the background, and laughter and shrieks accompany each image as it transitions through. We encourage you to go online with your camper when she returns home to look at pictures together. Sometimes it’s hard for girls to verbalize their experience and as you look at images, it will help spark conversation. That’s where you’ll discover just how valuable a short time int he Heavenly can be. Some of my best childhood memories, I later realized, were engrained from photo albums of pictures that my parents took. We do ask you to help your camper adhere to our policy of not posting any personal pictures on the internet that attribute them to Camp Illahee. We are committed to online safety, and know that you are too. There should be plenty in your photo album online once you finish identifying and tagging!
Sing Around the Lake begins the long-standing traditional program once dusk sets in. Tonight, we were treated to stripes of blue and pink in the early night sky, setting the scene for each hill as they began to serenade each other around three different campfires. As one hill began to sing, the voices echoed off the surrounding mountains directed down into the natural hollow that collects the lake. Each takes a turn with our favorite camp songs, and then end singing the same song in different parts. It’s really a special event. Finally, as night has set in, the girls in canoe formation lit by red candlelight, paddle their craft through formations set to classical music. It’s really quite captivating and a great way to reflect on the session, arm in arm with a buddy.
Activities ended today with a flurry. Projects were being finished, and things were strong to the end. This has been a summer to remember. Our “mantra” is that every summer is going to be the Best Summer Ever, and that is what we strive toward in everything we do. Those of you who have “missions,” know that it takes focus and energy to continue to reach for the best. But this summer has been something special, and I can sense in our staff…many of whom will end this summer with your camper’s departure…a reluctance to let it go. I have been getting lots more hugs in passing than usual. They have been “rock stars.” Some of them, I would put in the counselor hall of fame, and this is year 21 for Laurie and me :-). Illahee is blessed with a great facility, and proximity to some of the most beautiful spots that God created. But, we all know that our family is what makes Illahee special. I’m glad that you and your camper are a part of it.