Today may very well have been the most beautiful summer day I have ever seen in the Heavenly. Really. It was that amazing. Like yesterday, it was a “BIG H” day…high pressure in the Heavenly. But, there was a crispness to the air…all day long…that just put a little extra pep in everyone’s step. I guess having the first day under our belt helped too. I can tell by the volume on the hill now that bedtime is approaching that girls are getting comfortable. Actually, the sounds are turning to squeals, which may mean I’m about to get interrupted to come “save the day” by killing a spider or a big clumsy carpenter bee that has flown to the light thinking it was the right thing to do. If bees have ears, they are ringing now. So far, no knock.
It was a really sweet summer day. It was “Music to our Ears” day, and most remembered to wear their brand new green t-shirts given out on opening day. Our “Leave Your iPods at home along with all the other electronics” policy has been a smashing success….really no push back at all. After a day or so of withdrawal, our “constant contact” girls are actually friending non-virtual friends. 🙂 We bought a storeful of our own iPods and loaded them up with thousands of songs that Caroline actually checked one by one to make sure they were “CIA,” Camp Illahee Appropriate. There are lots of songs to broaden horizons in there, some that your camper would go “oh dad (mom),” if you queued it up at home. The message is important…maybe that’s something that you can continue at home with t.v. and music. (It’s harder at home…I know).
Tuesday is an earlier morning than usual for Laurie and me. We start the day with a counselor Bible study that is optional but growing. This morning, there were over thirty folks crammed into our living room. Our theme was “what gives God pleasure.” The discussion turned to what a “mountaintop” experience camp is and how to extend that into our lives during other times of the year. There are so many Godly young women on staff and plenty of older mentors to shepherd them along as they give back to your girls. Today, our camp mom/nurse Kendall treated everyone to blackberry crumb cake that she made from berries picked nearby camp.
Our oldest campers are called Sparks…they set the tone and spirit of camp and today was their day. They were served breakfast on our back porch by their counselors, enjoying the last of the coffee and hot chocolate left from Bible Study (Starbucks no less). They boarded a bus and headed right over the border into Tennessee and rafted the mighty Pigeon river. When they returned to our neck of thee woods after a picnic lunch, they stopped at Dollys for some ice cream, and then headed out to our new Illahee farm property for pizza and fellowship before returning to camp. They were still glowing from their great day as they rolled into camp…the day was “awesome.”
In camp, we had muffins, delicious local cantelope, eggs, cereal and yogurt for breakfast, homemade pizza (cheese, peperoni, hot wing, spinach varieties) and salad for lunch, and orange chicken, spring rolls, rice, and green beans for dinner with confetti cake for dessert. The salad bar has been a new and terrific addition…lots of our staff and older girls are raving about Dee’s delicious care of this new corner of the dining hall. Girls completed their second day of activities, and a full rotation of all of their ten. Tomorrow, they’ll return to their Pine Day five, and continue working on whatever they started yesterday.
Air Band is one of camp’s most popular evening programs, and Choice Period today was reserved for practice. Each cabin or double cabin creates a routine, complete with costumery and choreography that they present on the big stage…for the entire camp. Some are straight dance routines to music played over the loudspeakers. Others are very creative routines acting out songs or musicals. One of my favorites tonight was a group of martial artists moving to “Kung Fu Fighting.”
Tomorrow is another big day. All of our trips girls will be headed to rivers and rocks. We begin our encampment at the farm for Hillbrook tomorrow night. They will cook out, make s’mores, sing around the campfire, and sleep under the stars (or in tents or the top of the newly renovated barn). The reviews from the June session were “so much better than Kuykendall”! See you tomorrow.