A Change of Pace

It’s hard to believe a month has passed since our final goodbyes of the summer! As families transition back into the school year and staff settle into the college routine, a new season at camp takes some getting used to. For the year-round crew a quiet camp is a big adjustment- we miss the ring of the bell, and the squeals of campers as they run to their next activities. Lindsey and I lament the closed dining hall, finding meal prep and grocery shopping especially hard.

We have all had a chance for post-camp adventures and to reconnect with family and friends. The Strayhorn and Greene family headed off to New Hampshire the week after camp to hike in the White Mountains and enjoy the quaint town of Randolph. Lindsey spent a long weekend in her former home, Chicago, visiting friends and family for a wedding. Dave and his wife Sarah just returned from an exciting trip to watch the U.S. Open- every tennis lover’s dream! He said it was one of the best experiences of his life. We also are enjoying some down time along with time to reflect on this past summer, and hone in on upcoming projects around camp!

Enrollment opened after camp ended and numbers are gangbusters! Our return families have until the 15th of September to apply, and we expect to be full for next summer after this date. Projects around camp are underway, including a new cabin, some stone work and a much-needed upgrade in a certain activity area- more on this later!

Looking outside of the Illahee gates, the year-round directors do our best to continue carrying the camp spirit with us throughout the off-season. This may look like serving on the board at the local Boys and Girls Club, volunteering with Young Life organizations, coaching sports’ teams or assisting with school  and church events. Much of the off-season is spent collaborating with other camp directors.  We spent yesterday at the NCYCA (North Carolina Youth Camp Association) gathering, hosted at Camp Timberlake, a boys’ camp east of Asheville, NC. Around 30 camps were represented, and we toured and enjoyed lunch and fellowship together. It was such a great reminder of the impact that camp has on so many lives. We are part of such a positive industry that helps grow the next generation and are thankful to be a part of a community that is supportive of the goals of camp!

In other exciting news, the newest member of the Illahee team is making himself at home! Churro is our new camp pup; a 12-week-old goldendoodle. He made his first appearance during Junior camp, nameless and all fluff. One of my highlights of the week was taking name suggestions-each day was a different one. From Charlie, to Walnut I eventually decided on Churro for his resemblance of the Spanish cinnamon dessert (and its originality). Henry has been a very patient mentor for the new pup; Liza pretty much avoids him and rarely makes eye contact except for the occasional growl to warn that he is getting too close.  I’m sure that she’ll come around.

We look forward to keeping you in the loop throughout the fall!

Illahee Love,

Gardner

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