Camp is full of color right now. The rhododendrons are spotted with yellow leaves, crisp red maples are turning and the colorful oaks loom high above us. The pines stay green for a while and tease us that winter is a long way off. We wake up to freezing temperatures, but the afternoons have left us de-layered, in the mid 60’s! I love these fall days. It truly is like a picture out of a fairy tale. Brooks, my preschooler, was up early this morning so we decided to take the pups on a walk around camp. Anything but peaceful, Brooks, followed by the three dogs, immediately took off in full sprint barreling through leaves and narrating the entire experience. All before 8 am.
While I wasn’t quite awake to respond fully to his chatter, we both reached the dam overlooking the barn and riding pastures, Dunn’s Rock in the distance. The first morning light was rising over the hills. He was quiet, and then turned to look at the canoe lake, as the mist was slowly lifting. I think I muttered something about how beautiful it was (between sips of coffee). He let out a sigh and then looked up at me a little puzzled and said, “Mom…are we still on Earth?” I smiled and said, “We are, can you believe it?” Seeing this Heavenly World transform beautifully each season, is something I am so thankful for. Each season brings new wonder, and time to think about camp in different ways. As I am sure many of you all do from afar.
Much of the off-season is spent reminiscing about camp- whether it’s about interactions with campers or staff, exceptional activities, or what could be improved to make the next summer the best ever. This off-season we have found ourselves looking into the past more so than usual. We have begun our count- down to the centennial reunion, taking place in 2020. We are going through the archives, pulling out old film, and photos and memorabilia from past summers. We have footage that dates back as early as the 30’s and photos from the earliest years of camp. It is exciting to rediscover traditions or to speculate as to what summers must have been like in the early years.
These photos and logs only offer a glimpse into the lives that entered through the gates of Illahee each year. One thing is for sure, Illahee impacts so many generations of women, and continues to do so. We cannot wait to continue sharing with you all as we discover more about Illahee’s past.
On to the present. Projects are underway around camp; stay tuned for the final products. A hint? No more mud soccer…and I think we’ve added to the life expectancy of Pineview- hooray!
We will begin travel in a few days as we hit the road to showcase our 2018 summer highlights video. First up is Houston, then on to Dallas, New Orleans, and Charleston. Gretchen will be in Nashville, Birmingham and Raleigh and Lindsey to Greenville, Tampa, Savannah, Augusta, and Columbia. We will also head to Richmond, Alexandria, Atlanta, and Charlotte. We will post these dates soon on social media, as well as our website. We hope to see everyone there!
Happy fall, Illahee family!