Merry and Bright!

Brooks helps decorate!

I woke up at 5 this morning to drop Gardner off at the Asheville airport for an early flight to NYC. She is spending the day with a group of young camp directors and Bob Ditter. The group meets monthly to develop leadership strategies and to discuss themes from books like Give and Take and … Continued

Remembering Newton

Best camp dog ever…we brought him home, a surprise for Gordon’s birthday, nearly 13 years ago. We had been looking for a puppy to accompany Sadie, our seven-year old female lab, and our minister had a yellow lab puppy. I told Gardner and Turner that we were just going to “look” and to meet the … Continued

Ode to Rain

Campers enjoy a rain shower

During the summer an afternoon shower is often part of the daily routine. For many campers, it is a coveted time- it might mean a chance to finish a good page-turner, write a letter to family, or conquer the six-string lanyard that’s been days in process. It is a time to slow down and wait. … Continued

Growing up at Camp

Campers and counselors pause briefly on opening day!

It is hard to believe Illahee welcomed my family nearly 14 years ago thus beginning my camper years. It was the July session in 2002 -I was deep in the throes of soffe shorts and Lizzie McGuire. I still remember the night before camp, lying awake trying to calm the butterflies in the pit of … Continued

Camp is a Mission

Illahee campers prepare to float wishboats

Each May, I embark on a mission trip- to an island called “camp. “  The counselors and other directors travel with me.  We eat three meals together- three hours a day in the dining hall- travel to activities and enjoy evening programs before settling down to bed at the same time each night.  In fact … Continued

“Doughnuts with Ditter”

Our friend Bob Ditter , a child and family therapist from Boston and frequent speaker and contributor to the American Camping Association   has been visiting camp this week.  I first met Bob in 1986 when I was teaching at a girls’ boarding school in New Jersey.   Since then we have stayed connected through professional circles and … Continued

Finding the Spark

Gretchen and Gardner enjoy a conference day!

Tuesday began a little earlier than usual for Gretchen and Gardner who were up at the crack of dawn to travel over Caesar’s head and down the mountain to Greenville where they joined a few hundred camp comrades for the American Camp Association Southeastern Conference. Back home, Lindsey, Dave, and Laurie manned the office and … Continued

Recharged and Ready for 2017!

It has been a quick month since Camp Illahee’s 96th summer closed, and we are celebrating a new year of getting ready for the next Best Summer Ever!  Enrollment opened on August 15th with a record number of applications coming in that first day.  Returning campers have until September 15th to re-enroll and after their … Continued

Welcome Four Week and Mini 1 Campers!

Four campers arm and arm swim in the swim lake.

One of my favorite things in this day of virtual relationships is to see “real” ones resume where they left off at the end of camp 11 months ago. There are usually squeals…and BIG “arm-sweeping” hugs. There is no doubt…camp is about the relationships. We work hard year-round to make our facility look great…to add new … Continued