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

Final Night of the Summer Camp Three-Week Session!

a cabin pauses to reflect on their wish on summer camp's final night

I wonder if everyone gets more nostalgic as they age? The last days of camp are pretty long for us on the leadership team, and by the time final campfire rolls around, my body is ready to put another log on the fire and head to the tent. Sometimes I wonder if my Apple Watch step counter wonders … Continued

Sing Around the Lake and Canoe Formation

Illahee campers sharing good vibes

Tonight begins the carefully choreographed set of closing activities that leads us to Friday morning’s pick-up. It has been a whirlwind of a session…in some respects looking back at the images flashing across the big screen tonight, opening day seems a world away. A lot has transpired since then. Girls have grown in “camp time” (a … Continued

Illahee in the History Books

Campers reading about Illahee's past

Browsing through my favorite bookstore, Highland Books in downtown Brevard, I stumbled on the latest Images of America, Summer Camps Around Asheville and Hendersonville  by Melanie English.  Illahee is prominently featured on pages 24 to 34.  Earlier that day I had shared some of Illahee’s history with the older campers, the Sparks.  We read letters … Continued

Challenge Faced. Confidence Built.

staff and camper on a sunny day at riding

As a counselor, there is nothing more exciting to me than helping a camper overcome a challenge. Camp is such an incredible place to push our physical boundaries. We want to carefully and thoughtfully encourage our campers to stretch their comfort zones. By doing this, campers start to recognize their potential for growth. As they … Continued

Our Woodland Chapel

rainbow clad campers pose before competing in the Illahee Olympics

Our Woodland Chapel is one of my favorite places on camp. It’s neck and neck with our campfire ring…and we gather in both as a full camp each Sunday…the Woodland Chapel for worship, and the campfire ring to bring each week to a close as a community. I like campfire because it’s nestled in a natural bowl a … Continued

The Biggest Benefit of All?

camper in pink holding tortiose

There have been plenty of predictions over the years of the demise of summer camp. It is a uniquely American tradition after all, and lots of things have come up over those same years to compete for a child’s time. I remember attending a conference in the late eighties where some of my peers actually felt threatened by the … Continued

A Counselor’s Excitement for the BEST Summer Ever!

sparks finally all together again!

Long time camper and counselor, Ann, shares her feelings about camp opening for the summer Each year we kick off staff orientation by watching the previous summer’s highlight video. The video shows campers dancing at County Fair, swinging from the Tarzan rope into the lake, smashing volleys on the tennis courts and hugging their counselors, … Continued