Sunday, Sunday…so good to me.

A summer camp girl slides down the Streak water slide at Camp Illahee.
The Streak is the fastest water slide this side of the Pisgahs!

I do know that the Mamas and Papas were singing about Mondays, but today fulfilled my fantasy of what an Illahee Sunday should be. I’ve been whining the last couple of Sundays because we pack so much into each morning…cabin photos…individual portraits…a big Sunday lunch, and a special event afterwards. Then, there’s the cook-out and campfire. It’s enough to exhaust a middle-aged guy ready to recharge for the coming week.

Today was different though. We were greeted by a cool Carolina morning with the shade of blue that promises a beautiful day in store. We had an even later sleep-in today. Breakfast was at 9:00 am, with the usual fresh Krispy Kremes, fresh cut fruit, hard-boiled eggs, cereal and yogurt. On Sundays, we do a towel and linen exchange…actually towels can be changed out any time (really linens too), but everyone HAS to do it on Sunday just in case.

The morning brought a choice period…an opportunity to choose activities to enjoy the morning before we all gathered for worship. Hillbrook led our service today, so the youngest girls gathered in the Woodland Chapel to practice songs and readings. As you can imagine, most of the older girls took the opportunity to hang out with buddies and counselors in the cabin on Pineview, and the counselors took the opportunity of the linen exchange to facilitate a little spring cleaning. So, the girls on Heigh Ho had the choice activities mostly to themselves…field games, arts and crafts projects (expect a lanyard key chain when you get your girl home 🙂

Today’s worship was terrific…mainly because there is no better setting than the Woodland Chapel on a beautiful summer day with a cool breeze blowing across the lake through the dogwoods. The girls, dressed in white, really are angelic, especially when voices are lifted up to the heavens. There has been a trend this summer to almost complete camper-led services, including prayers at the beginning and end. We did have a story today, the Giving Tree, as well as scripture around the theme of God’s gift of his Son as our savior…John 3:16.

The extra sleep was evident at Sunday lunch today. There was lots of good cheer over our usual fried chicken, wild rice, steamed broccoli, and baskets upon baskets of piping hot yeast rolls. Singing was abundant and the hand-scooped cookies and cream for dessert only “upped” the ante. The house was rockin when the swim staff arrived in swim attire to raise the roof with a rousing rendition of the “Swim Song”…teams Boom Boom, Diddam Daddam, and Watum Chew, who today were to be in theme…eighties attire, “redneck riviera,” and “Michael Jackson.”

The Swim Show has lots of moving parts…it’s really a waterfront party. Girls come decked out in their silliest suits, there is music, dancing, and lots of enthusiasm. The most spirited team gets extra points. Before the swim relays, we had exhibitions by girls in diving and synchronized swimming classes…and then the relays. With help from our lovely CITs, there were lots of fun relays…t-shirt (you have to swim in then remove a t-shirt to give to the next person on the team), hat (same with a straw hat), greased watermelon, and then the dirty hillbrooker contest (decorating a brave volunteer with a spa treatment from the bottom of the lake).
At the same time as all the fun at the swim lake, the Slip n Slide was a constant stream of squealing campers. A 100 foot sheet of heavy plastic sheeting, the “Slip” part comes from copious amounts of “No More Tears,” water and a dedicated counselor team of operators. You wouldn’t believe the fun. Take a look at the pictures for an idea.

After showers and clean-up, whites were donned again for the return to the dining hall and swim lake for a cookout of hamburgers, hotdogs and all the good stuff that goes with them. James Taylor crooned in the background…Carolina in my mind…indeed.

Campfire’s always a great way to end the week. It’s upbeat with lots of energetic songs, but also a tad bit reflective…who doesn’t like to stare into a campfire and listen to stories and skits? It’s really the perfect way to end the perfect day in the Heavenly.

One response to “Sunday, Sunday…so good to me.

  1. Thank you for the “confidence, conviction, integrity, faith in God and an abiding respect for the natural world and its wonders” you instill in Olivia and each and every Illahee camper.

    Birmingahm, Alabama

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