The perfect end to a perfect session. There’s part of me that would love for this to go on forever. I think if I could reconcile the sleep thing, I’d be good to go. It’s true…the older I get, the less I need, so maybe in five or ten more years, we’ll just keep these girls all year long! We’ll throw in some school work to keep everyone happy, and just enjoy year round camp. Now, that’s a novel idea! We are going to miss your girls, and I think many of you may have to deal with some campsickness too once the novelty of being reunited with the “boob tube” and Facebook wears off. The four-week session is just the greatest, and we hope that our new girls grow to love camp as much as these girls do and get to come take advantage of all that we have to offer at some point in their Illahee careers.
We started our day with gymnastics, dance routines and then vaulting in the Rec Lodge. These girls can move! It’s always fun to see some of the routines that would put a guy like me in the hospital. Double and triple back handspings? One even landed in a split! Ouch! About the time we were halfway through the gymnastics routines, one of our office folks ran down to the Rec Lodge with a panicked look on her face. The health inspector had chosen this day of all days to do her surprise annual visit! I had a pang of panic too as Laurie went off to escort her. The cabins looked like a tornado had come through and turned them upside down. Counselors were helping girls pack, and let’s just say that on Hillbrook, they were in preliminary stages. So, I think that’s dirty pool, but we did score a 96.5 despite all of the mess.
The rest of the morning was a blur as campers finished packing, trunks were carted down that were being shipped home, and some great last activities were offered during a Choice Period. The lake was a popular spot as the heat index rose. We have had some classic summer weather…great camp weather. We’ve been getting rain here and there, but virtually no thunderstorms since our June session. We had a week of cool in there, but there’s nothing like afternoon warm sunny skies to make the swim lake rock! There were also some arts and crafts activities, games, the finals of the tennis tournament, and opportunities to finish up projects. After lunch, cabins each made a plaque to leave their name on the cabin walls. Alumnae still come back looking for their “legacy,” memories flooding back.
The excitement rose as the afternoon turned to early evening. Everyone looks forward to the revelation of one of camp’s most closely guarded secrets…the theme of Final Night Banquet. The Sparks, our oldest girls, chose Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory…the dining hall was transformed into his factory, and it looked GREAT…I think this was the first group I can remember who used the opportunity to thank our leadership team, and the rest of camp for their own “epic” summer. They left two Smiley Faces to replace the “lost one” which hung for a long time from the dining hall rafters. Pizza was their choice, with Coke, Sprite, and salad…cookie pie for dessert! Yummm.
The procession over to Final Night (Dohivi Noche) is always a sight to see…girls dressed in white, holding hands, the sun setting behind them…one last chance to gather and sing, watch the presentation of JC Bibles, CIT charms, 10 year gold signet rings, and first-year Illahee banners. I love the fact that we celebrate all the girls for their accomplishments and challenge them through Wishes from each hill and staff group.
We have loved having your girls and consider it a privilege that you entrust them to us. We don’t take that lightly and hope that you will find that she comes home with a little more confidence, a little more independence, and some great memories of the Best Summer Ever. We look forward to the time next year when we can gather again in the Heavenly for another great season together.