Tree Day and Air Band!

A camper hugs Newton the camp dog.
Camper’s Best Friend!

The sounds of screen doors slamming…the occasional squeal, with the loud cacophony of crickets in the background are music to my ears. When I’m old and gray, I hope they have screen doors in the nursing home when they wheel me out into the hallway 🙂 Actually, maybe I won’t be a pain in the rear to my kids and they’ll let me sit out on the porch of Pinecrest or the dining hall. Nah…I’m destined for the home. Oh well…I do enjoy it now. As I sit down to write tonight, it feels like that quintessential summer’s night…the sound of activity waning as day does. The failing light played tricks on my eyes as I rode my bike back from main camp to Pineview. The days are getting shorter. This night has a hint of cool that will turn to a crisp early morning before the sun burns it off by midday.The skies, angry this time last night, are calm and beautiful tonight.

Summer’s always been my favorite season…ever since I was a lad tagging along with my grandparents to Nantucket for a summer filled with tennis lessons in whites at the “Casino,” bluefishing until our fingers hurt from casting the lines, collecting mussels from the jetties at 5:00 am while the tide was still out and bartering with the fishmonger for our catch. We painted houses, pulled weeds, cut roses (and got cut by roses), and made fast friendships forged by the freedom that an island and its natural limits provided. Summer is definitely child’s play, and the more our world turns, the more I am convinced that summer may very well be one of the most important seasons for our children. Scheduled and pushed with altruistic intentions, our girls need this time to explore their independence…to negotiate a community that loves you, but that you are one of the “bunch” in. There are compromises to be had, and most will stumble a time or two…but all will feel empowered by her own ability to stand up and try again. Camp is an opportunity like no other for this important growth to happen.

As is often the case after a storm, the skies are cleared for a beautiful day to follow…and that was certainly the case today. We started the day with cereal, eggs, blueberry muffins, yogurt and tater tots (a big hit) and then Rise and Shine. After Rise and Shine, girls embarked on the second day of their activity schedules…we call the first day Pine Day (MWF) and the second set…Tree Day. So, today was Tree Day. Yesterday, even the veterans were slightly tentative embarking on their new day. Today, there was no sign of that. We were sitting at a yummy dinner of spaghetti with two homemade sauces, ciabatta bread, salad, and grilled veggies and Laurie looked at me and said, “the session’s found its appetite,” as server aftyer server returned to the window for more pasta and bread for the table. Homemade cookie squares put me over the edge, but provided a nice final course to a great dinner.

Evening program tonight was Air Band, one of our perennial favorites. Costumes, music, a stage, and especially… an audience. Each cabin choreographs a dance routine to a popular song and has their couple of minutes in the limelight. There were some pretty creative and cute acts. Laurie and I started our day with counselor Bible study which we host at our house at 6:45 am. It’s been a full day. Tomorrow, we start our encampment at Kuykendall, a great group camping spot over in the Pisgahs. The Hillbrook girls will go with their counselors and enjoy a cookout, games, creek stomping and sleeping in tents under the stars…a BIG adventure. We also start sliding rock this week, and lots of other fun stuff…

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5 responses to “Tree Day and Air Band!

  1. So glad the weather improved. Have a great campout! Your Blog is making us hungry!

    Linda and Gordon

  2. Loved seeing the pictures of Air Band and reading your blog today. I especially enjoyed reading about your Nantucket connection as I am sitting in a house on Surfside as I write (don’t tell Elizabeth as I left that little detail out when I dropped her at camp!!) Enjoy the mountains and I will tell the Grey Lady you remember her well. Kate

  3. I enjoy reading your blog as much for the way it causes me to reminisce about my own summers growing up as I do to check up on what’s going on with Stefanie. Thanks for bringing back some old, fond memories.

  4. This is “our” fifth year at CI and I have to say that living camp through your blog each day is such a pleasure. As a former reading and writing teacher, I also want to comment on your very clear and natural writing style! Your gift to communicate to us (who truly wish we were there!!!!) is greatly appreciated. I couldn’t agree more with your feelings about summer being the most important season for our children and we feel very blessed that our daughter gets to spend a part of it at Camp Illahee! Susan (Bess’ mom)

  5. Thank you for such vivid descriptions of life at camp. Kate’s younger sister, Caroline, and I read them everyday. We feel like we are there with her. I wish we were! Thanks to the photos and your wonderful blogs, I know exactly what she has done that day, right down to the last sounds she hears at night. It is truly “the Heavenly”.

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