Line Dancin and Talent Show!

A camper holds a flyrod with the assistance of her instructor.
Camp Illahee’s nearby streams are home to world class trout waters.

Today is a perfect example of how you can’t plan your day in the mountains around what the weather prognosticators predict. I woke up this morning to a light mist, threw on my raincoat and headed over to leadership meeting, thinking that the 80% chance of rain meant a day indoors for all of us. With a little bit of early morning shuffling, we decided to move Mini 1’s night at the farm to tomorrow night, which promises a dryer experience. But, beyond that, we really didn’t make any other adjustments. The day was sometimes drizzly, sometimes misty, mostly soggy, but never what I would call rain. After a raucous Rise n Shine where I reminded everyone that there’s lots to do outside even when it’s raining, I have to tell you…I was proud of these Illahee girls! We had a ball. I can’t think of a single activity that wasn’t out there having a “time.” Even tennis made adjustments and brought out the oversized nerf tennis balls that we teach beginners with, and practiced volleys on the damp courts. That’s what I’m talking about! So as lousy as the meterologists were today, I hope they are right about the next few days that promise progressively clearer skies. Regardless, I do prefer the cooler temperatures to the ones we had a week ago!

As you probably noticed, Mary Lou and Honey left yesterday to head back to Birmingham, cameras and creative eyes in tow. I did enjoy getting back behind the camera today, more for the excuse to get out and enjoy camp and the activities than the actual process of picture taking…although looking at their images has made me more cognizant of different angles and trying to capture more shots before the girls have time to jump to the Illahee “pose.” (side by side and smiling faces) When Gretchen and I take pictures, we often are aware of efficiency out of necessity. There are lots of other things awaiting our attention, so we don’t always work for the shot as hard as Mary Lou does…editing her takes forever cause her shutter is going click…click…click when she sees something. A couple will be out of focus, a couple will be obscured, but usually one shot will survive the cutting room floor and will be spectacular. Often when I shoot, I will get the image or delete straight from the camera so that all I have to do is stick the card in and begin the uploading process. I did have fun early in the morning getting the long lens out and taking zipliners and tarzan swingers.

Speaking of pictures, there was a humorous article that I read the other day about how obsessed parents get with camp images, refreshing throughout the day, analyzing each photo of their beloved, interpreting funny angles, irregular smiles, who they are with (or not with) in the picture. I know none of you all do that. We have on occasion, had some pretty funny calls from parents…and then some not so funny ones when a cabin shot is posted with one girl missing who was up at the Wishing Well with an upset tummy (before the nurses had a chance to call). All in all, though, having watched the advent of the picture posting and blog writing through its infancy, I heartily endorse both. I love telling the Illahee story, and what better way to do it than through great imagery? And, we do get fewer calls from concerned parents than we used to. A fix every once in a while of a smiling camper face can do wonders for campersick parents.

I am glad I am not the one who is keeping up with logistics of all that is happening at camp. It’s mind boggling. From folks who come in for special occasions…Amanda, the great fitness and yoga instructor who comes to help with Choice Periods for both staff and campers…Tianna Blackwell, who came tonight to teach the older girls some great line dances just in time for the camp dance Saturday night…to trips out of camp…flyfishing and stream exploration at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education on the Davidson river. A couple of lucky girls actually caught some good sized rainbows. I know there are some jealous dads out there (maybe moms too). Our Sparks had a great time at the farm last night, got some sign painting done, and were pleasantly surprised by breakfast catered by their loving counselors. hosted by Keystone, right across the road and down a few…

Let’s see…the breakfast report. I felt like it was winter. Every morning in anticipation of all the good food at camp, I eat prison rations…porridge each morning. So, I kind of felt at home this morning with oatmeal, but it wasn’t the kind that is served around my house. I had a bowl and more. Cinnamon toast, scrambled eggs, cereal, bagels. A good, misty morning start. We had sandwiches for lunch with salad, and pizza and rice krispie treats for dessert. Apparently there was a snafu in the kitchen last night for Surprise Day, resulting in too many pizzas…who doesn’t get excited about that? Dinner was really popular. Angel Hair pasta with marinara sauce, those yummy dense square rolls that some restaurants serve, salad, and Italian Ice for dessert.

We had dueling evening programs tonight. This is how that went down…yesterday as part of the ruse for surprise day, we announced a talent show for last night’s evening program. Once the CITs announced the real evening program, there were some disappointment among the talented. With the rescheduling of the Farm Overnight for Mini 1 campers, we decided to go ahead and do that tonight. Already scheduled was Tianna the line dance teacher, so we compromised and allowed campers to choose their entertainment for the evening. It seemed about evenly split. I took some pictures of the dancers, and Gretchen covered the talent…Paparazzi, you know. (They need to get used to it). It was another great day in the Heavenly. It makes me wonder…can it get any better? Bet it can.

PS-Did I mention it was twin day? Lots of girls came to Rise n Shine looking alike this morning!


4 responses to “Line Dancin and Talent Show!

  1. Isabelle on stage during a talent contest!? That’s a first, and exactly the type of broadening experience that we have come to love from Illahee! Y’all have done and continue to do great things for her growth. Thanks for fifteen great weeks and counting!!

  2. That’s me! The mom constantly refreshing her page throughout the day looking for my one special camper!! Haha! Thanks agian for the updates!

  3. Thank you so much for all of the fabulous posts AND photos.
    Now about “obsessed parents”…that wouldn’t be something I would ever do…(LOL)
    This year not receiving as many letters from her makes me “analyze” things too. Here is what I came up with…
    She LOVES Camp Illahee! She feels like it is home during the summer. This is the first year that I truly realized she has grown into a confident, independent, strong woman. I know this is because of her experiences at Camp Illahee! Your summer program is phenomenal!! Thank you for everything you do for all of the girls!

  4. I am the Granny right behind Mom/Katy refreshing photos all day and night! I love looking at them all. Memories….:)

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