May Rituals Getting Ready for Camp!

It’s May at Camp Illahee!  There are some things I always do in early May; they are pre-camp rituals. On May 1st we rounded up fire extinguishers – 44 of them- from around camp so that they could be tagged and inspected by ….the fire extinguisher inspector.  Then we label and put them all back where they go.  (Gretchen has a map with the locations marked; I’m sure you didn’t know that we have a fire extinguisher map.)

On May 2nd I find myself back at Henderson’s Greenhouse-Nursery, down the road in Rosman.  They have acres of green houses with flats of herbs, varieties of tomatoes, geraniums, and every color impatiens you can imagine.  It’s an Illahee tradition to plant a colorful splash of impatiens around the dogwood tree along the camp entrance.  I came home with 14 flats of Dazzling Red Impatiens.  It was difficult to choose among Accent Red, Tempo Red, Red Star and Salmon, but why not “dazzle” this year.  I’ll have a planting party this weekend but not before I go to Sams.  That is May 3rd’s ritual!  The “Sam’s Run. “  That list includes pine sol, bleach, paper towels, garbage bags, along with candy and lots of it.  We stock up on our bag supper supply of snickers, skittles and M & M’s.  We take all the seats out of the suburban to fill the back with the pre-camp cargo.

On May 5th “Cinco de Mayo”  I’m going to invade  Walmart and am sure that I’ll leave with several carts filled with  yarn, balloons, flashlights, Hershey bars, hula hoops, hand soap, swim noodles, batteries filling several carts with the odd assortment of items.  It’s good that there are several camps in Brevard, so that I don’t look quite so crazy going through the checkout line.  Next week we will start scrubbing the cabins and putting the dining hall back together.

Meanwhile in the office, Dave and Kris have been putting together the campers’ activity schedules and organizing the counselors.  Gretchen sent staff handbooks out and is finishing the hiring of the last few positions.  We’ve been organizing lifeguard clinics, ropes course clinics and putting together a great outline for staff training.  We are making our way through full and busy days and we can’t wait to see it all come to life when the campers arrive this summer!

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