Roots That Grow

Campers enjoy campfire

It’s about time to dust off those trunks! Camp has been a bustle of activity in the last few weeks. I am not sure if it’s the sprouting of the daffodils and spring’s premature arrival, or just the anticipation of the best summer ever, but the team is full speed ahead. From bunk- bed making to orientation planning, we are making sure to follow Gordon’s mantra of “crossing those t’s and dotting our i’s”. It is all about the details in a place with so many moving parts.

Sometimes the excitement of planning can be a bit overwhelming for those of us (well, mostly me)  struggling with attention deficit.  I am always thankful for our weekly leadership meetings every Wednesday because it’s a time to re-focus and re-charge together. We always begin with an “opener” and yesterday Laurie asked, what is it (to each of us) that makes Illahee so special and what contributes to its success. Whew, where to begin with this one? Our great counselors…the beautiful setting…96 years of camping tradition…

Kindness. This is the glue that holds this community together and is the reason campers return year after year, and for some even into their college years. Kindness allows for relationships to grow, which we all agree is an AMAZING outcome of camp. The love and support that Illahee girls show each other is what makes this such a special place. When this is the standard that is set, growth is inevitable. Growth in all areas- resilience, confidence, independence, the list goes on and on.

Illahee has always been a place rooted in kindness…maybe it comes from decades of hailing “a symbol of loyalty and friendship for ALL” each night. We are so proud to be a part of a loving community that is so committed to being kind.

For some it’s not always easy. Liza, our yellow Lab matriarch has really had to look beyond her indifference to the newest furry mascot, Henry. We are happy to announce that after a week of growling and sulking in corners, she has officially accepted him as part of our Illahee family. Hooray for making new friends!

See you this summer…Gardner