From Bell-Ringing to Leaf-Blowing!

How has it already been eight weeks since we lowered the cabin flaps, deflated the lone swim-lake tube, and cleared out the last box of salty snacks?! Other than a few furry four-legged barn animals, Jasper and Dahlia, the final members to leave the camp community for the season were nurses Mary and Denise. They buttoned up the Wishing-Well, working tirelessly into the weekend to organize for our next camp summer- thank goodness! Camp is quiet and each year we forget how hard that is to get used to. After ten straight weeks- around 200 meals in the Dining Hall, over 10,000 rings of the bell, and roughly 1,000 zips down the zipline, it all comes to an abrupt halt. Well sort of…

The first few weeks in an empty camp is spent in mourning by our camp mascots, Liza, Henry, and Churro. We find them sitting on the hill looking out towards the gates longingly- we imagine they are waiting for a camper to run by and give them a belly rub. We try to give them extra attention to combat these feelings, but we will never replace the many camper hands. While the setting outside of the office is quiet, the bustle of Curtis picks up after camp closes- cue registration season! This is when directors Lindsey and Laurie kick it into high gear.  If their computer clicks aren’t indicators of the busy-ness, the ring of the phone is.

We are excited to receive so many applications of return campers, and new ones. We are continuing to enroll in our Junior session, while the rest our full! What a testament to the blessings that continue to abound in this Heavenly World. It is thanks to our dedicated staff- from the nurses to our kitchen crew, to our cabin and non-cabin counselors, to all the people who help to make camp run like a well-oiled machine. And to our campers- the girls who choose to come to Illahee for their first time, to experience the joys of camp and continue this tradition. We are already counting down the days until we are all back together singing to the Pine-tree!

Now that the enrollment “puzzle” is complete, and our puzzle masters can allow their fingers to rest, we will begin our travel season! Illahee directors will be traveling to cities to showcase our 2019 Summer Highlights video, re-unite with camp friends, and answer any questions families may have about Illahee. Videographer, Mary Lou, has been busy at work in the production studio and has completed this year’s feature film. This, along with shout-outs and videos from the summer will be debuting soon! We will post our travel dates on social media, and will also be sending invitations out to families in our visiting cities for our Illahee gatherings, so check your mailboxes!

In other news, return staff and Junior Counselors have already started applying for summer 2020 (the next best summer ever), and interviews are underway! We are so excited about our future counselor team, and our whopping 39 Junior Counselor (JC) applications!

Now that the Illahee plumbing is getting a much-needed rest and the grounds are shifting into fall stages, you better believe those leaf blowers are cranking! Our trusty maintenance crew is up to, James, Hilario, and Josias have transformed into the finest paint crew Brevard has ever seen. We were a little skeptical when they painted Curtis yellow, but it looks great and once the Dining Hall matches, we think it will add just the right amount of cheer! It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint adds. Stay tuned for more off-season project updates.

Laurie and Gordon have been on a trip of a lifetime and will return next week- check back in for a blog about their incredible adventures. We hope that everyone has had a wonderful fall, and that we will see you soon in YOUR hometown!

Thanks for reading Illahee Family!

PS- For all you paint critics out there- never fear, the only bright colored paint going onto buildings are the cabin sign touch-ups! Thanks to Gretchen!