Happy Easter Weekend, Illahee family. It’s been a beautiful week at camp and at times felt strangely normal around here. Yesterday we took a break from our activity area cleaning spree and had our own egg hunt on the soccer field. Gardner raided the costume room to find an assortment of 1980’s era bridesmaid’s dresses and we hit the field with the dogs. Thanks to Gretchen’s son, Ezra, we had a photo shoot and video worthy of Instagram. Laughing has been our medicine the past three weeks as we’ve opened up camp buildings and swept, dusted and removed the cobwebs (and the mice). We’ve also loved the contact with camp friends and families. Our summer photographer, Mary Lou Davis has been producing podcasts called Adventure Cross sharing inspiring stories of her family’s outdoor adventures. Daughter Honey Davis will be our head of climbing this summer. Camper Judy Anne Jackson who has sung at Illahee campfires and talent shows had her first original song, Stuck in the Clouds , on Spotify earlier this week! Written a few years ago, its topic about looking beyond the present circumstance and toward a bright future is fitting for what we are all going through now. My quarantine creation has been less ambitious than theirs and involves more time in our kitchen. Last week Brooks and I baked chocolate chip cookies and it was nearly as fun as having a kitchen full of campers on cabin adventure night.
This week I was sad to lose John Prine and thankful to have seen him perform live in Asheville last October; being an Alabama native, I’d always been partial to his Angel from Montgomery. We went to his show not expecting such a high energy and inspiring performance and were blown away by his spirit and warmth. Rev. Becca Stevens founder of Thistle Farms and priest at the church my father in law attends in Nashville, said aptly, Everything John was about reminds us all to love lavishly, to live creatively, and to work hard with humor and grace. My hope as we are all apart right now is that we can love, live, create and maintain our humor and grace. Gretchen sent a survey out to our counselors this morning and she heard back from more than 30 of them within an hour. A question was name one word to describe how you are feeling right now…overwhelmingly the response was HOPEFUL. Keep hoping friends… celebrate Easter and the beauty of spring. We continue to pray for our dear Camp Illahee and families.