Cabin Palooza!

Hello Illahee Family!

My name is Coleman Evans and this summer marks my 14th summer at Illahee. I have spent more
summers in the Heavenly World than I have not. As a camper, I attended nearly every camp session. My
love for camp began in 2003 at the Junior Session. Then, I spent many consecutive summers at the
August session. I credit my time in August session with igniting my love for camp. I wrapped up my
camper years in the four-week July session. Later, I spent four summers at camp as a counselor on
Pineview and primarily spent my time coaching Level “Corndog” in the Swimming activity. During my time
on staff, I fell in love with camp in a whole new way, relishing in the opportunity to recreate for young
girls what camp gave me. Now, during the year, I am an elementary school teacher in Washington, D.C.
Faced with a free summer and coming off of a challenging year of teaching, I found my way to Camp,
once again.

I arrived at the Heavenly World this summer at the start of the Mini 2 session, just over two weeks ago,
and I leave the mountains tomorrow. While here this summer, I have worn many different hats as I have
jumped between supporting the Leadership Team, assisting the wonderful nurses in the Wishing Well,
spending time with the Illahee staff who facilitate camp so well to make each summer the best summer
ever, and, of course, I’ve had the joy of getting to know many campers in the July, Mini 2, and August
sessions. Tonight, I get to wear another hat, for I am adding “Writer In Residence” to my Summer 2022
Illahee resume as I write tonight’s blog post.

Today was a blue ribbon day at Camp. It was the first Tree Day of the session, so girls got to
experience the back half of their schedules for the first time. I saw girls tie their first knots on a
friendship bracelet in Fiber Arts, capture the flag in Games! Games! Games!, swing off the Tarzan swing
into the swim lake (my favorite place at camp!), decorate their butterfly bookmarks in Arts and Crafts,
make chocolate treats in Cooking, and so much more!

For evening program, we had Cabin “Palooza” Night, Each cabin or double cabin chooses an
activity together. Cabins 17 and 34 made cookies in Pinecrest with Laurie and Gordon – yum!
Cabin 20 shot archery and had a dance party with a broom microphone. Cabins 2 and 4 made s’mores
over a woman-made campfire (shoutout to their counselors) at Ladyslipper, a campsite on camp. Cabin
35 put on a car wash, so if you see my squeaky-clean Subaru on the road, they are the ones to thank.
Cabins Laurel 1, Laurel 2, and Juniper 2 made bracelets on the Pineview driveway. Cabin 11 played a
riveting camp-wide game of Manhunt. I caught the campers of Cabin 10 as they finished their zipline off
the Beanstalk with Marie and heard no less than 8 times, “That was AWESOME!”

In so many ways, today encapsulated the best of what camp has to offer. I saw girls trying new things,
making new friends, growing into themselves, gaining independence, and having so much fun, in the
same fashion I did so many summers ago.

Tonight is the final night that I will go to sleep to the sound of bullfrogs and wake up to the bell (at least for this summer). As I
have every summer, I am leaving with a full heart, filled cup, journal full of stories and joyful moments,
and tears in my eyes as I long for just one more day at Illahee. Camp is and always will be home for me. I
feel lucky to have shared some of this summer with your girls.

Illahee love,