A new year is here and we are officially beginning the camp countdown! The time leading up to January generally brings a slower pace for our year-round crew; the phones ring a little less in the office, and the days end a little bit earlier. Everyone has adjusted to the cold, dark evenings and it’s not unusual to find us in our pj’s by dinner. It’s quite the contrast from the summer evenings, often characterized by dance parties and costumes!
A few weeks ago in our weekly meeting Gretchen opened with the question “What is your most vivid childhood memory of the time leading up to Christmas?” Most of our answers revolved around sensory experiences- seeing the endless rolls of wrapping paper covering the floor or looking through the giant Tupperware bins of Christmas décor.
It’s funny how often we remember the time leading up to something; the excitement or anxiety that comes from waiting for an experience or an event. I imagine Mary and Joseph having strong memories of the days leading up to Jesus’s birth. Wandering aimlessly, full of hope and uncertainty…
As we close the season of Advent it makes us think of camp and the countdown to Opening Day- a year of anticipation of another summer in the Heavenly World. One of my early memories of preparing for camp was opening up my trunk and the overwhelming smell of dusty chipboard wood filling my nose. Once that trunk came out, it meant Opening Day was around the corner!
While it’s easy to feel excitement, this is also the time of year that campers may feel some cold-feet. Camp feels far away, and the happy memories are distant. Girls may start to worry about missing out on a summer at home with friends, or feel like a sports camp would be a better option. The memories of feeling homesick at camp may feel a little more prevalent. These feelings are normal! AND working through them will lead to so much growth AND resiliency. After years of coaching families on the camp decision, we hear WAY more often than not that a camper regrets the decision to skip a year of camp. VERY rarely do they regret coming to camp. If you need some more convincing about “WHY Camp”, check out this blog from the summer-Rainbow Tag and Resiliency!
Now that the New Year is here we will be sending out news from camp about the approaching summer! Illahee pen-pals will start this month, which is a great way to ease those pre-camp butterflies. That information will go out in our next E-News! Make sure to follow camp on Instagram (@campillahee) and Facebook (Camp Illahee). And if you missed our latest camp video, you can find it here-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVRU2DdjnPQ
Even though Opening Day feels far away, it will be here before we know it!
Happy New Year!