Full of Gratitude

Moving back to Brevard in May was a huge transition for our family of four. A significant aspect of that transition was my stepson Brooks (9) starting at a new school. At his school, class begins each day with a pledge of gratitude. Singing in the beautiful unison of off-key, 4th grade voices they shout: … Continued

It’s A New Era!

It is with gratitude and excitement that we announce Gardner Strayhorn and Lucas Jones as Illahee’s Executive Directors – the 6th set of directors since camp’s founding in 1921! We look forward to their positive leadership and energy as they and the team continue to build on the amazing camp traditions and experience that Illahee … Continued

Farewell to a Great Summer!

A return to normalcy. That’s what this summer was. Our nurses and doctors joined trips to Sliding Rock, and were often out and about watching all of the fun and action we get to see as directors every day. Our stockpile of Covid tests are gathering dust in the corner of one of our bedrooms…not … Continued

Junior Camp Groove

It’s been a terrific Tuesday at Illahee. The Junior campers are settled looking more confident as they travel from activity to activity around camp. The Junior session sounds different. This afternoon, from my office, I could hear the joyful sound of girls coming from the Busy Bee and the weaving hut, up the hill from … Continued

May it Last

The camp that I attended growing up culminated in a two-week session for the oldest campers. Two weeks of joy, laughter, and all things camp. It felt like the perfect amount of time. For that reason and many others, this August session has really resonated with me. These girls have been all in. They love … Continued

Friendships Make it “Heavenly”

We’re one week into this two-week session and the friendships are blooming. It’s wild how quickly girls can become friends, ready to take on camp (and subsequently the world) together. I’ve seen it at the tables in the dining hall, on tubes in the swim lake, and in the enthusiastic words of “you’ve got this!” … Continued

One giant party!

If you’re a loyal reader to the blog you know there are certain phrases we repeat. One being, “camp is a well-oiled machine” or “camp is our mission trip”. We also like to compare camp preparation to party planning. We spend the entire off-season planning one giant party for over 1200 people who don’t know … Continued

Welcome Two Week Session!

We saw lots of big grins and enthusiastic smiles as your cars rolled through the gates this morning. Gardner and I enjoyed being part of the welcome team getting to peek into your windows to say hello and give out cabin assignments. We noticed a few jitters and lots of excitement. Lucas, Gordon, and Phil … Continued

Well Aligned Summer

Way back in May (what feels like a year ago) during staff orientation, I led an exercise with our counselors. We handed out notecards and on each side we asked them to write one word: Why? On the first side they responded to the prompt: “Why is Camp Illahee here?” And on the other side … Continued

Good Day Sunshine!

Today’s wakeup routine was slightly different than my norm. Last night Pineview campers spent the night at Hannah Ford Farm, camp’s 125 acre farm property 4 miles away. Each session we take Heigh Ho and Pineview out to cookout, play games, and enjoy a movie and sleep under the stars. It’s one of my favorite … Continued