first, since i didn’t have any pictures from thursday, let me share with you my favorite: a group shot of all the river counselors at breakfast at the flagpole.
the last time i wrote, i vowed that friday would be the best ever. and by God’s grace and will, it was. the entire day was absolutely amazing, and it had nothing to do with anything i did. but it was obvious that for everyone in camp, it was a special day, one that won’t be forgotten.
it started out with chapel. molly and i had the privilege of planning it, and tripper, james, morph, and forrest all joined us. james and morph jammed with some of the most amazing music we’ve had all summer, and it was clear that God was blessing it (because there’s no way without Him it could have gotten anywhere that quickly). the skit went well too. i got to share the gospel with all the campers in river village, which was an answer to prayer, and i think many of them really were able to understand. it was the perfect way to start the day.
after staying back to clean up from chapel, i headed to my mountaineering clinic. as i walked through main field, i loved seeing all the campers having a blast in whatever clinics they were in. fridays are always the best clinic days.
this week, clinics were fantastic. in mountaineering, we had a group that was super encouraging and loved to climb. i don’t think there was one time that they needed to be reminded to support whoever was climbing. they knew each others’ names by day two, and belaying with becca and fendler was awesome.
hip hop was next, and it’s been a blast this week. the kids are so much fun, and becca, sarah and i were really impressed with the way it ended up! everyone was pretty proud of themselves.
yeah, they rocked it.
after hip hop was world cultures. it’s been a blast this week, because i got to teach with celyn and nel. we told the kids that celyn is a real welsh princess and stuff, and so they’ve been asking her lots of questions about her royal life. on friday we made our own petecas, and so nel got to share a lot about brazilian culture and show us some of the sights. i’m definitely going to miss this during the school year.
after clinics we had lunch, and it was great because we all got to swap stories about what our favorite clinics were and all the awesome stuff we had done. it made me kind of sad because this was probably the last time i would get to see hugo smothering his food with ketchup.
both those plates were his.
then we had our last rest hour of the summer and spent it playing cards, napping, and silent indoor gaga with a balloon. afterwards we had the banana death march, one of my favorite unit games. we wrapped it as best we could and took it out to demolish it at different stations. among them we had a game of sand volleyball…
some hot potato…
we jumped rope with it…
and relay raced it across the field.
after that we even got to drop it from the top of mount wood, and then the bell rang so we ran back to the pavilion and unwrapped the newspaper to see the damage.
that’s actually pretty good, because some other cabins just brought back a banana peel with no fruit left. we didn’t win, but it looked so delicious that tommy wanted to try it out.
apparently it was pretty great.
after that, i went in to write some parent letters while hugo took the guys to the pool. despicable me was playing and a bunch of counselors were watching it, so naturally i did too, and got maybe half of one letter done. but hey, it’s friday of week nine. no big deal.
after parent letter time was up, i headed back to the cabin to get ready for the theme dinner: country hoedown! there were lots of great costumes at dinner that night. and lots of dancing and singing and standing on chairs while eating and using silverware as microphones. the last theme dinner of the summer was definitely the best.
plus we even got to wish braydn a happy birthday. he’s such a great kid.
friday night trading post is my favorite, because everyone’s happy and everyone’s hanging out with everyone else. the counselors do such a great job of making sure that no kid is just sitting by themselves… one of my favorite things to see is counselors introducing themselves to a camper they don’t know yet on a friday. it’s great. plus it’s an awesome time to get pictures with friends.
after trading post we got to watch some legit performances by drama and brazilian dance. my favorite was that one direction actually visited us during the tecumseh teen choice awards show, and my other favorite was that two boys were in brazilian dance (first time since i’ve been working), and they both rocked it and were totally unashamed of being up there. it was awesome. that’s just the kind of place camp is.
after that we ran back to the cabin to get ready for closing campfire. since it was dave’s last one, it was really special. each of the units had special endings to their cheers that were their own ways of bidding him farewell. he’s done so much as the camp director, and he’s really going to be missed.
then the buffalo brothers made him an honorary buffalo queen (er… king) and presented him with the staff. dave and beth both came up to accept the award and dave made a small speech.
the weather was cool, and for a while it looked like it might rain. but then the clouds opened up and the most beautiful sunset began to form. it was so gorgeous, and it was cool to think that God made it knowing that all of us at camp would be able to appreciate it.
we had lots of fun happenings at campfire. hip hop dance performed (and did an amazing job!) as well as martial arts (with two of the guys from the cabin). there’s also a traditional skit that is performed at the final campfire called “tecumseh” where eight people hold each of the letters and list all the awesome things in camp that start with that letter. it’s a great way of recapping the summer, reliving jokes (inside and otherwise), and sharing in awesome memories.
then all the three-year counselors get green sweatshirts (another much anticipated tradition). last summer we had four or five, but this summer there were a ton of counselors up there. it was awesome to see how a place like camp just keeps bringing people back.
we sang all our closing campfire songs for the last time: tecumseh and it only takes a spark and He knows my name. we always put our arms around each other and sway back and forth. it’s usually pretty emotional at this point, especially for the counselors.
we closed up with the torchbearer ceremony, and then brought all the kids back to the cabin. our final devotion went really well, and all the kids fell right asleep. it was really weird going around to each of their bunks, telling them how awesome i thought they were. i knew it would be the last time for a while that i’d be doing that. a few of them cried, and i could tell that a couple really didn’t want to leave on saturday.
i knew how they felt.
it was also the last time hugo and i would be on a porch writing parent letters together, so i took a picture to commemorate the memory.
and then, at two in the morning, i packed up to sleep my final night in the miami cabin.