“Space: the final frontier.”

Week 1 and 2: done.

Week 3 is on deck, with so many new adventures awaiting. My partner and I are changing units, or “swinging,” to work with the 13 year olds’, which means we will spend almost the entire day away from our cabin, living out of our backpacks. Our cabin, Wyandot, and our neighbors, Winnebago, are pretty much the furthest away from everything in camp, so working in a completely different village will be a big change. We’re all excited, though, to be working with the lake village staff and seeing what life is like up there.

These first two weeks have been a blast. When we were all assigned to units, my partner Grace and I ended up in the Blazer unit, the 11 and 12 year olds’. Quite a few of the girls have been to camp for at least a few years, and they have helped me and Grace so much by getting into the swing of things and kind of leading us on. I know a few times they’ve brought up things that I’ve completely forgotten about.

This week’s cabin was so great. The girls (Claudia, Keeley, Julia, Grace smiley-face, Gracie B., Julia, Sophie, Abby, Maggie, and Lauren) clicked together right away. Fun story: about five of them had been in Fox cabin two years ago, so it was like a reunion. One of my favorite things about Camp T is once you’ve been a friend, you’re always a best friends. No matter how long you’ve been apart, you can pick right back up and move on,  and our girls did just that.

They created “Princess Day,” where we all dressed up as a modern version of our favorite princess, had a picture of a princes pig on our table, sang “The Princess Pat,” and colored princess pictures. It was a great day. Also, I got to celebrate my birthday at Camp this week, which was so cool. My girls were so precious, singing “Happy Birthday” to me at flagpole before breakfast (they told me that they were trying to come up with dance moves but didn’t have enough time), and throwing a little party in the cabin. It was probably the first time in my life that I’d been surprised by a birthday celebration, and it was so fun!

We actually got rain this week, which was great too. It “rained out” Dominican Chaos, a field game that we were going to play with seven other cabins, so we went back to our cabin and colored more pictures, showed off our gymnastics skills, and had an impromptu dance party on the back porch with Winnebago. That’s another thing that Camp is good at: dance parties. You don’t even need to play music; the kids (and counselors) are perfectly content with screaming out songs on their own! Our cookout was rained in, so we ate our hot dogs, watermelon, and chocolate chip cookies inside and played “Would You Rather.” 

Sometimes, inside is just as fun as outside.

In less than 15 hours, I’ll be back at Camp, getting ready for kids to come, debriefing the previous week, getting hugs, and finding out what clinics we’ll be teaching. Sundays are a beautiful combination of fun and awkward, with kids trying to get back into the swing of Camp and counselors excited for another week of kids. It’s so fun. I like the part where we stand on our porches, waving frantically and often jumping up and down when a car pulls up. The excitement is pretty much infectious.

But for right now I’ll enjoy watching Star Trek with the family.

Noonway.

 

 

P.S. Soon I’ll grab my camera and attempt to picture-journal a typical day at Camp T. We’ll see how these next few days go.

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“It’s adventure time, c’mon grab your friends, we’ll go to very distant lands…”

I’m a fan of low standards. Set the bar low. Then success is always an option.

 This summer at Camp, the staff in my village were given journals to write in throughout the summer. Because I’m a writer (writers compulsively title and name things. We don’t always use the titles and names, though… there are stacks and stacks of epic names and titles that never find a character or story laying around in the writer universe…) I titled my journal “63 Days of Adventure.”

I love adventures. Little adventures throughout the day add up to one big adventure. Life is more exciting when you look at it as one big adventure, even the littlest things. Last year, I decided to try to write a thousand things that I was thankful for, things that stood out to me as more or less adventurous. During the first couple hundred, I would go through my day, then look back and write things down. But as I got further into the project, I began living each day, looking for the adventures. Eventually I got to the point where I would look at something small, like making dinner, as an adventure.

I’m a fan of low standards.

I love surprises. Pleasant ones. Even the unpleasant ones can be good, though. Sometimes I just love not knowing what’s going to happen next. What’s around that corner? Who is someone new I might run into today? What important job might I have to take over? What might happen today that makes this day different from every other day?

Life is all about surprises. That’s how we come into this world. In that hospital room you were born in, I bet you were the one that was the most surprised. And every single day after that, surprise after surprise. Most of them aren’t as big as that first one, and many of them are very much smaller. In fact, you have to see the small ones (see, not look) to catch them. It’s kind of like being thankful for the very obvious things; we don’t do it enough. To me, a good surprise in a day could be as small as getting to go for a walk because the rain stopped in time.

I’m a fan of low standards. I’m a fan of flexibility. I’m a fan of letting (most) words stretch or shrink so that they say what you feel. I’m a fan of celebrating the tiniest thing. I’m a fan of going to bed every night thinking “Gosh, tomorrow is an adventure, and so is the next day, and the next, and the next…”

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“I’ve been looking out of a window for eighteen years… What if it’s not everything I dreamed it would be?” “It will be.” “And what if it is? What do I do then?” “Well, that’s the good part I guess. You get to go find a new dream.”

Staff training begins tomorrow. So excited. Camp Tecumseh is the best place in the world and I’m so thankful that I get to spend so much time there.

I’ve been through a couple of trainings through the past few weeks: Survivor/Amazing Race (a couple of sweet, team-building games that the oldest kids in camp get to play…),  archery and riflery (I’m certified to teach kids how to shoot things…), and horsemanship (I can teach a kid to ride a horse. And I have some pretty cool bruises…). It’s been so cool to see the small amount of staff in for trainings come together. Usually I come into camp a few weeks after training, when the entire staff have had time ti get to know each other and click into place. At least, that’s how it looks. And now I get to be a part of the coming together. Exciting, right?

So strange, though, to finally be a resident counselor. It’s the one dream that I’ve had since I was a little kid growing up, playing with the campers, watching the counselors work their magic. They could do anything. It’s different, know, going into it. I’m not worried about myself. I can do it…. I think. I’ve got God on my side, so I’m off to a good start. It’s just the whole “only thing I’ve ever looked forward to for my entire life about to start” thing that freaks me out.

There are so many great things about Camp, for those of you who haven’t realized that yet! Hanging out with kids, living with the staff, playing with/in/on all the cool camp things, flying by the seat of your pants, being flexible, learning from the kids and staff. I love friendship bracelets, starting the day in the “green cathedral,” miraculously having energy to finish out the day, finding the lonely kid and chilling with them, baked oatmeal, cabin bonding, telling old camp stories, getting dirty and seriously not caring.

So excited. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep blogging throughout the summer, but we’ll see how that goes! And if you really want an update (or just miss me…) write to me!!!

Liz DeMoss
12635 W Tecumseh Bend Rd
Brookston, IN 47923
I’ll do my gosh darndest to write you back before the week is out!
Blessings!!!