Our newest group of LITers arrived on Sunday, June 13. With years of camp experience under their belts, each has jumped into the leadership opportunities presented across the camp communities. Since arriving, LITers have assisted in activities, helped out on mentor hikes, and begun to bond with their new cabin groups. We have backpacked, rafted, swam in rivers, lakes, and streams, traveled between three different states, and built a beautiful community based on love, friendship, and respect.
Here are snippets of how the past five weeks have gone, in their words:
This is a great group man. The bond is already there and it came quickly. Even without Charlie T being there, we knew he would fit in. Thankfully Charlie was awake for the bell, otherwise we would have not gotten up. Breakfast was good; vanilla tea sounds better than it is. We went up to Turkey and did some activities and took a semi-accurate personality test. We then had lunch and went back to rest. We then went to Clyde Lyde and relaxed. We then came back for a taco dinner. We then got in cabins for Predator Prey. We then made it back to the tents for sleep.
OK YEAH. Charlie showed up and is now named Charlie Tuna.
Today was pretty chill .We started off the day by waking up to the bell and getting breakfast. We had pancakes and bacon and it was delicioso. After that, we got ready for our morning activities. It was a nice, relaxing way to start the day. We meditated, played a few fun group-building games, and learned a lot of important information about how to be good leaders and counselors. It was a very beneficial learning session and I even took notes on some of the tips Will and Abby gave us. We also made cordage during all this and I crafted myself a sick new anklet to wear during my time here. After our morning activities we got lunch, which was yummy, as always. We then had rest hour, when I hung out in my hammock at our secret LIT area and ended up having a really nice conversation with Annabelle for most of the time. After rest hour, we had activities, where I was assigned to help out at Drawing and Painting. I enjoyed conversing with Sassafras 1 and 2 and even painted my own butterfly. After two and a half hours of that, we then had free time where each of us were given a task to do. Lucy, from Drawing and Painting, told me that the best task was being a lookout on the dock while kids are swimming, to make sure everyone behaves and nothing bad happens. It was fun to watch the campers goofing around and saying funny things, as they tend to do. After free time, we got ready for dinner where we had spring rolls and chicken fried rice. These are two of my favorite meals in any setting, so I really liked today’s dinner. The Evening Program was Night Exploration, something none of us seemed all that into, so we decided to hike up to Clyde Lyde and have a campfire. We talked, laughed and sang songs and it was quite the vibe. Will and Annabelle both killed it on the guitar and the Charlies facilitated the fire. We hiked back in the dark and did Rose, Bud, Thorn at the lodge, where we ate Klondike bars as an evening snack. Big shoutout to Abby for that. We then concluded the day by going to bed.
Today was a lot of fun. The group all met at the Lodge for breakfast and even though no one was particularly fond of the english muffins, I always enjoy getting to talk and spend time with the LITs. This morning we hung out in the Back Field and the Gazebo and worked on conflict resolution and how to handle different scenarios that we might run into with Campers. We broke into smaller groups and acted out each scene which ended up being both useful and very funny. Next, we went to lunch and Will and Abby told us what cabins we are assigned to for the rest of the session. I was really happy that I got paired with Whippoorwill and also because I know that most people got paired with the cabins they wanted. After lunch, we had rest hour, where I just hung out in the girls’ tent and talked with Ellie, Ceverett, and Amelia. Then, for activities, I got to work in the Pioneer Cabin. I had a good time getting to talk to Walker and Carson and making tea with Big Laurel and Trailing Cedar. I got really lucky during freetime and just got to play guitar with Jonathan, which doesn’t really feel like an assignment. After dinner was over, we got to hangout with our cabins during the Evening Program, which ended up being Activity Night. It was really fun getting to canoe with Whippoorwill, even if it was very cold. We also got to do Rose, Bud, Thorn with our cabins, which was certainly a little different than RBT with the LITs, but made me excited for the rest of the session. I can’t wait for the next few days and getting to know my cabins more, even if I don’t get to spend as much time with the other LITs.
Alright, so it’s been a minute. To sum things up, Campers left for Campout and we had a blast. We prepared for backpacking and planned to eat like 10 year olds for four days. We then made tie dye–half came out fine and half was horrible. We then slept in the Lodge, which, in the morning, my back wanted to kill me for. That morning, we watched Howl’s Moving Castle, which was really good. We then went swimming later that day and it was quite nice. Then it was Mexican food time and it was good. And now the campers are back and things have returned to semi-normal. Oh yeah, and I’m super sick.
Yesterday, the Campers came back from Campout. We had to clean out the lodge and do a lot of other cleaning before the campers returned. During free time, we all worked in the Pole Barn and had to clean all of the campout equipment such as tarps, backpacks, campout bins, etc. A couple of us also did temporary tattoos that we got from El Ranchero. We then watched Moana and spilled our popcorn, twice. Today after we woke up a lot of us were on grit list and did a bunch of chores and then we finished early so we could sleep. Then we had lunch and rest hour and afterwards, we did activities. Me and Evan did arts and crafts. Today is also Pirate Night!
Today Session 2 ended and we said goodbye to our campers and then hopped in the van. We jammed out and drove to Gorges State Park. We then began our five mile trek. I did my best to keep the pace slow so that we could all finish comfortably. We got to camp and set up before hopping in the freezing river. Will swam in the one foot deep water and meditated before sitting on a rock to bask in the magical stream. Then me and Ellie joined him to look for cool rocks. Then my cooking group–Charlie M. and Julian–made yummy mac and cheese. Then we said goodnight.
It took me a while to decide how I was going to start this journal entry, but finally, I decided I would riff off of Rainey’s “alright, so it’s been a minute,” intro. Alright, so it’s been a minute and by minute, I truly mean a week, so I will just go over the main events. On our second day of backpacking, we unfortunately had to say goodbye to Amelia. We all wish her well. On our third day of backpacking, however, the hiking resumed. We went nine miles that day and within those nine miles, we not only encountered snakes, climbed what seemed to be endless amounts of stairs, and removed many ticks, we also found something in ourselves that day that changed us forever and, also, we ate lunch as well. That night, it rained and although some of us were more soaked than others, we all pushed through it and hiked back to our van and we then went to Dolly’s to celebrate our journey and then we came back to basecamp to clean ourselves of our stench, then basically continued with our daily routine in addition to a farm dinner and yeah, SWAG.
It is Session 3 and we have done so much. From Campout to our rafting trip. The first part was we all went on campout with our assigned cabins. We all had a blast with our cabins, I would say. I think that some of us saw some grand slam animals which was LIT! Once we got finished and came back from campout, we got ready for our rafting trip in Tennessee. We drove with Abby and Will, our great mentors/a.k.a. our leaders. It took us a while to actually get rafting because the people taking us had to fix something. Eventually, we were rafting and made it to the place we would be staying for our two day stay. The last day of the trip was definitely the best, I would say. Now we are back in base camp and ready for what the last days of our expedition will bring to us. SWAG! LIT!