The blog is a mish-mash of short items.
I will start with a shirt that feels like it should be a camp shirt. Tiger Sir (actually his real name – how cool is that?) has been a camper, Senior Camper and counselor with us since 2008. We have watched him grow since he was just 7 years old. He started as a fairly clueless (but lovable) little guy to a normally rambunctious adolescent to a hard-working Senior Camper. He will be attending college in the fall.
So we have watched him grow up.
We have helped in his “adulting” process. Knowing this, the shirt just made me smile.
I have already mentioned that our cooking class has become extra popular this summer. One of the newest twists has been Chef Travis. Last year, our new chef was just learning the ropes, but in the off-season he told us he wanted to do a few special things.
His ideas have included surprise treats (turnovers one evening, root beer at an overnight), fresh berries, mangos and 4-5 fruits at every breakfast and new menu items.
But he also wanted to have more interaction with the campers. So he taught a cooking class for the oldest girls. But he did not teach it in the Outdoor Cooking Pavilion, he taught it in our actual kitchen. The girls prepped and helped cook the actual meal that the entire camp would enjoy. So the baked ziti was the result of camper participation. Thank you Maxis!
Please let me brag on Chef Travis a little more. In addition to working with campers, he also met with the Health Inspector yesterday. Every summer, we get a surprise inspection for camp. For the first time ever, our kitchen scored a perfect 100. We have always been in the high 90’s, but the inspector generally does not like to give out 100’s, but Chef Travis earned one. [Note: this inspection is a big deal. They look at our certifications, proof of training for our counselors, proof of vaccinations for horses and dogs, pool compliance and a wide array of safety requirements. Some camps dread the visits, but we have actually come to appreciate them.]
Rookie Book Party
During our morning meeting, our Rookie Division Leader declared that his campers had requested a party. Usually, campers request slushies, dancing to music or surprising other cabins. But these Rookies requested a book party.
Yes, a book party.
They wanted to spend an unscheduled hour in the Hearth, our camp Fine Arts Center and library to just hang out and read. This simple idea delighted us. [Note: our library is named for my younger brother JJ who passed from cancer 4 years ago. He was an enthusiastic library advocate. So it makes me extra-happy when I see our campers reading old-fashioned books in “his” library.]
An Odd Birthday
This is a totally personal addendum. For 14 summers, our oldest daughter attended or worked at camp. This summer, her major required an internship, so she is in Austin. She was born during camp 21 years ago, so this is the first summer ever that she has not been on this property. Today, she turned 21. Rather than just have a party with friends in Austin, she was willing to come to camp for a traditional “cake in the face” celebration.
As a parent, we experience many milestones that remind us that our children are growing up: riding a bike for the first time, completing kindergarten, starting middle school, getting a driver’s license, graduating high school, etc. For me personally, the one that has hit me the hardest has been not having the whole crew at camp this summer. So I especially appreciate Terrill Ma’am agreeing to indulge her parents.
BTW, this picture shows our birthday girl with her younger sister Virginia Ma’am (a counselor) and one of her older brothers Wiley Sir (our Fine Arts director). The empty space between Wiley Sir and Terrill Ma’am is meant to represent Wiley’s twin Liam Sir who also needed an internship for his major. He will be attending her party tonight, but could not make the cake ceremony.
Thank you for indulging this personal moment.