Pouring Joy

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After being blessed with straight sunshine for 4 days, the rain has hit us hard. We woke up this morning to a downpour, and it didn’t stop until after dinner. While the rain frustrates me and tries to steal my joy, the campers never seemed phased by the showers and see them as an opportunity to make a memory.

When I went to camp as a young girl, we sang A LOT! On rainy days, we would always sing this song “If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops, oh what a rain this would be. I would stand outside, with my mouth open wide, now that’s the weather for me oh baby!” I found myself singing this happy tune today while I watched our campers play in the rain. They were so delighted, as if there were lemon drops and gumdrops falling from the sky! I watched them singing, dancing and playing in the rain, and acting like the rain had been special ordered for the last day of camp. Today, it was pouring JOY at Camp Highlander. I am so grateful that these campers always show me the silver lining and bring the sunshine to my day.

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Today was camper’s choice day, which was the best way to end the session. The campers love the freedom of choosing their activities and going exactly where they want to go. I was shocked by the number of campers who chose ultimate Frisbee, pool, lake, canoeing, kayaking and other outdoor activities, just so they could play in the rain. We even had a call over the radio from an activity counselor asking if a group of girls could stay an extra period at kickball because they were having so much fun playing in the mud.


This is what makes summer camp such an incredible gift for children. Where else can you play in the rain, stomp in the puddles and roll down the muddy hills, all with your very best friends?

Most people would say that this much rain is very unfortunate, but at camp we welcome most circumstances that are less than ideal. These moments provide opportunity for growth and create memories that last a lifetime.


  • Reflect - Today Gaynell told a story about his father when he coached football for LSU. He said his dad’s life taught him a lot about how to treat people. He said his dad always spoke to everyone in the stadium as if they were the most important person in his life. Gaynell’s lesson was, when you give respect, you get respect. In order to have others respect you, you must show respect to all people without judgement. The golden rule!
  • Meals - Breakfast was french toast sticks, eggs, sausage, fruit, yogurt, grits and oatmeal. Lunch was tacos and salad bar. Dinner was chicken and sausage jambalaya and sensation salad, sandwich bar and salad bar. Yum!
  • EP – Dancing with the Activity Counselors (Stars)! This was such a precious EP. Cabins picked their favorite activity counselor and they all learned a dance. Cabins performed a dance routine with the AC, and it was fantastic! This is one of my favorite EPs. Good music, good friends and great dancing! I definitely learned some new moves!
  • Weather - Rain, rain and more rain!
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As I write this blog tonight, the tears are slowly rolling down my cheeks. This will be my last blog for the summer of 2018. I can’t believe how quickly the summer has flown by. Tomorrow, I will share my last day with your children and our staff. I will soak up every conversation, cherish every hug, appreciate every smile, take pleasure in every laugh and treasure every tear.

Tomorrow will be a hard day. Saying good-bye is never easy, but for our camp family it feels almost impossible. We have grown so close over the past 3, 5, 7 and even 9 weeks (for staff), and it is just so hard to wait another 9 months for camp to come back again. It just seems so unfair.

So now, all I can say is THANK YOU!

Thank you to our campers for pouring your heart and soul into Camp Highlander – for your laughter and your sweet spirit that brought this mountain to life. Without you, there is no camp. You are Camp Highlander, and we love you!

Thank you to our staff for your unwavering commitment to our mission – to love and be loved. Thank you for your incredible creativity, hard work, long hours, sacrifice of time, space and sleep. You amaze me each and every day, and it is an honor and privilege to work along side you. You have changed me, and I am forever grateful for your impact on Highlander and my heart. We love you!

Thank you to our incredibly supportive parents. Thank you for sharing your beautiful children with us this summer. We are honored to be a part of your lives and that you chose Camp Highlander to be a part of your summer. Thank you for the grace and the love that you show us, for your patience and for your faith in camp and what we do. Thank you for checking in each day here at the blog. It has been a joy and a pleasure to share our world with you. We love you!

We look forward to the summer of 2019 and all the love and laughter it will bring. We hope to see you again next summer.

One love,

Melissa and Bryan