Gratitude and Happiness

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Today was a fantastic day at Highlander, and the Session C campers are grateful to be here. Their energy spills out of the excitement that has been building all year long (or even two years for some) to be in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, making unforgettable memories with lifelong friends. That energy inspires gratitude for each and every cabinmate, their activities and special moments they have at camp.

Our staff realize that after being at camp for 7 weeks, they are on the downhill of this amazing gift called Camp Highlander. They are eager to make the most of each day with the campers and enjoy the wonderful details of camp life that can easily be taken for granted. They are determined to squeeze the best out of the rest of their summer, while pouring out all the love they can on those around them.

Today, gratitude filled Old Forge Mountain! I saw it in the bright smiles on camper faces throughout the day and heard it in the laughter that filled the air. It was evident in the pace of cabins (somewhere between a skip and a run) as they traveled from activity to activity. I saw their happiness as they hit a bullseye at archery, braved the third level of the ropes course and even in finding a baby turtle. Your children are so happy to be here at Highlander! We are so grateful that they have exchanged the pressures of everyday life for the joy of living in the moment. They have replaced texting and snapchat for real meaningful conversations with friends. They have replaced video games, Netflix binging and instagram posting for outdoor adventure and endless fun. These are the gifts of camp…and for this, we are so happy and so grateful!

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Favorite Details of the Day

  • Reflect: This morning at reflect, I talked about the importance of gratitude. It is important to count your blessings and be appreciative of what you have. While at camp, take advantage of every second you are given to show gratitude for this amazing gift. Live each day to the fullest by challenging yourself, giving to others and choosing gratitude in all things. Make new friends, go out of your way to make someone’s day. Be courageous and face your fears. Camp gives you endless opportunities to find happiness when you choose gratitude.
  • Meals: Breakfast was french toast sticks, bacon, scrambled eggs, and fresh fruit. For lunch we had meatball subs, tater tots, and ceasar salads. Dinner was a crowd pleaser: greek chicken, roasted vegetables, greek salad, homemade hummus and warm pita bread. Yum!
  • Weather: Today was a beautiful day on Old Forge! We woke up to a fresh breeze and clear skies. The sun stayed out all afternoon, brightening our day full of activities. I kept waiting for rain because it was in the forecast, and right as the entire camp got in the dining hall for dinner, the sky opened up. Just as everyone was leaving dinner, the rain stopped and the sun came back out for EP! It was perfect!
  • EP: Tonight’s evening program was cabin challenge! Everyone dressed up for a beachy, Hawaiian luau-themed night and gathered throughout camp to compete in challenges against brother and sister cabins. It was between cabins 32 and 33 in an innertube relay at the pool for the grand finale. Cabin 32 took home the gold and won the EP trophy!

Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.”

Amy Collette