Beautiful Summer

Some people look for a beautitful place. Others make a place beautiful


I remember the first time I drove onto Camp Highlander property. It was August of 2000, and I was newly married. Bryan and I were dropping in to see the camp that my parents were hoping to purchase to live out their dream. The summer had ended and the property was pretty scarce. I noticed that the cabins were much nicer than my camp growing up, and that the pool was really big. I remember thinking the property was beautiful, but I kept thinking there was just something missing.

Twenty-two years later, I know exactly what was missing on that hot day in August…the beauty and spirit of Camp Highlander. You see, 42 Dalton Road is just an address that holds lots of buildings and equipment to run a summer camp, but the beauty is found in the hearts and souls of the campers and staff who come here every summer. It is your children that embody the spirit of Camp Highlander, and they bring the beauty to this mountain each and every year

Tonight, I am overwhelmed with the reality that the beauty of Camp Highlander will leave us in just two days. This will be my last blog for the summer of 2022, and I just 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 difficult. Saying good-bye is never easy, but for our camp family it feels almost impossible. It’s just so hard to wait another 9 months for camp to come back around, but I will choose to give thanks for the gift of what has been.

Thank you to our campers for giving your best to Camp Highlander – for your laughter and your joy that brings life and beauty to Old Forge mountain. Without you, there is no Camp Highlander. We love you!

Thank you to our staff for the incredible kindness you have shown to us, to each other and to our campers. Thank you for embracing our mission each day, as you loved others more than yourselves. Thank you for your sense of humor, your flexibility, your laughter, hard work, sacrifice of time, space and sleep. You amaze me each and every day, and it is an honor and privilege to work alongside you. We love you!

Thank you to our amazing camp parents. Thank you for sharing your beautiful children with us this summer and trusting us to love and care for them. We are so incredibly honored that you chose Camp Highlander to be a part of your summer. Thank you for partnering with us to raise happy campers that will grow into happy adults that create a happier world for all of us. Thank you for checking in each day here at the blog. It has been a joy and a pleasure to share our beautiful world with you. We love you!

We look forward to the summer of 2023 and all the beauty that it will hold.

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Favorite Details of the Day

  • Reflect at the Rock: This morning at reflect Madeline Smith, a counselor from Cabin 1, read a poem by Mother Theresa to us called “Do It Anyway.” She talked about how she heard the poem for the first time over a decade ago at Reflect at the Rock when she was a camper. She shared with us how this poem encouraged her to do hard things even when they were not popular or easy - forgive anyway, be kind anyway, succeed anyway, be happy anyway, do good anyway. It was a great reminder for everyone as we head back home in two days.
  • Meals: Breakfast was blueberry muffins, scrambled eggs, bacon and a fruit bar. For lunch we had grilled cheese and tomato soup and a salad bar. For dinner we had spaghetti with meat sauce or primavera, roasted broccoli, garlic bread and salad bar. For dessert, we all had cupcakes to celebrate my birthday today! I love having a camp birthday and being surrounded by my camp family!
  • Weather: We had a brief rain shower this afternoon during our fourth period, but the rest of the day was sunny. We woke up to cooler temps from the rain yesterday, which was nice. Today was our last day at activities as a cabin group, and we soaked up every moment we had today!
  • EP: Tonight we enjoyed our last square dance of the summer, and it was amazing! The smiles, the laughter and the joy on every face in the Gillespie gymnasium said it all…we have been dancing our way through camp for the past two and a half weeks, and to be honest we just don’t want this dance to end.
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