Heart of Highlander

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I remember the first summer that my oldest son went to camp. I was feeling super confident as I said goodbye, thinking that as a camp director myself I had all the bases covered. He was five, very excited and super prepared for all the fun and adventure that camp would provide.

I felt that he had EVERYTHING he would need for camp, and some to share in the event that someone else had forgotten a flashlight, poncho or bandana for square dance. I had packed one outfit for every day in a ziploc bag to make life “easier” for my camper and his counselor. I even had him help me pack and pick things out so he would know exactly where everything was when he got to camp.

Then I saw the pictures and reality set in…I had no control of the choices my child was making at camp. His socks didn’t match, he wore the same shirt for three days and he rocked a permanent bed-head all week. On most days, I could tell what he had for lunch by the ketchup or peanut butter smudged smile on his face! And forget about that cute western outfit I packed for square dance, he wore basketball shorts and a Star Wars t-shirt! As a mom, I was horrified…as a camp director, I was over the moon!

Maybe many of you have been scouring the photos of the past 6 days and feeling the same way. I understand, and I want to assure you that things are not always as they appear to be. You see, at camp…we don’t worry about matching clothes or bad hair days. We rarely see the smudged food on the faces of others, not because we don’t care but because we are heart seekers. We care more about what’s going on inside than the situation on the outside. Trust me, I’ve seen some serious situations on the outside, but the growth I’m seeing on the inside is so awesome! The joy that these kids are feeling at camp is truly indescribable. The pictures just don’t give you the whole picture of the amazing growth and joy that your children are experiencing.

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Favorite Details of the Day

  • Reflect at the Rock: Today Emily talked with us about teamwork. Here at camp our TEAM is our cabin unit. She reminded us that the best team members are those that encourage others towards success while practicing selflessness. As a cabin, you must work together to accomplish more because there is no “I” in TEAM.
  • Meals: For breakfast we had cinnamon rolls, scrambled eggs, bacon and a fruit bar. For lunch we had walking tacos and a salad bar. Our Friday night tradition is Papa John’s pizza, and the campers were SO excited! We also enjoyed some carrots, cucumber and hummus for a healthy addition to our pizza. The campers and staff started the Gus’ chant again after dinner, so after camper’s choice sign ups we opened Gus’ for a sweet treat!
  • Weather: We were so blessed with another beautiful day on Old Forge. We had sunshine all day, with a quick 10 minute shower that cooled off the mountain for just a little bit! It was the kind of rain that you give thanks for and choose to walk slowly through to savor! It cleared quickly and didn’t slow down our day!
  • EP: Tonight’s EP was Talent Show. Oh, how I love your children! They were amazing tonight!
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Speaking of joy, tonight’s Talent Show…AMAZING! We have been celebrating holidays in July this week, starting with our 4th of July celebration. Tonight our Talent Show was holiday themed, and there were so many creative and wonderful acts. Cabin 3 did a glow in the dark Jingle Bell Rock. The CITs blew us away with their 12 Days of Camp-Mas. We had the Grinch and the whoville chorus too. There were solo dance routines, piano performances, skits, tricks and cabin choreographed ensembles. I was blown away with the talent and courage of our campers, but more importantly, I was so grateful for the support and love of the audience. Every single act received cheers, whistles, yells and even standing ovations for their performances. The love of our camp family is overwhelming, and I know that every single performer walked off stage with pride from the incredible support from their friends!

No, it’s not about the performance,or the outside appearances…here it’s about the heart…and the heart of Highlander is love!

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