Wednesday, July 23, 2014
As I write this post I am sitting at a friends house in town relaxing (and crying) after a long 9 mile hike. I am not actually crying but I really am exhausted. This week we have a staff hike called Lone Tree and it was basically 5 miles straight up hill and four miles flat/downhill into Avalon. I was not planning on doing the hike until yesterday when my friends convinced me. It was really difficult but I am so glad that I did it!
The end of last week (Family Camp #4) was so great! I had the pleasure of sharing a dance with Jake and Andy Lang and I have to say, they give the other boys a run for their money. One of my favorite moments from last week was when my cousin Andy got baptized. I am so proud of him deciding to commit his life to Christ. It was a huge blessing having our close family friends in camp last week (Langs and Ellisons) and it was really hard saying goodbye to them on Saturday.
After the campers left on Saturday I went to jump in the water and was instantaneously stung all over my body by a jellyfish. It hurt but was not too bad, just really uncomfortable! Saturday night was one of the best nights I have had here at camp. We all sat on the beach and watched an outdoor movie. The movie was a documentary about surfing, so watching it on the beach gave us some surreal surround sound! Our camp chef gave us an authentic Louisiana barbecue with shrimp, potatoes, alligator sausage, corn, oysters, and donuts for dessert! It was such a great treat after a long 5 weeks of repetitive meals and leftovers.
After dinner and a movie we all went night snorkeling. It was terrifying but awesome. It was cool to do something I was not entirely comfortable with. I was going to get out of the water early but one of my good friends convinced me to stay in until the whole group got out of the water. I'm so glad I did because I got to see a sea slug, a bat ray, lobsters, and a guitar fish. Swimming through seaweed tunnels in dark black water is so exhilarating! Sadly, that same night was Syd's last night on the island.
I can't explain in writing how much of a blessing it was to have my sister spend most of her summer with me at CBS. One of my biggest prayers going into this summer was that Syd would have the full experience and meet so many awesome people. If you ask Syd, I think she would agree with me and say that God answered my prayer. Before she left she was given the opportunity to talk to the whole staff and share with them what she will take away with her from her time at camp and how the community here has changed her heart. The picture below of everyone with their hands around each other is the staff singing to Sydney as she heads down to the pier to leave. A lot of our conversations and stories that we have shared since Sunday include Sydney and it truly shows the love everyone has for her.
After Sydney left, our week 5 campers came in and 13 of those 225 campers were 4 and 5 year olds. Having 13 in our class this week has been a little bit of a challenge but still really fun. Our kids have a lot of energy but are so eager to learn and have fun! It's quickly becoming a reality that we all have to leave the island in a week and a half but the whole staff is enjoying our last several days together. For those of you that don't already know, I will be going directly to a camp in New Hampshire called Camp Berea. We will be at the Camp for 2 straight weeks and spending our last weekend in Boston, so I will be getting back home from my long summer on August 17th.
That I will not dwell on the fact that I'm leaving Catalina soon but that I would really enjoy my last few days and be FULLY present until I leave.
Today I will be in town until 3 PM so feel free to shoot me a text or call me on my cellphone.
Love you guys!