After what has been unquestionably the best weather I have ever experienced throughout a camp season, the weather gods threw us a curve ball today. Temperatures quickly rose into the low nineties, and the oppressive humidity level made the air feel heavy. On some levels, this was the most challenging day of the summer for our staff, for they had the prodigious task of packing all of the campers’ belongings. The bunks were sweltering, and there was nothing we could do but grin and bear it. Our counselors performed magnificently and stayed on task until every camper was properly packed. We tried to wash everything before it was packed, but remaining dirty clothes items were left in the laundry bag. And, because we have had no rain this summer, a light dust might coat clothing and equipment, such as chest protectors and helmets.
We took a break from packing and brought all of the campers down to the lake for one final swim. The campers enjoyed a leisurely day of shooting baskets, playing tennis, and hanging with their friends. With the exception of their time packing with their counselors, the rest of their day was unstructured and very relaxing. We turned the Rio Olympics on in the lodge, senior rec. hall, and the air-conditioned dining room so the boys could enjoy viewing the competitions.
After our final dinner of the summer, we headed back to the Indian Council Fire Ring for one last time to be entertained by the Warriors in a good, old-fashioned campfire sing-along. Interestingly, this has become a favorite tradition of our graduating seniors. It gave them the opportunity to kick up their heels and have some fun. While, at the same time, they created wonderful summer camp memories.
Each Warrior bunk got up in front of the rest of the camp and led us in fun camp songs– a perfect way to cap off a memorable summer. Before filing out of the Indian Council Ring for the last time, the Okeechobees invited the Sub-Seniors (one age below) to stay behind. Our Okee’s passed the torch to this up-and-coming group of young men, who will be next year’s leaders in camp. This tradition is heartfelt and somewhat emotional as our oldest boys said goodbye to their camping years for the last time. The pure emotion is genuine, and our Sub-Seniors realize the impact this experience has had on our older boys.
As you read this blog, I imagine that you are excited to see your son (brother, nephew, grandson) tomorrow. I am sure the refrigerator is probably stocked with his favorite snacks and a dinner reservation has been made at his favorite restaurant. While there may be a little camp dirt around his neck or a haircut may be in order, your love and intense desire to snuggle will help you overlook those minor flaws.
While you will not be receiving a daily blog post from me for a while, I promise to stay in touch and to remain available to you and your family whenever needed. I send my love and sincere thanks for allowing me the privilege of caring for your boy.