It is amazing that is already October 5th! Our last day of camp was several weeks ago, and yet in the office we are still remembering how wonderful summer 2016 was. We thought it would be fun to share our favorite summer memories with you.
The last day is always one of my favorites though it is incredibly bittersweet. There is such a sense of community on this day in particular. I love being with Lower Village as we read the counselors their certificates from their campers. I love having special village wide activities like a dance party or village swim. I love gathering together to watch the slideshow from the summer and looking back on so many wonderful memories. My favorite part of this day is our final all camp meeting where we gather together as a community one last time. Each village sings their song, new signs are presented to long-term staff and we wish all of our campers and staff a wonderful year ahead. Though it is a moment filled with sadness because it marks the end of the summer, I think it such a special moment because it truly captures the community spirit that Elmwood is all about.
When I look back on the summer, my favorite memory is always the same, the morning of the first day of camp. Arrival on the first day of camp has an energy that no other day throughout the summer will have with a mixture of anticipation and excitement. I love watching campers make their way to their villages to meet their counselors and get the day started! It is wonderful to watch new campers be welcomed into the Elmwood community and watch returning campers reunite with their friends.
My favorite moments of 2016 were the Upper Village Bowl days. While these days are far more competitive than a typical camp day, Elmwood campers and staff embody the best possible sportsmanship and spirit during the bowl. Examples of teamwork and cooperation are everywhere along with appropriate responses to winning and losing. The final event is the cheer off. There is nothing quite like seeing the whole community singing and cheering their hearts out trying to win those final points for their team. The smiles are off the charts as there is no doubt that this is the best moment of the summer for many of the campers. The most amazing is after the winner is announced. The winning team celebrates but then each child and counselor returns to their group reuniting with their summer friends. It is uniquely Elmwood and very special.
When I reflect on the summer of 2016 there are so many moments that I could call my “favorite” moments. Morning arrival is another one of those “favorite” daily moments… seeing our campers climb off the buses or out of their cars, the impromptu morning hug as a child passes you by, the campers greeting a friend off the bus with a high five or an arm around the shoulder, the older campers clamoring to guide our youngest campers to their group as they struggle to carry both of their bags all with so much pride, the counselors waiting to greet their campers as they step off the bus and then the smiles – there is nothing that beats the smiles… every day should begin this way!!! Then throughout the day there continue to be those “favorite” moments. Having the chance to be the “mystery guest” at a morning meeting, serving lunch and chatting with our campers and staff, congratulating a child as they proudly show off their new swim pin, chatting with a camper who just needed a break, and the list goes on and on. We are fortunate because we have “favorite” moments every day all day!!!!h1. Kate
My favorite summer memory was watching the Upper and Lower Village Pool Dancing “dance-offs.” It was so fun to see the campers and counselors bust a move during camp and have dance battles across the pool. The camper choreographed routines were amazing and it was so special to watch the dances that Alle-Faye created with the entire swim period. The smiles and energy that the kids and staff have are beyond contagious. When I am sitting in my lifeguard chair, it takes all of my focus to not jump in and join the action!