The tears are starting, the hand holding is more prevalent, the songs are being sung. The summer has come to an end. Although your children will be happy to see you, they will carry a void with them when they return home. Today is the last full day that your children get to spend with their summer family. Now, as much as we all know that you do not have to be physically inside the arches to relive all of our memories, the days that we do get to spend in this special place comfort us for the days we are not. The cabins are bare, bags are picked up, and the excitement/anticipation of the last 22 months for summer 2021 has swiftly turned into memories. We are remembering all the wonderful things from this summer. The feeling when you got out of our parent’s car and into the arms of your best friend will have to wait yet another ten months. The debate about who Color War captains and songwriters has been halted, for now at least. We could go on and on, but instead of reflecting on the most amazing summer in Camp Green Lane history, we choose to look to the future.
Tonight is banquet which is a bit different because there are multiple cabins at very elongated tables. We will be awarding Cabin of the Year, Division of the Year, Counselor of the Year, Tournament Champion, Leagues MVP and a couple other awards/recognition. It will be a night of reflection over the past seven weeks.
Let the tears begin.
After banquet, all cabins go back to get ready for Firefly. For any of you who do not know what firefly is, it is a beautiful send-off to a fantastic summer. All campers are in line, holding hands, walking down to the tennis courts surrounded by tiki torches. Then, we hear speeches from campers, counselors and upper staff members alike talking about their memories of this summer, and their summers past. Interspersed throughout the speeches is a candle lighting ceremony. Any camper or staff member who has been here for four or more summers gets to light a candle. This year, we are honored and humbled to light 155 candles. This number is much more than just bragging rights. It represents time spent in the greatest place in the world. It represents the laughs, cheers, cries, and memories of a lifetime. Whether it is your first summer, and you are already counting down until you get your first candle, or lighting your 20th, the tears are the same. Enhanced by music of reflection and memories, there is not a dry eye between the arches.
After that however, we get to look back at the summer we just had. We get to watch the Summer Highlights video for the first time. Although not totally finished, we get to reminisce and relive moments of the summer.
Tomorrow, after we wake up, we eat breakfast, and then board those busses. As this will be the last daily newsletter of the 2021 summer, we would like to again say thank you for trusting us with your children. We know that there is nothing that you wouldn’t do for them, and we are happy and privileged to have had the opportunity to share in their successes over the last 49 days. This has been a memorable summer for all of us and we are so glad that we were able to provide a respite from the real world for our Campers and Staff these last 7 weeks!
Let the countdown begin until the summer of 2022.
Jay and Adam