A wonderful Session, at an end

Greeting from Hilltop. After four weeks, camp is quiet again. It always a bizarre experience to go from the pick-pock of pickleballs, laughter and song to quiet so quickly.

All is going well with travel day. Many campers are already with their families. A good number more are on planes on their way, and a few are still waiting to take from the Seattle Airport. A big logistics day is going quite smoothly.

Staff are getting some well-deserved time off in preparation for Second Session. At the end of a session, I’m always so grateful for the young adults that do this work. For all the preparation the year-round staff can do in the winter, and all the guidance we can give in the summer, the camper experience is defined by the counselors and other summer staff who are willing to come to this island for the summer and live a very particular type of life. This staff did a wonderful job for the First Session campers; as usual, I’m grateful for it.

Last night, we had a lovely final Evening Fire inside the Lodge. Hearing the Lodge filled with strong, unified voices is a balm for the soul. Last night was no different. Seeing campers singing in a big circle, holding candles, lighting up the night underneath the Maple Tree is the perfect way to end a session.

Camp is an intense experience, and you may see a period of decompression from your camper over the next few days. Every camper reacts a little differently. Some are ready to regale their families with songs and stories from the jump. Others want to sleep or spend time on devices (either communicating with camp friends or just catching up on the digital world after a month with no devices). Some will want to share some details but not others, relishing their ownership of this experience separate from their families. Usually, after a couple of days in the real world, the adjustment is complete.

Some of you may remember that we usually have registration for the following summer up now. We’ve decided to hold off on that until September. Our staff have plenty to do here getting ready for Second Session, and there’s no real need to have registration open that early. We’ll send out reminders in September when it’s open. Returning campers are guaranteed enrollment as long as you sign up before November 30, which we very much hope you do.

Thank you, as always, for sending your children to camp this summer. Families make significant sacrifices in order to send their children here, and I hope you’re seeing the rewards of those sacrifices now. We’re going to take a few days for rest and preparation, and then we’ll be back at it again for Second Session. Thank you.