Dear Chippies, Parents, Family and Friends,

I quite honestly cannot believe that I am writing this already…more than any previous summer, I just do not know where the time went. As most of you know, I reflect on nearly every day of the summer via blog or podcast…I love The Sari Diaries because it gives me an opportunity to think through each day, and all of its glory. But still, despite the fact that I have taken the time to review so many of our days on Dam Lake, it is difficult for me to wrap my head around the passage of an entire summer- where did the time go? I recognize that in some respects, this is an indication of an incredible…dare I say the best…summer at CRC. I mean they say that time flies when you are having fun; and time certainly flew. On the other hand though, I wish that I had taken more time to stop and smell the roses- to take it all in more often than I did. Perhaps then, I would not be sitting here in such serious disbelief that our summer has come to an end. But I suppose that now is as good a time as any to truly appreciate all that happened at #TheRanch2019…so here it goes- my final attempt at articulating what a special summer we have had:

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I think I need to start at the beginning for this one…way back in mid-June…June 17th to be exact. I actually still remember the elation that I felt as the buses rolled into camp on that Monday afternoon. The entire summer was ahead of us and I had a feeling that what lied ahead was sure to be nothing short of magical. I’m not claiming to have any super-human power, but I will say that I read it right- that feeling that I had on that first day was spot-on. This summer brought a certain type of magic that so few people in this world are lucky enough to experience. It was the type of magic that brings people together, gives them a certain feeling, and changes lives. It’s the type of magic that provides a sense of security and allows a community of all ages to come together as their truest selves.

As I flip through my mental memory album of our summer, I cannot help but feel an immense sense of pride. Definitely for the outstanding programs- Fourth of July, Murder Mystery and Realm just to name a few. And of course the many, many activity achievements- from the ropes course to skiing, and from the new ninja course to horseback riding…camper accomplishments were plentiful! But more than anything I am proud of the people who called Chippewa their home this summer- for the growth we experienced together and for the deep connections that we formed. For those who so courageously stepped out of their comfort zones either just by being here or by trying something new; and for those who found a more confident and kind version of themselves. Without even knowing it, each and every day, we transformed into better people and we filled our lives with something so unique that you can truly only experience it at CRC.

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And the beauty of a summer at Chippewa is that it translates into real life…outside of this bubble. I am certain that these strong, kind, confident, curious and compassionate campers who occupied the Chippewa cabins this summer will take their experiences here and help to make the world a better place. We often talk at Chippewa about how important it is to be good to each other and to be good humans. I hope each and every one of our campers will remind themselves of what comes so naturally to all of us at camp- looking out for others, advocating for what we believe in, leading by example, celebrating others’ uniqueness, and choosing kindness. Sometimes it’s not quite as easy outside of camp but hopefully their summers at CRC will help guide them in knowing that Chippewa girls have each other’s backs and that Chippewa girls care about doing the right thing.

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So as my twenty-seventh summer on Dam Lake comes to an end, I am left with one overwhelming feeling…and that is a feeling of gratitude. I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to spend another summer at the place that has not only transformed my life but has also allowed me to watch it transform others’ lives as well. From the seven year-olds to the sixty year-olds, this place does something to all of us, and both experiencing it myself as well as observing others have that experience, brings me so much joy. And so, while I absolutely feel exceedingly appreciative of Chippewa itself, it is the people who I want to thank!

To the campers, the staff, the admin team, the directors…to literally every single person who I had the privilege of living alongside this summer, I say thank you. Thank you for sharing your summer with me; thank you for helping me grow; thank you for reminding me that friendships transcend age; thank you for embracing each other; and thank you for keeping the Chippewa spirit alive. Each and every one of you has made Chippewa a better place just by being here, and just by being you.

There you have it- my feelings on our summer at #TheRanch2019. This was a summer that will go down as quite possibly the best in Chippewa’s history. And as I look back on these past eight weeks, I am reminded of how truly lucky I am to be living my dream alongside literally the greatest humans to ever exist. So to CRC 2019, I thank you one last time.

Happy Camping and Love, Sari