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Dear Chippies, Parents, Family and Friends,

Happy Friday! It was a wonderful day at CRC, and while it was definitely a day for reflection in our community and in our country, I am going to start with the good stuff, and tell you all about our day at #TheRanch2022!

We had another day of “regular activities,” but there was nothing regular about it. On only our third day of activities, I am in awe of how many campers are passing levels and making great strides in activities. Maybe I am mis-remembering but I feel like all these amazing accomplishments are happening even earlier than in a typical summer! At skiing, Logan R and Megan W got up for ten seconds, Sunny W got up and around the lake on two skis, Ivy S crossed the wakes on two skis and Emmy R lifted for ten seconds. In addition to all those levels being passed, Rafter^X campers Naomi M, Hudson G and Cora P all got up on the boom bar!! While all of this awesomeness was happening at skiing, campers were loving their tennis lessons with Zach…it is amazing how he is able to make sure the girls are having a blast, while also feeling like they are improving their tennis skills. There were a ton of other incredible things happening around camp- spirits were high, and despite a little bit of rain in the afternoon, everyone was happy!

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And tonight was our very first Friday Night Campfire of the summer. While I love all of the wild, crazy and spirited programming we do at camp, Friday nights are truly my favorite. They are a night for reflection, and they provide our campers and staff with a space to really give some thought to their week. Tonight’s theme was “Advice From a Tree,” and it was led by Lakeview camper Chloe C. In addition to Chloe, there were a ton of participants in tonight’s campfire- Kayla Z, Maya P, Reagan K, Grace Friedman, Inslee S, Olivia S, Lana M, Lilly R, Zoey S, Taylor G, Teddy S, Julia H, Anabelle L, Maisy M and Mia R all got up in front of the camp to read a quote or excerpt from a story that highlighted the value of our Earth. And Josie G shared an incredible sermonette, in which she explained how being in the North Woods for the summer provides her (and the rest of us) with such a unique perspective and appreciation for nature, and the beauty of our surroundings. Of course, the CR-Singers also had a couple of moments to shine tonight as they sang “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Where Do the Children Play.”

Our Keylog Ceremony was big tonight! Close to 100 campers threw in a keylog to thank someone- some for counselors helping them have an easy transition to camp, some for family members who they are excited to spend the summer with, some for a new friend they made, and some for their parents who encouraged them to come to Chippewa. We then transitioned a bit- counselor Dylan Grossmann wrote a beautiful speech for the campfire about the importance of this community, specifically as it relates to women being strong, empowered and in control of our own bodies. Every single person at our campfire this evening was captivated by Dylan’s age appropriate and articulate words. She described why in our world today more than ever, Chippewa is so special; and why what we do here matters. I honestly couldn’t have said it better myself, and I wouldn’t have wanted it to…hearing her words out of her seventeen year-old mouth, and from her seventeen year-old brain & heart was extraordinary, and I am certain that each and every member of our camp community took something away from Dylan’s courageous sharing of something so very important.

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Naturally, I wish today’s amazingness at camp wasn’t even a little bit overshadowed by today’s headlines outside of our gates. That being said, I can also appreciate that if this day had to come, better that it come on a day when I am surrounded by more than three hundred young girls and women who embody strength, constantly demonstrate women supporting one another, and who believe there are no limits on what we can achieve. So, as we reminded our campers tonight, there is hope- we are fortunate to be members of an exceptional microcosm, and there are others just like us all over the country who undoubtedly are empowering their young female campers as well…and one day, all of these young campers who have had the privilege of experiencing summer camp will change the world. This is something I truly believe.

Each day at camp, Chippies are practicing their skills to make that happen- they are practicing their leadership skills, they are practicing their fortitude to advocate for what is right, they are practicing their integrity to do what they believe in, they are practicing their kindness, they are building up their confidence, and they are learning how to make decisions not only based on what is best for themselves, but also what is best for those around them. All of this, whether they realize it or not in the moment, is going to help them to make a positive difference when they leave camp at the end of the summer, and for the rest of their lives.

Okay, that’s all for now…obviously there is much more to say, and I hadn’t intended for tonight’s TSD to need to go so deep, but it did. I appreciate you all reading, and I genuinely am so grateful & proud to be a part of this community today, and always.

Have a great night and stay tuned for the very first Happy Camping and Love Podcast tomorrow night!

Happy Camping and Love :),