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Dearest Chippies,

And just like that, the end of first session is upon us. As I sit in the office, reflecting on the past four weeks, I can’t help but appreciate the bittersweet feeling that accompanies Visiting Weekend. Albeit a reminder of how quickly the summer is flying by, there is something to be said for the perspective that it brings. On the typical camp day, it can be hard to see through the chaos (organized, of course) and take note of the changes happening; to notice the shy campers becoming more confident, or the nervous first year campers starting to view Chippewa as their home. And it’s not beyond me that such “invisible” growth—the character development that happens in between third period cooking and fourth period swimming—is actually the very magic of camp itself. It’s days like today, though, that bring to the forefront all that the past four weeks have given our campers, and highlight the potential that the next four weeks hold. All I will say is that if second session is anything like first session, this summer is shaping up to be the best we have seen in a long time…

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Today started just as most days do here at CRC with regular activities. It wasn’t until this afternoon, as 4-weekers tried to jigsaw their belongings into their duffels, that the reality of Visiting Weekend hit us like a ton of bricks. Once all the duffels were zipped up, we gathered around the Center Fire Circle so four-week Lakeview campers could give their farewell speeches. All of these speeches were articulate and thoughtful. The campers reflected fondly on their camper years, touching on the growth they’ve seen in themselves and encouraging younger campers to appreciate all that CRC has to offer. Their love and gratitude for camp was evident; and while we are very sad to see them all leave, we are equally excited to have them as a part of our staff next summer!

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The day ended with our Four-Week Banquet. Following a gourmet gnocchi dinner, 4-week campers received awards for being MVP, Most Improved or Most Determined in activities across camp. Campers cheered loudly for their friends and cabin mates who were deservingly recognized for their dedication and enthusiasm in activities. The final awards of the night were Ranch Queen and Honor Camper. Ranch Queen is awarded to a camper who has excelled in skill and leadership at Riding. This year’s recipient was Alexis R, who was recognized for her enthusiasm, dedication and improvement at the stables this summer. The evening concluded with Chippewa’s biggest honor, Honor Camper. A huge congratulations to Julia H, whose compassion, empathy and love of camp is apparent is all she does. She is a leader, a role model and an example of the qualities we value here. She is deserving of this honor, and we are proud to recognize her in this capacity. Congrats, Julia, and thank you for all that you add to our CRC community!

And that’s about all I have to say today. Every Thursday, I get on here and update you on all the activity achievements and programs that have been happening here. And while those things are undoubtedly important parts of the camp experience, we all know that camp is about so much more than that. Today is the kind of day that forces you to pause and think about the bigger picture. And what a beautiful picture that is :).

Thanks for reading. Looking forward to seeing many of you tomorrow!

Soph Aloaf