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Dear Chippies, Parents, Family and Friends,

Golly, how we hate to say…Chippewa goodbye…

We had another special day at CRC and I am happy to be taking a moment to share the happenings with all of you! After a lovely morning of activities, we got ready for Pony Express! The preparations began at lunch when we had our final T&W cheering of the summer. The Adler Lodge was booming…I am fairly confident that the cheering could be heard from the Office at the Top of the Hill! Pony Express officially began by about 2:30pm…Avery K and Izzy S started off this all-camp relay with their speedy running. There were over 30 activities that Tans and Whites competed in during the next two-plus hours. Sadie G and Lauren G built fantastic fires, Stephanie S and Lily A ate pies as quickly as they could, others participated in archery, ninja, climbing & more, and campers ran their hearts out between activities. In the end, the White Team headed to Watermelon Island ahead of the Tans…and they arrived back at camp to cross the finish line with their watermelon first as well…the White Team won Pony Express! The Neutrals then announced that after a very, very close summer in terms of points, this summer, the Tan Team won! A quick shout-out to the Grand and Chief Sachems this year. Avery, Lauren, Charlie and Emma were unbelievable leaders…they demonstrated the perfect balance between intense competition and extraordinary sportsmanship. I want to thank each of them for taking their roles seriously yet still having fun, and for having important positions leading their teams but still being fantastic counselors!

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Before the Tans headed to Cathy’s and the White Team got canteen, the Village Directors announced the second session Honor Cabins. Congratulations to Boots & Saddles from the Colt Village and Trailriders from the Wrangler Village!

Tonight was Request Night- an evening we all dread and an evening we all love. Request Night is an official emotional roller coaster- it begins as a super high-energy program where requests are made for campers, staff and groups to perform one last time at #TheRanch2022. We were entertained by a repeat performance of “Hard Knocked Life” by the cast of Annie, Maddie Z sang “Lost Boy,” tons of old lip syncs were requested and Lily R did her “Cotton Eyed Joe” dance with a huge smile across her face. We then listened intently as Cliff and Lisa sang the 2022 “Staff Song,” which was hysterical. The entire camp sang the last chorus together followed by a rendition of “I Was Here In…”

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The night then took a more serious turn as we sang “No More Saddles.” That one is always a tear jerker, and the perfect mood setter for the camper and staff farewells. Sarah K, Mia B and Ro-Buisha provided our camp community with one of the most outstanding camper farewells I can recall. The three of them shared with us their strengths and their challenges, and described how camp has embraced those strengths and helped them navigate through their challenges. It was incredible to hear the three of them, all Lakeview campers with seemingly a great deal in common, tell us all how they are so different yet have had such similar camp experiences. As they told us tonight, “At Chippewa we all balance each other out. Chippewa is an amazing place to grow personally and find your true strengths and as hard as it is to admit, find your struggles.” Their farewell was powerful and it was reflective and I was impressed!

And then our Ten Year Girls got up on stage to do the Staff Farewell. They each chose a year from their camp career that was significant to the person they have become today. In chronological order, these girls shared stories & memories from nine different summers at camp. They really focused on the importance of seemingly small moments and how those had such a significant impact on their camp lives. As I stared at the stage in awe of how these amazing Chippies have grown over the course of the last ten summers, I couldn’t help but feel an immense amount of pride. This collection of staff are unapologetically in love with camp, obsessed with each other, and truly & uniquely good people…they are who we hope our campers will become. As they in unison declared, “On behalf of the staff of 2022, we bid Chippewa a fond farewell,” I was in disbelief…how did we get to this point so quickly this summer, and how have ten years passed since these girls spent their first summer at CRC?!

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Our evening ended with a summer in review video that Cliff created. It was 40 minutes of entertainment and 40 minutes of recalling how remarkable this summer has been. From pre-camp dance parties in the theater all the way through Pony Express, we have been privileged to experience these last eight weeks on Dam Lake. But do not worry- there is still plenty of camping left!

Thanks for reading…tomorrow you will hear from Sophie and then back to me for the final TSD of the summer on Thursday.

Happy Camping and Love,