Dear Chippies, Parents, Family and Friends,
Happy Fourth of July! Today was a magical day at #TheRanch2023 and I am so excited to tell you all about it. That said, before I get to all the happy and mushy & gushy stuff, I do want to take a moment to acknowledge and remember the events of 7/4/22. While today at CRC was happy and silly and carefree, it is not lost on me that just a year ago today many people in our community endured a horrific tragedy that makes the Fourth of July a challenging day to celebrate. For all of you who fit in that category, I have been thinking about you all day long- I am in awe of your strength and will honor your courage and perseverance on every single Fourth of July going forward.
Today at CRC was full of amazingness and it was a day to feel proud to be a Chippy. The display of commitment, respect, gratitude, kindness and connection was extra evident. To begin with, as I have mentioned in previous blog posts, Lakeview 2023 has been exceptional in every realm of camp thus far this summer. And today they really shined. The work that they have put into making this day a success is abundant and the day ran as smoothly and with as much energy as I have ever seen. From waking the camp up with pots and pans to their pre-breakfast ski show, and from the amazing meals that they planned to the Circle Game questions, and from the afternoon carnival to the incredible murals in the lodge, they rocked it. It seemed as though each and every member of their thirty-three person cabin had a specific role to play- they understood their responsibilities and they followed through to ensure an outstanding day for everybody here at CRC! A ginormous thank you to LV ’23…we appreciate you and all of your efforts!
Now to get specific…
The day began with Lakeview traveling from cabin to cabin banging on pots and pans to wake the camp up. This has been a tradition for at least thirty years…it’s just what Lakeview does! We then all gathered at the waterfront for some USA trivia and cheering while we waited for the Lakeview Chippy Bat Ski Show. Charlie S, Millie F, Maddyn C and Georgia S were unbelievable out there on Dam Lake. The entire camp was watching and cheering them on as they were each up on one ski and weaving behind the boat. After the mesmerizing ski show, we headed to the lodge for the big reveal…campers were chattering about what they thought the theme might be but it seems like Lakeview really kept this one a secret. As campers entered the lodge, they were surprised and excited to learn the theme and see how the lodge had been transformed with murals and decorations. The 2023 Fourth of July theme was “Chippies Prepare FORTH Take-Off.” It was a travel theme and their creativity was astounding! The murals included scenes from airports and cities around the world. The tables were decorated with flags, fake boarding passes and other Fourth of July trinkets. After the astonishment subsided from checking out the lodge, Lakeview sang a welcome song…an impressive one I might add. And then we got to eat! Breakfast included avocado toast, crepes, eggs, bacon, waffles with red, white & blue whipped cream, croissants, fresh berries and more. It was delectable!
Following breakfast and a short cabin clean-up, Circle Game began! Circle Game is another longstanding Fourth of July tradition that is loved by all who know it. Half the camp played in the North Field and the other half in the South Field. Each field created a huge circle and a Lakeview member stood in the middle. Other members of Lakeview called out questions…some were asking if people had certain skills such as doing a flip or saying the ABCs backwards, others were asking if people knew the answer to certain Chippewa trivia questions and others were asking cute questions such as “run up with your bunkmate.” There were questions for campers and staff of all ages and it was fun and entertaining. I got to stop by both fields to take some photos and it was lovely to see campers so engaged in a game that I have such fond memories of.
Lunch was my personal favorite meal of the day…it was good!. We had french fries, quesadillas, pita and hummus, chips with guac & salsa, orange chicken, spring rolls and caprese skewers…YUM! After that deliciousness, we had the Fourth of July Carnival…I believe the biggest highlight for most Chippies each July 4th. There was a huge slip n slide, a Chippy dunk tank, excellent tunes, cotton candy, sno-cones, pies in faces and some other fried & sweet treats…and don’t forget the annual paint fight! While all of this was going on, campers rotated jumping in the lake and getting some time on the slide, splash mat and blob with their age group. I enjoyed meandering around the South Field and along the waterfront chit chatting with campers having the very best day of their summer so far. Joc R convinced me to take a dunk in the dunk tank and many other campers doused me with water and smeared paint all over my arms and legs. It was a happy time for all!
Our food bomb continued at dinner where we all enjoyed a BBQ made extra special by the addition of onion rings, cupcakes and caffeine-free soda. Everybody had showered and cleaned up in preparation for the dinner meal and campers enjoyed their dinner on the mess-hall patio and Center Fire Circle. And finally the big show…CRC Illuminations. Due to a schedule change with the Three Lakes fireworks, we brought the show in-house. Led by Uncle Ed and Caretaker Kevin, we had an insane fireworks display and Cliff led the musical accompaniment, which was the icing on the cake. Naturally we had some refreshments…popcorn & canteen, and even some glow sticks.
Now everybody is back in their cabins…quite honestly, we are exhausted from this fun and fulfilling Fourth of July. Our buckets are full from today…the spirit across CRC is special…that’s true always but especially after toady.
Okay, time for bed…goodnight, Chippies- I hope you all had a meaningful day…sending love from #TheRanch2023!
Happy Camping and Love,