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Dear Chippies, Parents, Family and Friends,

Today was the perfect final day of “regular” activities. The nearly flawless weather combined with a must-do attitude from campers and staff alike made for happiness, achievement, growth and fun all across camp. Today at #TheRanch2023 was a day where we all felt the positive vibes radiating and dove in head-first to the action. And here are the deets…

Following a very tearful goodbye of about thirty Chippies who left this morning, we had a short cabin clean-up and first and second B-Day activities. Campers were flying down the waterslide at swimming, sailing across Dam Lake on the Zest boats, climbing the wall & zipping away and shooting golds at the archery range like nobody’s business.

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During second period, I walked through camp and was impressed with the level engagement…after nearly eight full weeks of camp, both campers & counselors were as excited to do activities as they were the first day of way back in June…each and every place I turned, Chippies were buzzing. At archery, Luke was excited to call me over to watch Elise M work towards her final gold before officially making it into the gold club. Her sister and friend, Renata A, were cheering her on, and clearly invested in this achievement for Elise! Next stop for me was trampball and the scene was like one out of a movie…campers were on the tramps giggling as they jumped, and in the background, there was a serious teatherball game with fans cheering…and beyond the teatherball court, the fairytale scene continued…Charlotte H was climbing the wall with two Lakeview campers, Samantha D & Julia P, helping her map out her route. It was beautiful…CRC activities at their best and Chippy campers having the time of their lives.

One word, or should I say one characteristic, really seemed to be emanating from campers this morning…confidence. Confidence is something we hope campers gain throughout their summers at camp- we want them to know that they are good people, that they are strong humans, and that they are capable of great things. And today, as campers were activity-ing it up all around camp, there was a certain swagger they had with which they did those activities, chatted with friends and walked around camp. I truly hope, with my whole heart, that our campers leave these gates on Thursday with that same sense of self-assuredness…that they go to school in the weeks to come and feel as good about themselves as they did today…and that they go to their athletic games, dance recitals, plays & art shows knowing just how amazing they are. So here’s to hoping that the summer of 2023- a summer that was full of building campers up- translates into the 2023-2024 school year and beyond!

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Okay, back to today…

During rest period, Elise M and Skye N had some extra time at archery and both became members of the Gold Club! At skiing, campers rocked it! Payton E got up on two skis for ten seconds, Sydney Z, Sasha C, Shay S & Mackie L got up and around the lake on two skis, Alexis G, Billie S & Blake W dropped a ski and stayed up on one for ten seconds, Willow K dropped a ski and crossed the wakes on one ski and Ava Z crossed the wakes on one ski. Meanwhile, at the CRC Cooking Academy, campers made amazing blondies…at least that’s what Leah N and Shiloh C told us when they came in the office.

And then tonight, we had the Final Staff Show…it was fun! Our special guest counselors (here for the final ten days of camp), Marni, Ellie & Syd Goldy, MC’d the program, and they were excellent up there…naturals…it was as if they had been here all summer long! As for the show itself, the classics were performed and campers were highly entertained. We ended the show with the traditional Mister Rogers skit in which counselors poked fun at their campers for silly things that happened throughout the summer. I know that campers look forward to this each summer, and while I don’t totally understand all of the little skits, I love the energy with which the campers participated in the response part of the act (for those of you who are familiar, it’s the “Can you say…” part). Cliff, Lisa and I then led the camp in the always heart-string-tugging song- “Today Is.” As we sang, “Thursday bye bye,” there were many sad Chippies…some with tears streaming down their faces as they were reminded that the end of our summer is rapidly approaching. Tonight was mostly about laughter, fun and entertainment, but at the end, we always like to bring the tone down a notch- a little bit of time to reflect on our summer.

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So that was our day and it was another special one. It was a day of connection on so many levels, and it was a day that we lived it up from morning till evening. Tomorrow I am looking forward to a jump in the lake before breakfast with a bunch of counselors…who knows, maybe we will even get some campers to join us. And tomorrow the living in the moment- the appreciating every bit of camp- will continue but that’s all I’ve got for today. Thanks for reading tonight- talk to ya’ll later!

Happy Camping and Love,