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Camp Kesem IU: Day 5-7

Wow!  What a week!  It is unbelievable that camp has come and gone, but oh what a camp it was.  As myself and the rest of the counselors reflected on the week after all of the campers and their families had left, there was a general consensus that this was the best week of camp that any of us had ever experienced.  Not to take away from previous years, as each camp is special and unique, but this week went so smoothly and was packed with new memories and experiences that created the ultimate week.

On Thursday, CKIU went on a little bit of an adventure to Hogwarts.  As I stated in the last post, campers were separated into Harry Potter houses the night before, so on Thursday the campers got to go through the day of camp with other campers and counselors from every other unit.  The morning was spent at Quidditch practice, wand/owl making and potions class.  After lunch, Ravenclaw won the Quidditch tournament and the houses were sprawled across the campsite to complete the scavenger hunt.  In the end, all of the houses won an award and were visited by Dumbledore himself, Gramps.

Friday is always the day that many of the campers and counselors look forward to.  The Empowerment Ceremony followed immediately by Messy Olympics is an amazing couple of hours that covers an entire spectrum of feelings.  The Empowerment Ceremony provides the opportunity for campers and counselors to share their personal story and what Camp Kesem means to them.  As you may know, this is a very emotional part of camp and pretty much the only time where we as counselors encourage campers to talk about cancer.  I couldn’t even begin to describe the ceremony as I know I wouldn’t do it justice but I can say campers of all ages spoke and did a wonderful job.  Once the ceremony was completed, we transitioned to Messy Olympics.  Again, we want to say sorry to our parents who may be discovering some clothes at the bottom of their camper’s suitcase covered in chocolate sauce, Kool-Aid, whip cream and honey.  Actually, on second thought, we aren’t sorry for that because that is what camp is all about.  The night ended with unit skits and a HUGE campfire to make s’mores.

The teen camp got to spend some time in the great outdoors this week as well.  For one night, the teen camp set up their tents and sleeping bags down the road from the cabins and slept under the stars.  Unfortunately, between the rain that night and the morning dew, teen camp showed up at breakfast a little soggy.

It is always great to see our CKIU families on the Saturday of camp but it always sad to see everyone go.  There’s is something special about 150 people wearing tie-dye together.  If you were not at camp on Saturday, we had a great pot-luck lunch, gave out unit awards to each camper, watched a great video and slideshow (shout-out to the CIT’s, Snap and Boogie) and ended on the loudest closing circle ever.

I would like to thank all of the CKIU seniors who have graduated and will be moving on to bigger and better things, although that might be hard seeing as camp is one of the best things our counselors could ever be a part of.  Also, a big thank you to everyone who helped make camp what it was this year.  Can’t wait until next year.


P.S. As of today, there is approximately 354 days until CKIU 2014!!!