Welcome Home

Today is a new day. Today was a great day. Today marked the beginning of our kids getting their normal back. What a year we have all endured and as each and every one of you partnered with us in doing everything to get your kids back to camp safely, we applaud you. As every car pulled into camp, it felt like camp was getting its heartbeat back. There was just so much joy in that parking lot as you made that final stretch in this very long road we’ve been on. Well, were here and we all made it. Everyone is in and Summer 2021 can officially begin.

The energy at camp is ALIVE!!!! You can literally feel the joy. As we are podded by division for this first week, the fields were full of kids playing today and it was a beautiful sight to see. Happy joyful kids being surrounded by people and playing and connecting all day long is what happened at camp today. There have already been dance parties and singing sessions in The Lodge and your kids jumped right up and couldn’t wait to let loose. It was electric and it’s only day 1. Camp means more this summer than it has ever before. There was a group of Rookie girls who were playing a name game ice breaker in a circle and couldn’t have been any cuter. But as the game ended and the kids were heading off to another activity, I was lucky enough to overhear one camper say to another, “I’m so lucky I met you today” and her new friend replied with a sweetest smile, I’m lucky too”. It took my breath away because that is what this summer means to our children. They need one another and this is the beginning of making amazing friendships and having the best summer of their lives.

We ended the night at the amphitheater all together under the gorgeous night sky. The stars were so close you could literally touch them. The weather was perfect and the night felt magical. Outside, breathing the freshest crisp air with our friends right by our side. There were introductions and official welcomes but the night belonged to our GC’s. They all came up on stage together as one division, arm in arm, hand in hand. Together they wrote a letter from their heart and spoke of how hard it was to miss camp last summer and how incredible it feels to be back. They shared how they aren’t letting a moment be wasted this summer and how every day will be better than the next. They set the tone for our summer and their words and connection to each other were so genuine and heartfelt. They asked us all to think of a wish or a goal for this summer and then ended with lighting a Wishing Lantern. We all watched together as it drifted up in the air, shining so bright with all our wishes inside. It was a remarkable, sweet and and impactful moment we all shared together. But in true Chenny form, we had to end it with a giant dance party!!!

And so our summer begins.

Life is Great at Camp Chen-A-Wanda!