Dear 2013 Campers…

Dear Campers,

It’s hard to believe that it is time to send this final good-bye.  How is it possible that the summer went by so quickly?  How is it possible that you are now home and we are sitting on the porch of the Main House staring out at an empty, silent camp?  It’s awful. We’re almost waiting for some of you to come to the commons for lineup and begin cheering to be called first to meals.

On Opening Day as all the buses rolled through the gate, we just knew it was going to be the perfect summer.  You walked off the buses sporting crisp red and white shirts, freshly cut hair and we smiled as we thought about what you’d look like when we put you BACK on the buses at the end of your session.  As predicted, your shirts are now spotted with ketchup, Chipwhich drops, Color War paint and baseball dirt.  The stains practically tell their own tales of the summer of 2013.

Thinking back, there are so many memories already instilled in our hearts.  We cooked and ate at our new cooking elective, bounced on the tumble track in the Gymnastics center, putted on the new golf green and even spun and lifted weights in our new fitness center.  Everyone sported fake moustaches, tutus, suspenders, and rainbow loom bracelets.  Remember how we “#” everything??!!  And who can forget…SPOOORRRTS!!!

Who can forget Trip Day, Teen Take Over – Battle of the Sexes,  Erke Erke, dressing up for BBQ’s and Halloween Snack, the new Birthday song and the photo booth at Prom!  We can still hear the songs of the summer “Gangnam Style, Echa Pa’lla, and Live it up” being played before evening activities and over the PA system.

We imagine that you have begun to tell your family about all the great fake outs and Color War break out!   Days of non-stop fun, competition and hatchet hunting (Where was that Red and white Hatchet??).  The Social Hall was awesomely decorated for Sing Night and it was there that victory was announced!

Although the Social Hall erupted with excitement, the win didn’t really matter. What mattered were the friends whose hands you held as you listened for the scores.  What mattered were the teary-eyed embraces that followed the announcement of the winner and the emotional wishes of congratulations from friends on one team to friends on the other.  What mattered were the friends that made you laugh that night when you were lying in bed waiting to fall asleep.

It is an honor watching you all grow up, and an honor to be a part of what matters most to you.  It is a privilege to get to hug you when you’re having a tough camp moment or when you’ve accomplished something incredible here.  We feel blessed that your parents shared you with us– and quite frankly, that they share you with us every summer.  We are thankful to have welcomed new campers into our West family and look forward to them returning year after year.

We’re sure you’re feeling mixed between feeling happy to be home and lonely for your camp friends and our summer family – not an easy balance for your parents to figure out.  Please share with them your stories from the summer and tell them about the fun times we had, the new things you tried and the lifelong friendships you made.  Sing them your Sing songs and your alma maters from Color War. Show your parents how you’ve grown and changed here, and let them be proud of all that you’ve experienced.  And you should know that it’s okay to cry about how much you miss your counselors, your friends and being at camp.

We miss you already and we wish you all the best for a fantastic year – please stay in touch.  Start your countdowns today for the summer of 2014.  Only 317 days until 1st session and 345 days until 2nd session! 🙂

~ Justin, Cassie & Jenn

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