Read all the articles from this issue.

laurie-rinkeI want to begin at the end. I want to turn to the last chapter in the book. I want to fast forward to August 16, departure day for Summer 2015. I want us to look into our crystal ball and see where our summer will take us…

On August 16 you will wake up with a mixture of feelings. You will be happy and sad. You will be excited and exhausted. You will feel proud and disappointed. All at the same time. Why will you have all of these emotions on August 16? It was the seven-week journey between June 27 and August 16 that created an even better, happier, fuzzier version of yourself. You will be happy to be going “home” and sad to leave “home,” all at the same time. You will be excited to share your camp stories with family and friends and you will be exhausted by all that has influenced you to grow and develop. You will feel proud of all you’ve accomplished and disappointed that you don’t have time try more and to do more. In short, on August 16 as you hug your friends, thank your counselors, and shed a tear as you walk into the bus to take you home, you will know in your heart that because of camp, you are an even better, happier, fuzzier version of yourself!

So, what do you do now when you are also feeling a mixture of emotions? What do you do when you feel so….exited and nervous about the start of camp? First of all, you remind yourself that you are not alone. Everyone feels both excited and nervous thinking about the start of a new summer at camp. That’s normal. Second of all, you remind yourself that you know how much your parents love you and trust that they are so confident that Echo Lake will give you a safe, fun, and growth filled summer, that they want to give you the gift of camp. Your parents love you and will miss you AND are excited for you to have the wonderful camp experience ahead. Third of all, remind yourself that Echo Lake is your summer family and we are going to take care of you because you’re a valued member of our summer community. From your awesome camp friends, to your caring counselors, to the dedicated head staff, we are all here to help you have a safe, fun, and growth filled summer. Finally, remind yourself that your amazing summer goes by pretty fast and if you don’t stop and look around, you’re going to miss it.

So what happens between June 27 and August 16? Well, that is the Warm Inner Glow of camp. Yes, you are probably feeling a mixture of emotions as you get ready for camp to begin but I promise you that you will also have a mixture of emotions as you get ready for camp to end. All you need to do is trust your parents, trust Camp Echo Lake, trust your camp friends and counselors, and most importantly, trust yourself. You are going to have an incredible summer of friendship, laughter, accomplishments, skill building, and becoming your best self. I can’t wait for you to see how your summer ends on August 16 but between now and then you and I are going to savor every moment of Camp Echo Lake Warm Inner Glows. This will be my 30th summer at camp and I can promise you that on August 16 you are going to not want the incredible camp journey to end! So pack up your duffle bags of stuff and mixed emotions and get ready for the best summer of your life!! I can’t wait for it to begin…

Love and xoxo