Illahee Dance

Our weekly Saturday breakfast has always been pancakes and bacon…forever!  The kitchen whips up these made-from-scratch buttermilk pancakes that are out of this world! I don’t know what it is, but I am hooked! Add hash-brown potatoes grilled to perfection on the flattop, a little bacon, and you have a great start to your day! We even had real maple syrup today!

We sure had a wonderful day in activities.  Most of the instructional periods had a fun event going on that worked with some sort of instruction. Sailing was playing a came of “pirate attack.”  If your boat was hit three times on the sail with a tennis ball, then you had to capsize and right your boat again. All of this, while the boys in paddling were playing a counselor hunt game with similar consequences.  If your boat was touched, you had to jump out of the canoe in the deep water and get back into it.

The big event of the day was the dance with the ladies of Illahee. Several parents have asked me why we do dances.  While I don’t think it is a highlight for all the boys, they definitely enjoy it; at least a little.  As a mentor to young men, I find it important to create appropriate social events where these ladies and gentlemen can learn to interact and at least “practice” acting appropriately.  We purposely do a country dance or square dance, where all of the campers participate at once doing something that is either and event they only do at camp or at least something they do not do at home.  Some of our peers put on a “pop song” social dance that you may be familiar with in middle school or high school.  This event could not be farther from that sort of experience.  The best part is that everyone is moving together and participating at once.  I typically find these events a little like Cotillion class.  A way for our boys to demonstrate some manners and etiquette to our neighbors across town.  I am actually quite surprised how well the boys perform!  In all of its lovely awkwardness, the event played out very well.  The boys mostly acted like gentlemen and the girls were mostly like ladies.   It was a great time and the weather was perfect!

Our youngest half of camp went over to Camp Illahee, while the older boys stayed here. The younger half focuses more on some line dances and other goofy things. Of course, they are not super into the event, but I still find it is an important point of learning.  Zoob and I split forces (and a sneaky visit).  She went over to Illahee with the younger guys and was able to see our daughter, Izzie.  I stayed here and was able to sneak in a visit with our oldest, Grace. She introduced me to some of here cabinmates and friends while we enjoyed some ice cream sandwiches on the lawn. Our girls have been at Camp Illahee for over 5 years each. It is the highlight of their year! I enjoy hearing the stories, fun, and adventure. Even as a camp director, we truly get to see the parent side of the story. I wouldn’t have it any other way and they truly love Camp Illahee. Laurie and Gordon Strayhorn run a great program for great girls!  It was a fine mountain evening and a lot of fun!

It’s just about time to get this blog up for the day.  I think we are all looking forward to a little bit of a restful and reflective Sunday.  I will put up a few more dance pictures from Illahee tomorrow around mid-day for you.  The group got back a little late.

Have a great night,

Don Gentle

Today’s Pictures

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