Dear Camp Thunderbird 2015 Campers

Dear Camp Thunderbird 2015 Campers,

Today, our summer adventures together came to a close, and you began your journey home. We cannot describe how much we already miss you. While most of the posts on this blog so far have been for your parents, this one is totally and completely for you.

It is not a goodbye post. Because this morning, when we cried and hugged and parted ways, we did not really say goodbye. The end of camp is no end at all, it’s just the end of a beginning. We have heard that lyric sung so many times, but it always rings so true. No matter if this was your first summer at camp or your eighth, it was still just a beginning, the beginning of new adventures, new skills, and new friendships that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.

So this is not a goodbye post because we know our journeys together have only really just begun. We know we will talk and see each other soon. So instead, this is a post to say thank you.

Thank you for spending an amazing four or eight weeks with us. Thank you for laughing, for being yourself, for reminding us what really matters every single day. Thank you for screaming songs at the top of your lungs and for trying new things even when they scared you. Thank you for going on climbing and canoeing and hiking and biking and sailing trips and for your excitement about learning all the skills you need to succeed out in the wilderness.

Thank you for the friendship bracelets and for your perseverance in executing the most perfectly roasted marshmallow. Thank you for the birthday signs and the specialty days and for your endless creativity. Thank you for helping us turn rainy days into exciting adventures.

Thank you for your bravery in performing in talent shows, and thank you for the silliness, smiles, and laughter that made us all so excited to wake up every morning and spend our days with you. Thank you for going back to that activity again and again until you passed that level because you believed in yourself and you knew you could it. Thank you for growing and learning and for helping us grow and learn right alongside you.

This was such an incredible final week of camp, with all of the final shows plus an amazing Superhero-themed co-ed specialty day, a very tasty JL Steak Fry, and a fantastic Final Banquet. Thank you for keeping us smiling and for making wonderful memories until the very end.

As you get older, you will start to see that camp is as much a state of mind as it is an actual place, and soon you will understand that you never really leave Camp Thunderbird. The friendships it has given you will never fade away and the person it has made you into will only grow stronger and prouder.

So as you start your back-to-school shopping and get settled back in to your daily life, remember that camp is always with you, helping you through anything the universe might throw your way.

Thank you for another wonderful, magical, beautiful summer beneath the Minnesota stars. We love you all, and we will see you again soon.

Campingly Yours,

Your Counselors