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Day one is nearly in the books; what a pleasant day it’s been here at Camp.

We enjoyed a day full of activities, including Critter, Arts & Crafts, Swim, Canoes, Trolley, Slide, and Archery. I asked one of our first year campers, Gus, how his first day was on the way to dinner this evening; he responded with a great big smile and said “great!”.

The weather at Camp has been very pleasant. Just as period 4 was about to start, a gentle rain shower covered main campus and cooled things down. It only held up activities for a bit, and soon we were back to period 5.

Now we’re headed off to Fishing, one of campers’ favorite night activities. We’ll hike over to the iPond and enjoy fishing, canoeing, and s’mores. After that I’ll lead Sing Song and we’ll get to enjoy this beautiful weather.

Above you’ll notice a picture of the bracelet all counselors get to wear this summer. We are really big on knowing and living our mission and core values, and this bracelet is great reminder to staff of why we do what we do.

On the far right of the bracelet you’ll see the letters “LTK”. LTK stands for “love the kids”; it’s our simple mission. We believe that loving children unconditionally is crucial in building children’s self-esteem and sense of self worth. Once campers find out they can just be themselves, the barriers come down and they feel secure and “being themselves” more often. Confidence is slowly gained at Camp, and our hope as that when they get home, this confidence carries over. LTK is what we’re all about here at Huawni.

Scattered within the letters are five symbols, each representing one of our core values. The smiley face represents our belief that simple fun is the most fun. The tree represents our belief that we were made to play outdoors. We do things outside as much as possible so that kids can experience nature. The deer symbolizes our core belief that rich tradition reminds us of who we are. We love tradition at Huawni, and so do the campers. The heart represents our belief that life is meaningful relationships. Without healthy relationships, life is pretty crummy, wouldn’t you say? And finally, the plant sprouting represents our belief that true personal growth begins and ends with our Creator. Even though our spiritual growth devotionals are optional at Camp, we believe that it’s ever so important that each child has the opportunity, if they wish, to know and love Jesus. It’s really neat to see kids come to their own faith at Huawni, as it’s not anything forced upon them. It’s a personal choice.

And finally in the center of the bracelet appears the phrase “Life Abundant”, which is our counseling staff’s summer theme. We spoke in orientation, which seems forever ago, about what life abundant is and how we experience it. We discussed how at Camp, we’re around extraordinary people, who give each other life. People at Camp are life giving, not life taking. We challenged one another this summer to really think about what is life giving and to seek more of that not only at Camp this summer, but also back at college.

Just in a few hours, I can honestly say that I’ve seen kids being loved, our core beliefs being lived out, and life being lived abundantly. It’s been a great day at Huawni, and it’s still going! Time to bait a hook…wish us luck fishing!!