What a summer, y’all.

This time every year I both can’t believe the summer is already almost over and feel a deep exhaustion of a TL summer well done. This time of year always puts me in my head; thinking about the journey we just took together and starting to plan for the next summer. I think about how we could do better, what we need to keep doing, and the epic moments we experienced.

This time of year is full.

Last night I woke our Super Seniors up at 1 AM and we walked together to the F&W Fairgrounds to gaze up in wonder at the night sky (you can see the Milky Way here!) and fall asleep after thoughtful musings.

We also had an epic night game based on Among Us. Campers ran across the entire property, seeking to elude imposters and reassemble their damaged spaceship. This Special Edition COVID-safe game is in place of the traditional Spy Night and will only be played this summer – epic indeed!

This morning most of the Super Seniors slept in and the rest of us got up to start Harvest Day. We had Songs and Silent Meeting in the garden and then harvested all our vegetables. Campers helped prep them in the afternoon and we’ll have a great Harvest Meal tonight, where all the food is from our F&W land. Campers see their food comes from their efforts, not just a plastic bag.

So many camper projects. A treehouse going up behind the Trading Post, a new wolf sculpture in the Arts-Ma-Field to mark a great star gazing spot, a new board to celebrate Grand Circuit achievements, and the barn – that’s just the stuff I can remember!

Now that we are so close to the end, I feel confident to say this – we didn’t just make camp happen, we thrived. After all that we’ve been through, we made this work. Timberlake did look different this summer. Those policies that kept us safe also meant we had to do things differently, and sometimes in ways that felt so foreign. Timberlake also felt like it should. Chores got done, we sang silly songs, campers pushed themselves with ratings, we played games, and ate great food. Our campers didn’t just attend TL, they became TL’ers.

I hope to see so many of our families and campers back in the years to come as campers and staff. Starting next year I’ll be able to start hiring my oldest campers from my first summer in 2019. We did so many amazing things – I can’t wait to see how epic it will be next summer.

Camp Magic is real, y’all. Even in the toughest of times, it sustained us. TL forever.

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