Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Camp: Never Winter and Always Christmas

Santa's main helper here at Loll is Julie Orme. She sees that everyone gets to draw a name for the gift exchange and supervises the festivities. Many others contribute along the way. We try to celebrate as close to the 25th of July as possible. This year was perfect. The 25th came on Sunday. We had the camp to ourselves most of the day and were able to go all out. Saturday night the group that stayed in camp decorated the lodge; complete with tree and a red nose on the Caribou above the door. We start singing carols on Saturday. Sunday morning church service had a Christmas theme. We sang all the old favorite Christmas hymns. The speakers were a bit shy about speaking about Christmas - and stuck to Faith and Scouting - but there is really no difference. When I got my turn I reminded them of the new Scrooge - who carried the spirit of Christmas in his heart every day of the year.

Lunch was a fine Christmas Breakfast - with biscuits and gravy, but the real feast was Christmas dinner, complete with roast turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and some very tangy cranberry sauce. We saved the pie for later.

After reading the evaluations for the past week we watched Walter Cronkite and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's presentation on the Christmas Truce of 1914 and then sang some carols. We then watched Julie's video from week 4 - always a highlight of our adventure. Then more Christmas carols and I told the story of The Emperor and the Nightingale, a Christmas tradition from my childhood. Then we all handed round our gifts to each other, sat in a great circle all around the hall and displayed the booty. Many hours and much love went into the gifts. Some of them are displayed below.

The Christmas tree and gifts. Don't worry the tree was a winter kill - dead and down.

Elven swords and wizard staffs.

Quinn gets a gift from a mad scientist.

Deanna's book of memories.

Dan and Emma enjoy their first Christmas together.

Trevor got huckleberry jam!

The red noses are from the frosting that Stephanie put on during the singing of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Happy Christmas

Yes, the Last Air Bender does work at Loll. Here he tries out his gift, a brush for bald heads.

More huckleberries and more happy hearts.

Friends are the best gift to get.

As if Ashlin didn't have enough of a bushy head of hair.

That's not a kilt!

Kara and some happy celebrants.

All Christmas gifts should bring memories.

Justin and Lauren display theirs.

Jody is now well armed - Savanna knows he'll need all the help he can get to keep all the boys at bay as she grows up.

There are Christmas elves, these are Christmas Rangers.

Some one's getting their holiday symbols crossed - but then, like Christmas, pirates are always in style.

John got his kite caught in the snow flakes. Trevor was on hand to help.

The smaller the boy, Charlie, - the bigger the fun!

Justin is well armed.

No one is forgotten. Again, Janice and I pose with frosting on our noses.

Once the gifts were documented, Santa provided sacks of treats and toys. The treats had to be eaten, bear precautions; the toys shared and enjoyed. At Loll Santa uses lunch bags not stockings. We try to be very hygienic. Then it was time for pie. After the pies were gone we once more gathered in a circle to sing Silent Night and hear Dan, our camp Chaplin, read the Christmas Story from St. Luke. Some one called for a prayer and, a great gift to us all, Quinn volunteered to offer it in all our behalf.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night.

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