Until Next Summer…

Dear Parents:

Thank you for the best summer Tyler Hill has ever had.  Thank you for sharing your wonderful children with us for the past 51 days and allowing us to be their summer family.  Thank you for trusting that your sons and daughters would be well taken-care of while here at Tyler Hill with us, and for knowing that we would instill in them the same values that you do at home.

It is not often that you can find us at a loss for words, but for some reason after this summer we are at a loss.  Our 51 days together were filled with so many amazing times, so many events that were magically infused with spirit and energy.  And even more than the big events, the summer was filled with small moments that altogether made the summer what it was.

Ask your children how much paint they used on their faces and bodies before they marched to the football stadium to cheer and chant at our full-day Lazarus Bowl.  Ask them how it felt in the final second of that game when our team scored the extra point to win the tournament and every camper and counselor ran onto the field to celebrate with their team.  Ask them how it felt when the Air Elite basketball trio came bouncing out of their van after our last Friday night STARFISH ceremony and they THOUGHT Color War was breaking.  And then ask them how it felt when we all sprinted down to the Camp-I-Theatre and Ron Dagan was singing with his guitar.  Ask them to sing you a song about eating a bagel and drinking chocolate milk and see how it brings tears to their eyes.

And then let them talk and talk and talk.  Let them tell you about the friends they made – both new and old.  Let them share with you how it felt to fall asleep every night in a cabin with ten friends that are more like sisters and brothers, and with counselors that helped them when they were sad and made them feel like they had summer moms and dads.

What else can you talk about?  The Big Stuff: Blue Ice versus White Fire; Girls’ Sing; Color War Sing Night; Boys’ Sing;  Olympics Las Vegas versus New York versus New Orleans versus Orlando;  Panic; Juniors Bar Mitzvah; the Apache Relay; the Visiting Day Water Fight; Brad Henderson; Fourth of July Fireworks; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Dancing with the Teens; Lancelot the Dancer; Kayla Stockert concert;  THC Dance Competition; Chipwiches; Ravioli; Canteen; Scavenger Hunts; Chants in the dining hall;  Laz Bowl; THC Basketball Invitational; In-Camp Leagues; Lower Boys’ Camp Football Tournament; I Pads; Towels; Girls’ Day Out; Boys’ Day Out; the Slide Show; Campouts in the tents; Dancing with the Teens; Burning of the Numbers the last night of camp; Tyler Hill is People.

And the Little Stuff:  Friends; Hugs; Fun Counselors; Funny Counselors; Loving Counselors; Mail from Home; Bunk Fun; Campfires;  Sharing clothes; Sticker Books; David’s Cookies for Dessert;  Stargazing on the golf course; Photographs; Bus Notes; Pool Parties;  Laughing; Crying; Singing; Dancing; Saying Good-bye.

There are few places in the world that kids can “feel like big fish in a small pond”.  Tyler Hill is that place. It’s where 16 year-old CIT’s walk around with rock-star status, with every younger camper in camp trailing after them like puppy dogs and shouting out their names.  It’s the place where a crowd of 800 can cheer on a child for burping the alphabet or singing a unique rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.   It’s the place where a “Super A” boys’ or girls’ basketball game looks and sounds like it’s a Knicks championship game in Madison Square Garden.  It’s the place where it’s acceptable for boys to dress up and run around in blue and white tutus, and for girls to walk out to play an intense game of soccer while singing Taylor Swift and holding hands.

We wish you all an amazing year – filled with health, happiness, good grades, fun, friendship, love and camp sleepovers!!  We can’t wait to see your kids over the winter months at our THC reunions, and then…in another 312 days when we’re all back here cheering for them as the Coach buses roll back in through the gates and we get to do it all over again next summer…

~ Wendy & Andy

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