Yesterday our family returned from our summer vacation at July Eliot. Eliot Institute is a camp and conference for Unitarian Universalists and their friends and families, held in Seabeck, Washington. This is the fifth summer we have gone and we had a wonderful time again this year.
The Eliot camps are unique, imagine 250 people of all ages spending a week together in a beautiful relaxed natural setting and sharing music, poetry, art, jokes, games, skits, conversation, outdoor activities, food, drink, and worship.
LeAnne enjoys working with the children during the morning program, and making new te-dye creations and knit crafts. This year she tie-dyed a set of taple napkins. Our girls enjoy seeing old friends and making new ones. Hailey's best friends are a pair of twins whose grandparents drive down from Canada to bring them, they become part of our extended family for the week. I enjoy taking my girls on boat rides, taking walks in the forest, and sharing my music as well as playing with other musicians who stay at the camp.
At the concert, I sang an original song I wrote during the past year, in front of almost 100 people. It was the first time I have performed in front of a crowd without being nervous. The song got numerous strong compliments, including from the guest speaker, who is an accomplished songwriter herself. I have been thinking of myself as more an instrumental player (I would not call myself a singer), but apparently I have a talent for songcraft. It felt really, really good to get that feedback. Not bad for a software geek and an introvert.
I left camp feeling tired but energized, and excited to develop my music and songwriting further in the next year. I have already started working on a new guitar tune that started coming to me while I was sitting by the lagoon at Seabeck.