Day 16 and 17

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I look forward to receiving and adding more photos from Sunday and Monday, but for now, here are a few new additions from earlier days (that just got sent to me now!) and from Saturday afternoon (the play and chat-time with the audience afterwards.)

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Remember the Whaling Museum? Here are some (belated) photos from outside there.

And, an oldie but goodie:

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Sunday, August 21

Jack Weinhold nicely came down the street first thing this morning to take our group photo. The lawn was too sunny for the light to be right, so we posed on the front porch. We are excited to see what he captured!

We had time to almost complete the Callopy Cup - - Bob played against himself, with great results!

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We had a good long beach trip to Jetties Beach, including delicious sandwiches that we brought with us. Meg and AJ went for a beachside luncheon at the restaurant there. It was very relaxing and in many ways, just the right beach for us. It's definitely the most accessible of the beaches we went to this year.

Carley led an incredible yoga class this afternoon before dinner and then we stuffed ourselves on the best pizzas on Nantucket, generously donated by Pi Pizzeria.

After dinner, we said our good-byes. As is our tradition, each person gets time to come to the front of the dining porch and tell us what they loved about camp.

Peanut said goodbye first. "Okay, class, tonight we'll go to sleep and tomorrow we'll go home." Then she invited some friends to come up to the front with her. She told them she loves them and they had a big group hug. She made several other announcements during the evening to tell us that she loves us and will miss us and looks forward to camp this year.

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Aiden said that tomorrow we'd eat breakfast, pack up a big backpack, say goodbye to friends and go home. For his first announcement, he said, "I'll go back to Boston and never be seen at camp again." We all cheered when later, he changed that to, "I'll see you next time!"

Bob Lehman stopped by to say good-bye. He said the concert was great and the play was fabulous and he looks forward to seeing us all next year.

Peter told us that he loved being here this year, that he tried his best, and that he had a great time. He loved being on the beach, loved the two trips to the museum, survived tipping over into the water in his wheelchair, loves us all and wants to come back next year.

Peggy said, "I'm going to miss you all. I hope to see you soon! I'll keep in touch with emails."

Steve, our ambassador, thanked Mike for being a good camp director and Peter for being a good roommate. Then he promised to be on time to camp next year.

Will found it tough to arrive at camp just as we leapt into play mode, but was very appreciative of all the people who jumped in to help him out when he was stressed or overwhelmed. He looks forward to bringing all this greatness into the rest of the year and hopes to come on time to camp next year!

Ben said, "This was my first year. Going into it, I didn't think I could handle it, but I'm glad I got to try. I'm grateful to all of you for making these three weeks so amazing."

Meg said, "It's really hard for me because this is the best part of the year for me. I have friends at home, but they don't feel like true friends. You're like my family and I thank you!"

Carley said, "I'm so happy I ended up at camp. I never want to leave. I  love what I've been doing here. I haven't had an artistic project to work on in years. I love that we've been doing yoga and music every day. I feel on fire here, so happy to share all these special passions with everyone here. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"

Grace said she had fun at camp. She said the best part was the s'mores. She also liked kickball and would like to come back next year.

Katie said she had a great time at camp and she'll miss all her friends. She will miss Peter's God Bless America. She liked the concert, the play and the beach, and she appreciated the food here. She also wrote, and asked me to add, "My fav parts of the camp this year was having the cookout yesterday, having rest time, spending time with friends. One memorable thing is the concert and the play."

AJ said he hoped to be cool and start with a quote from his lines in the play, but really, he just wanted to say that he loved camp, even (especially) the people who teased him. He feels lucky to be able to attend two camps and experience so many different things. He was glad to discover that he could survive without eating (much) meat. He appreciated his solid crew. He said, "Thanks to Will and Mike and Monik. Taking care of me every day is a lot of work. I loved the concert and singing with Bob Lehman. I love all of you guys - camp is special to me."

Rebecca said, "I am happy. I enjoy camp, and to the pillows, I say 'bum, bum, bum.'"

Candy said, "I liked the concert, the beach, seeing the fish and I'll see you next year."

Monik said, "I want to thank you all for how fun it was to teach music here. I got to know a lot of people this year because I bounced around a lot. I enjoyed doing the play and the concert. I'm so proud of all of us! Thanks!"

Billy started his goodbye by replaying all his lines from the play, which were programmed into the Minspeak. Then he used the Minspeak to tell us that he really loved the Boston Pops and the play!

Gabe thanked Peter and Steve for the time they all spent together. "It's really tough to go back to reality - we're all feeling that. I love you and hope to see you next year!"

Jamie thanked all the ladies in the suite. She said getting everyone to bed was really difficult, but,  "I loved it; I'll be thinking about camp all year and can't wait for next year."

Rachel said, "I love you guys so much and everyone's worked so hard. It's a beautiful group, you've been so patient and kind and wonderful. Thank you!"

Bob said, "Abuya, acha, abu. Yeah!" Then he brought Will up to the front with him and sang a good-bye blessing.

Talia said, "Thank you for another incredible summer. I had a lot of doubts because of our numbers. I'm just so impressed with everyone. I want to say a huge thank you to Bob and Cameron, and to Peanut - - you've had your best summer ever!"

Best John said, "This is my second summer spending a little time here - there is a magic here. It's a wonderful family. You are so wonderful and gracious and I commend you all."

Cameron came up with Talia and communicated with a few sounds that Talia said meant he loves us and will miss us. Talia said Cameron had a great year at camp and a great day today - he loved getting kicked out of yoga for making too much noise.

Joan came and ate dinner with us and said, "I am struck by how beautiful all the people are here. I am so lucky to get to be here. It's the best and most beautiful thing that happens in the course of the year.

Jackie said that he liked seeing Gabe and Emily get married again. He said the more he comes to camp, the more Gabe feels like his brother. He thanked Gillian and reminded her that next year he would like to visit Martha's Vineyard again.

Gillian said, "This year our numbers were unusual, so things were more like the old times, but people worked together in a wonderful way! I did doubt that the play would work out, but it did - - and one thing's for sure, I never doubted these guys. They can do anything. They learned the words to "Hair" -- as I knew they would!"

Ellen and Mike talked about throwing rocks into the water at the beach and how much she enjoyed the crash and "bonk" noises they made as they entered the water. Ellen said she loved camp and wants to come back next year!

Mike said, "Thank you so much for working so hard - everyone was really amazing! I genuinely love spending time with you; it's a treat and a blessing. It was a hard year, and to get through it, we all had to be our best. AJ, I had a great time with you! Thanks for showing up, being present and being positive!"

Eleanor said, "Sometimes I think I should retire and just stay home and make pots and read books, but then I think about all the fun times I have here, and all the new things I learn here and I think I might have to come back next year, just to keep having a great time with you!"

On that note, we had a five-song dance party, packed and went to bed.

Monday, August 22

The last day. No one's favorite. After so many days of blue skies, it poured in the early morning hours, so we sloshed through puddles  as we loaded the vans. No one's ever very hungry for breakfast on the last morning, so there was soggy cereal left in bowls, and many of our faces looked more than a bit soggy, too.

Billy and AJ flew home, Grace, Aiden, Peggy and Ellen got picked up here, and the rest of the gang went back to America via the fast ferry. (Another huge thank you to the Hyline for our fast ferry passenger tickets - - we took about 20 people over and 10 people back at no charge, thanks to their generosity! What a huge difference that makes to us!)

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Tulgey Wood 2016 has been a remarkable, memorable and wonderful year! There are so many people to thank for their generosity and open arms! We will accumulate their names and add them to this blog, but for now, we all have a lot to do to take down all the bunk beds, pack up our belongings for storage, and clear out of here within 24 hours. Rather than risk an incomplete list, we'll just send out a huge cheer and thank you - but more will follow!

P.S. In our last evening meeting, we discussed the fact that we have accomplished a lot in our first ten years, but we greatly need additional help in order to carry on. If you are someone who would like to contribute organizationally (or financially, of course!) please let us know. Big issues such as improving our transportation (we have an ancient van which received a terrible prognosis from our mechanic and we always have to scramble to have enough additional cars and trucks to use), help with organizing activities, help with fundraising, cooking, recruiting more volunteers to join us and to offer support to our friends with disabilities, help setting up and closing down, and here's a biggie! - help with finding a permanent accessible home are at least some of what we need to be thinking about. We'd love to hear from you, and we invite you to share this blog with others who might want to jump in!