Just typing the words Summer Camp brings up so many memories for me. I can almost even smell the funky camp smell if I think about it hard enough (not that I really want to smell that). I think summer camp memories and friendships are some of the most treasured things from my childhood. There is no other experience quite like it in life. Where else can you spend an entire week away from your parents with hours of free time where you don't even have to tell anyone where you're going or what you're doing? Time to be totally ridiculous with your friends and write boys names on the ceiling with flashlights long after lights out (don't ask). Swimming in the lake at the crack of dawn while singing the Polar Bear Song, sure, why not? Getting a Mountain Dew from the vending machine any time you want, spinning on the merry go round til you are sick and dizzy, crying your eyes out giving your testimony at the campfire, tie dying shirts and painting little ceramic figurines, and humming the Olympic theme song after every Recreation class are just some of the hundreds of little memories of moments that I can still vividly see. Ask me about most days from my childhood and it's all a random blur. I can't even remember my 4th grade teacher's name, but I can remember the name of that one girl from camp who I only saw one week a year. I mean, seriously, I would not trade those weeks at camp for any of the fancy vacations in the world. And I am so incredibly happy that my children get to have the same experiences.
We planned our summer vacation around the week of camp again. Yes, I realize that we could send our kids to a camp here in Florida, but it really does mean that much to me that they go to the camp I went to. This camp is old school and that's exactly what I like about it. I love the people too. My son is going to be old enough to go to camp next year so I wanted to get him excited about it. He didn't quite get what was so great about it so I decided to visit my daughter at camp for one day while she was there. It's about 3 hours away from where we stay in Cincinnati, so it was a mini road trip for my sister in law and her kids and me and my boy. It was pretty fun and guess what, he now thinks camp is way cooler than he thought it would be. Which makes me pretty happy. Here are a few pics from our day there. These are just snaps from my iPhone.
They have this great climbing wall that when you get to the top you go across this tight rope thing and then over to a tiny platform where you zip line down into a ravine. They didn't have anything like this when I was kid. But we had horses.
So, this boy really wanted to do this. The last time he tried rock climbing a few years ago he couldn't make it halfway up a smaller wall than this one, so I was pretty nervous for him and honestly thought he wouldn't make it, or if he did, he would chicken out about getting over to the zip line and have to rappel down. He totally proved me wrong though and did the whole thing! I was so impressed!
Here is the tightrope thing I was talking about. It is so, so high up there! It was scary to watch! His poor arms and legs were really shaking. He was just barely tall enough to do it. The guides they had working up there were great and encouraged him the whole time. He's got a safety strap clipped to the back of his harness thing just fyi (it's the yellow strap behind his head).
I got a video of him going down the zip line! After he got back over to me he said, "Mommy, feel my heartbeat!" He thought it was pretty scary, but he says he'll do it again next year.
They have 2 small lakes there. Here's my girl on a paddle board. She did that blob behind her the first year and got the wind knocked out of her and still says she won't ever do it again.
Just another view of the lake. I love how green it is there and the forest behind them just says midwestern camp to me.
Happy girl. She was glad to see us, but she kept running off with her friends which I was completely fine with. I'm glad she even tolerates her mom showing up at camp! She even wants me to come next year. I hope she always feels that way about me. :)
They brought out the giant slip and slide for a little while and my boy loved it. It was his favorite part! They put soap all over it to make it slippery and then hose it down. The littler kids weren't quite heavy enough to get all the way down to the bottom. They needed a little help from the bigger kids.
I can't wait for next year to have both my kids experiencing camp and making life long friends and memories in the process.