We're just back from our annual family camp sponsored by our church. We LOVE this weekend and look forward to it for the whole year. Not only does the weekend include all our food, but it also includes access to a life guarded beach, kayaks, canoes, sail boats, fishing supplies, life jackets, pontoons, a great playground, hiking trails, a zip line (whoo hoo), a chalet with a lounge, game room, costume room and full stage. There is also a couple of sand volleyball courts, baseball field, tennis/hockey court and camp fire sites. For our family of eight, it worked out to $55.75 per person. That's not per day, that is for Thursday night through Sunday afternoon, for each person. So, for $18.58 a day each, we had a fabulous vacation!!!
We stayed in the most modest of accommodations this year. In the previous three years we have attended, we stayed in the "hotel-like" accommodations with private baths and air conditioning. This year, we took a cabin. I think we will always use a cabin from now on unless we ever have a newborn with us again, like we did last year.
The cabins can accommodate 12 people. There are five bunk beds and two single beds. The four biggest kids took the bunks. They turned the bottom bunks into forts/changing rooms by hanging up blankets around the edges. The fifth bunk bed became my bed because the bottom bunk was a full bed. I needed room for a co-sleeping/nursing baby. Dad, the protector, took a single near the door and my fifth child, the drifter, took the other single. He falls asleep in the oddest places and we just move him to the bed after he's completely out. My husband had scouted out the cabins last year to see which one he liked the best. Thanks to our great coordinator, Dean, we got the cabin we wanted. We were only one cabin away from the shower house/rest room. We had complete shade, meaning we barely needed the fans. And, it was an invigorating, cardiovascular walk up to the cabin as we were at the top of the hill. That means with all that great camp food, I didn't gain any weight. (I was worried about that!)
Speaking of food, this place knows how to serve 200 people! The cafeteria was under the chalet, overlooking the lake. After prayers, we went table by table through the dinner line. They food is all home made, with one exception. On the first day, they served sandwiches and as an alternative, they had PB&J Uncrustables. Being the overly protective mother of a peanut allergic child, I freaked and asked people to either move or let us know if they were having PB&J at our table. We ended up moving our daughter to the end of the table as two kids did opt for PB&J. She survived but I was anxious the whole meal. There isn't a hospital near by and she has about 20 minutes to get to a hospital if she has a reaction. They serve PB in the toast line also, but that did not present a problem for us.
Perhaps the most fun for us was the annual talent show. We do something every year (although we didn't the first year as we didn't know what to expect) and we have a blast preparing for it. The first year, we just sang Edelweiss from Sound of Music. Last year we sang an a cappella song by The Blanks called Testy Tiger. This year we did it up big. Fully costumed, we sang the entire Star Wars Tribute to John Williams (sung by Moose Butter, made popular by Corey Vidal, arranged by Mr. Tim) in parts. Here's the clip.
I'd like to thank Erin for pointing that out to me about two years ago. It's still a family favorite. My husband was Darth Vader, my oldest daughter was Princess Leia, my oldest son was Chewbacca. The baby was an Ewok (and boy was she cute), the littlest boy was Yoda (he kept going around saying, "Yoda, I am."), my middle daughter was Han Solo and I was Obi Wan. My middle son stole the show as Luke Skywalker with a solo all his own and his hammy acting during the song when Darth Vader informs him that Luke is his son. Sadly, we didn't get pictures, but I know someone did and someone also took a video. Hopefully, pictures will surface and we will have them to put in our family yearbook.
Maybe even more important than all that stuff, was to know that we were surrounded by beautifully, faithful Catholics. We didn't worry about our kids safety. We didn't worry about any outside influences. We could let down our guard a bit and know our kids were surrounded by other GREAT kids and we were able to interact with friends with the same values.
I'm already looking forward to next year.