The last two years we’ve been wait listed for Hand Camp and gotten last minute invitations to go. The first time we were able to arrange for Patrick and the kids to go. The next time, with one day notice, we couldn’t make it happen. So I was very excited to be outright accepted this year.
The kids and I packed up and hit the road this past Friday. I of course was nervous about not having Patrick there to do all the interacting and you know, having to talk to PEOPLE! After getting stuck in Dallas traffic we did not make the 6:00 arrival time. We placed a call to let them know it’d be closer to 6:30. At this point I of course notice the small note on the map that says, “don’t use gps, google maps, etc they give the wrong directions.” And what was I using to navigate? My phone. But by this point I’m headed a very different direction than the map. So in the back of my mind I’m getting very nervous about getting lost and then being teased about getting lost. As we get near the directions send us down a “road”, back woods country kind of road. Dirt. Rocks. Not gravel. It was narrow and full of twists and turns. We were cutting it close to the cut off for enter camp that night. We were almost out of gas with a total lack of gas stations. So we were all a bit nervous. But guess what? This road lead us right into camp. Safe and sound. We got checked in. Dropped our stuff at our cabin. And then drove the car back out to the remote parking lot. When we realized dinner was only being served for 15 more minutes. And we were about a good 10-15 minute walk away. So what did we do? Ran. And I don’t run. Because the knees. The lung capacity. The ouch How am I this out of shape of it all. But the threat of starving kids and low blood sugar for me….well, as I said, we ran. And we made it just in time. So dinner and “campfire” (burn ban) songs commenced.
Poor Em had been tired since the minute she woke up Friday morning. And then she’d gone to school and ridden in the car and run. We normally eat dinner and head to bed far earlier in the evening. So a few songs in and she was so tired she was asking to go to sleep and crying. It was around 9 when they finally got to bed.
There are 10 people per cabin. The kids made friends with a family in our cabin that had a girl Brenden’s age and a boy Em’s age. All weekend long all I hard was Mei Mei (the little girls name). We’ve already scheduled a playdate since returning home.
On two separate occasions Brenden had meltdowns over other kids killing bugs. His tender heart just couldn’t understand why anyone would do that. So he, Emily, and their new friends (the cabinmates) formed the Nature Club. Because they care about everything on the planet. Even bugs.
Saturday we did the Nature, Sports, Weird Science, and Fishing family activities we’d chosen the night before. Sunday was a cooking class. And in between were breakout sessions for parents with the kids going off into groups based on age. Emily did not like going off with her group with no Mom and no Brenden. We really had a great time and I’m going to miss having the support of Hands Down and Scottish Rite. Saturday night we were up until nearly 10 enjoying the carnival. Well, my kids played in the dirt while others partook in the carnival. And at first I couldn’t drag them away. But then the crying tireds hit Emily again and it was off to bed. Sunday during our cooking class the missing sleep finally hit both kids. We were all supposed to go to one final breakout session, then lunch, then home. But both kids asked if we could leave after cooking. So we did just that. We had a great time, but we were all happy to come home to our own beds.