Sunday, July 5, 2009

Family camp

We just got back from a 4-day adventure at Camp Frontier in the Uintas. Camp Frontier is a Boy Scout camp, but once a year they open it up for a few days to families. It was so much fun!

This was our campsite. We had torrents of rain for about a day and a half, and our large tent leaked, forcing some of us to sleep in the van on the second night. One of the leaders rigged up an extra tarp over our tent so we could move back into the tent for the third night. Other leaders lent extra tents and bedding to other families whose tents had leaked. I was impressed with the kindness and helpfulness of all the leaders.

One great thing about this camp was that all the food was provided, so we didn't have to pack in food (except snacks) or cooking supplies. We ate our meals at this covered pavilion. You can see the kitchen behind Mike and T.

There were kids of all ages, from babies to teenagers. The kids were divided into age groups for part of each day, and while they did their activities, the adults could go with the adult group or just relax and do whatever they wanted. Then part of the day was family time, where the family could do activities together. In the evenings there were get-togethers with skits and songs. One evening every family was supposed to do a skit or performance of some kind. Reaching back to my memories of Cub Scout pack meeting skits, I wrote a silly skit for our family,* and all the kids actually participated! (If you know my kids, you know they're often not willing to perform in front of people.)

The setting was gorgeous, with aspen and pine trees everywhere. It was very relaxing just being out in the fresh air and listening to the aspen leaves in the wind. At least, it was relaxing once it warmed up each day. First thing in the morning it was... well... bracing. Especially walking back to the campsite from the showers with wet hair. But we took blankets, jackets, and even our winter coats, so nobody froze.

We got to do all the fun things the Scouts do at camp. We went out on the lake in canoes and rowboats. We shot BB guns (A.'s new favorite activity) and tried archery. The kids' groups went on nature walks, finding raccoon and deer tracks. The adult group played a challenging Frisbee golf course and built little catapults that shoot ping pong balls. Then, wearing pirate hats and carrying pirate flags, we went to the lake to attack the teenage boys who were already out in canoes. Needless to say, the boys captured most of the flags, but it was still fun. The kids' groups did a lot of crafts, and A. has gotten pretty good at making boondoggles. A.'s and M.'s group learned about flag ceremonies and even retired the flag one night without any leaders helping them.

We all had a great time. Even with all the rain and the mosquitoes -- Thomas got a bite on one eyelid that swelled his eye shut for a couple of days, but it's almost completely healed now -- it was really an ideal family vacation. We're hoping to go again next year!

*Here is the skit. Remember, it's written for a Scouting audience, so try to put yourself in the mindset of an 8-year-old boy and it may sound better.

Me: Well, hello, campers! Do you like it here at family camp?
M.: Yes, I do!
Me: Do you think we have enough activities planned?
A.: Yes, I do!
Me: Do you understand how important it is to follow the rules?
T.: Yes, I do!
Me: Because we don't want any problems here at camp, do we?
Mike: Yes, I do!

Me: How is your craft project going?
M.: I finished it.
Me: And how about that drawing you were making?
A.: I finished it.
Me: Did you clean up the trash around your campsite?
T.: I finished it.
Me: Do you know what happened to the huge box of cookies in the kitchen?
Mike: I finished it.

Me: Have you tried canoeing yet?
M.: Yes, it's my favorite thing to do!
Me: And what about archery?
A.: Yes, it's my favorite thing to do!
Me: And what about BB gun shooting?
T.: Yes, it's my favorite thing to do!
Me: Do you realize how much trouble you've been causing?
Mike: Yes, it's my favorite thing to do!

Me: What do you think we should do with this troublemaker?
M.: Throw him in the lake!
Me: What do you think we should do with this troublemaker?
A.: Throw him in the lake!
Me: What do you think we should do with this troublemaker?
T.: Throw him in the lake!
Me: And what do you think we should do with you?
Mike: Um ... 5 minutes of time out?
Kids: No! Throw him in the lake! (They grab him and push him offstage.)

1 comment:

Harmony said...

Sounds wonderful (especially the no cooking part :-)! Love the skit too--very creative and cute!