Friday, October 14, 2011

Crosstimbers Camp

This summer was the first summer both girls were elegible to go to our church's summer camp. Maggie has been eligible for several years (you must have completed third grade), but she didn't want to go unless I went as a sponsor. Our week always seems to fall on Gracie's birthday, and I didn't feel right about leaving for her birthday so. . . this year we could finally all go, and so we did!

Camp ran from Monday to Thursday this year, but Jerry and I were scheduled to depart for Michigan before daybreak on Thursday, so I needed to come home early from camp. This necessatated taking my personal car. The day before we left, my low-tire indicator came on in the van, so late, late the evening before our scheduled departure, Jerry checked on it. There was a nail in the tire - UGH! We used the air compressor to fill the tire, and then he took it to the shop to have the tire patched early, early the next morning. We made it.

Ready to go

The chariot awaits

Found a seat
Camp was fun, if tiring. They kept the kids going from about 7 in the morning (get up at 6:00!) until past 10:00 at night. If the kids had to shower before bed, which they usually needed to because of the activities, it might be 11:00 before lights out. I'm not sure about the kids, but the sponsors were ready to drop pretty quick!

Our first day the girls went to missions as soon as we got there. We learned about Haiti, and tried our hand at digging a well, and building a cinderblock house. 


Cinderblock buliding

After dinner the kids were broken up into groups by age for the aptly named "tribal chaos". Their tribe was also their small group for Bible Study. This week they focused on how to hear God.

Gracie's Green Tribe

Maggie's Blue Tribe

Gracie at small group

Maggie at small group

The next day was Gracie's birthday, and our church's day for the Ropes Course. The group was divided into two, with one half of the kids working on the low elements, and the other half on the high elements, and then they switched.

Maggie was in the first high group, and she chose to do a biggie - scale the wall, walk the tightrope, and then down the zip line. She did great on the wall, but fell on the tightrope, which scared her. The staff was super with her, and they talked her through getting back on the tightrope, and eventually got her down the zip line. She was, as usual, hard on herself, and just wanted to go home right then! I told her she was brave - and when she dissagreed and said she wasn't brave, she was frightened, I told her that being brave doesn't mean you aren't afraid, it means you are afraid, but you choose to do it anyway! Here's my brave girl:
On Belay!


Almost there!

Going across the tightrope

Speeding down the line
At this point Maggie was not very happy about camp - but I refused to give in to her demands to be taken back to our cabin, or even better, to go home right now.  Once she began participating in the low elements, and got her focus off her fall, she began to enjoy herself again.  She may not try a high element next year, but she seems to like the low ones just fine:

Next Gracie's group took their turn. Gracie chose just to climb up to the zip line, skipping the climbing wall and the tightrope.
Ready to go!

Climbing like the monkey she is!

Here she comes!

Ready to go again!
Gracie wanted to know if they would let her go twice, since it was her birthday. I told her I didn't think so, but here is what they did do for her birthday:

Gracie on her Birthday Throne - carried to dinner!
That night was water fun night. The one thing I was woefully underprepared for was the sheer number of messy, wet activities there were at this camp. Next year, I may pack two outfits a day - maybe three! The camp had set up this foam machine, and each team had to dive into the foam, one person at a time, and retrieve balls that matched their team's color. Boy, they were a mess by the end of the game!

I was too chicken to take my camera anywhere near this activity - I used the throwaway waterproof one we purchased in St. John, and the pictures were pretty bad. Still, you can get an idea. It also came in handy the next morning, which was our lake front day. Pastor Charles started us out on the right foot by capsizing as he was entering his canoe:

Once he was upright again we set off down the river, and had an interesting adventure with a fish that jumped in the lifeguard's boat and swam up his shorts. I'm sure the poor fish needed therapy by the time he was done with our group!

Wednesday morning I headed back home to pack and get ready for our trip to Michigan, but the girls stayed until the end of camp and came home tuckered out to begin another adventure with Nana and Granddaddy.

Our Church Group

Heading home tuckered, but happy!

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