Friday, June 14, 2013

Adventure Camp

Ever wanted to send your children to camp, but something held you back?  It could be money or time or challenges related to special or medical needs or a variety of other things.  I know that for my family, we have enjoyed camp in past years, but we haven't done one recently.  I really wanted that for my children this year.  In the past we have hosted "theme camps" around topics such as nature, explorers, artist and more.  For me this year, I didn't have the energy for that kind of camp.  Also, our FIAR group has such a wide range of ages, that we thought a fun adventure camp might be more fitting for the group.  So ... Adventure Camp was created!

A group of moms gathered to brainstorm ideas on what we could do for a week.  We chose activities that were easy to plan for the moms and high on fun for the kids.  We also selected a variety of locations in the area.    Most of the days were low cost as well.  I highly encourage you to consider this type of camp for your own children.  Its a lot of fun!

We started out with a picnic on a Saturday night as a kick-off for our camp.  This is a fun way to include the Dads as well.  We met at a park for a picnic supper, to make t-shirts and a potluck dessert.  The children played and ran around having fun.  

Some of us started with dessert.  Who can resist and yummy ice cream treat?!  Eliana was introduced to chocolate covered almonds.  She loved them!  I didn't take a lot of photos, but Eliana helped by taking some.  She took the top two here.  Didn't she do a great job?
 We made camp t-shirts.  These are super easy and fun for all ages.  We used paper letters/numbers/shapes, items from nature and stencils.  Put a piece of cardboard in the middle of the shirt so that the design doesn't go through to the other side.  Then lay down your design.  Squirt the shirt with clorox until the color begins to fade.  You want to use dark or very bright colored shirts.  Once the fading is an amount that you like, you need to plunge it into water.  If you don't do this, the design will continue to fade until the color is completely washed out.

The shirts looked great and it was fun seeing them during the week!

Day1 - It was a rainy day so we planned an indoor activity.  Game day!  Sadly, Eliana came down with a fever during the night so I planned to drop off my other kids.  Rebecca however volunteered to stay home with her, so I took the boys to play.  We met at a friend's house and brought some games to share.  
 It was fun playing old favorites and trying new ones as well.  Even the moms took a turn.  We decided that we need to do this more often!  Cost:  Free

Day 2 - Jordan Lake.  We had beautiful weather!  Warm, but not hot.  Perfect for camp!  I still wasn't sure if Eliana should be out in the sun though.  It had been less than 24 hours since her fever broke and I didn't want a relapse.  It was hard deciding to keep her home as I knew that she would LOVE this outing.  Sand and water are two of her favorite things.  It was made easier by the fact that we were going to the beach at the end of the week.  I was fortunate to have a sweet friend offer to take the rest of my children so that they could enjoy this fun day.  No pictures since I wasn't able to go.  Cost:  $6 per car/van.

Day 3 - Boating at Lake Jordan.  Again, we had a beautiful day!  For boating, you need at least one person in each boat that is age 16 or above.  We chose to do pedal boating first since it holds the most people in a boat (4).

Joshua and a sweet little friend.

Isaiah up front helping me to pedal!  This is much harder than it looks like too!
 It was fun meeting up with friends in other boats too!
 The kayaks were very popular as well.
Daniel and I rode in a kayak across the lake.  We were able to see turtles sunning on a log.  Neat.  No camera in the boat though.

 We had a picnic up on the porch.
Beautiful girls.  Note the pins that Rebecca and Hanna are wearing.  Know what they are for?  Here is your hint.  It was June 5th when I took this photo.  (Answer at the bottom of the post)

Just loved this photo of Isaiah and Hanna heading out across the lake.  Did I mention that it was a gorgeous day?!

We treated ourselves to frozen yogurt on our way home.

 Day 4:  Biking at Falls of the Neuse State park.  This was the one day that I knew I would miss since Eliana had a hard to schedule appointment at the Down syndrome clinic.  I didn't want to cancel as we can't attend during the school year due to scheduling conflicts.  It was a long appointment.  I had hoped we would finish sooner so as to meet up with the others.  It was a good appointment though.  The doctor is so very encouraging!  I'm thankful to have those types of doctors in our lives!  Having had a couple that weren't this way has made me even more appreciative of those that are!
When clinic was over, Eliana and I drove over to meet the rest of the group.  We knew we were trying to beat out a storm.  It started raining on our way there.  And was continuing to rain when we arrived.  Eliana fell asleep and took a long nap.

As we waited for the boys to arrive, I hoped that it was fun for them.  The trip and in the rain.  Well, they loved it!  Despite having problems with repeated low blood sugars and fatigue (Daniel ended up feverish that day), they loved this outing!  And are wanting to do it again!  I'm up for that too!  Again, I didn't get photos.  The trail that they went on was chosen for safety factors - contained trail with a lovely view that did not cross any roads/highways.  Cost:  Free.

Day 5 - We had planned to go to the Eno River to play, but the tropical storm effects that started on Thursday continued on Friday so we opted to postpone this for another day.  This is another event that has no cost.

All in all, this was a fun week for our campers.  Due to the schedule, it was easy to have people come on some days even if they couldn't attend all of them.  My children had a blast and I love that this was a fun, low-cost way to have camp!  I highly encourage you to try it out!


(Answer:  For the June Revolution.  Can you tell that they are fans of Les Miserables?)