Just over two weeks ago we left home for our annual trek to Camp Our Time. The change of pace has been nice, and the excitement of learning, doing, and exploring in a new environment amidst a huge extended family of sorts has felt healthy and invigorating. Since Taro is working overtime while we're here, the days are full and exhausting but fun nonetheless.
I thought I'd share a few highlights from our trip so far:
For the first time since Camp Our Time has been held in North Carolina, we drove! It was hard to imagine flying with three kids 5 and under, and we own a minivan now so it was kind of a no-brainer ;) Armed with tons of snacks, a bunch of newly-downloaded children's audiobooks, and some early Springsteen (Born to Run, Born in the USA, and Darkness on the Edge of Town), we made the road trip in three days. Our pace allowed frequent pit stops to nurse, stretch, and spot praying mantises. The last day and a half of the trip involved us grownups taking turns sitting in the backseat to prevent epic sibling-on-sibling provocation and harassment (#keepingitreal). It was a feeling of relief and accomplishment for all of us when we finally pulled on to the tranquil grounds of camp.
The first week we were here, my parents came up from Mississippi and rented a sweet little cabin in the area. While Taro was busy with staff orientation and other camp preparations, the kids and I spent most of our time hanging out with Mamaw and Papaw. It was my dad's first time meeting Hazel. We read books and went shopping and watched the Olympics, and toured the farmer's markets, and cooked, and went sightseeing, and took lots of naps. It was pretty wonderful.
Camp officially started last Sunday, with over 80 campers arriving from all over the country and the world. Our family of five is lucky enough to be able to stay in a small, comfortable house on camp that has its own kitchen and laundry room. During the day the boys and Hazel and I roam all over the place, dropping into whichever activities interest us at that particular moment. There's so much to choose from: horseback riding, gardening, soccer, dance, singing, arts and crafts, rock climbing, swimming, basketball, gem mining, and theatre arts are just a few of the most popular daily activities.
This year the boys have been able to really participate in most of the activities, and they do -- with gusto. I just follow them around, Hazel on my hip, crossing my fingers that they'll want to take a nap after lunch (it's happened maybe once since we've been here -- Holy Tired Mama, Batman!). As physically taxing as it can be to trek after these fellas all day, it's also really cool to see them so engaged in their adventures and so completely blissed out. And we all sleep well at night ;)
In case you're interested in more information about Camp Our Time, here's a little film that conveys what it's all about: