JFW Weekend

We were away this past weekend with the Junior Forest Wardens for our annual fall camp. It’s by a lovely lake. We stayed in cabins that were heated by wood burning stoves and there was a large mess hall where we all congregated for meals and games.Adrian is the co-coordinator for our club so he had quite a bit to do to get ready prior in addition to his duties during the trip. So, in a way, this trip feels like it lasted for a whole week rather than just a weekend. It’s worth it, though, because everyone always has a great time.

One of the highlight activities on Saturday was the climbing wall and vertical playground.

JFW Long Lake 07 009                    JFW Long Lake 07 019

The children not only learned about climbing but also the role of belayers. This is where they hold the rope and support the climber. Unfortunately, my camera’s batteries decided to die right when J climbed all the way to the top of the 40 foot vertical playground pictured on the right. She was the first in her group (consisting of all older boys I must add!) to succeed. It was amazing to see her little body maneuvering and climbing up those wooden beams seemingly without fear. She was tied on so she would’ve been fine if she’d fallen but I still had a knot in my stomach until she was safely back on the ground.

R and J along with the rest of their group in the role of belayers.

R is a little more cautious of heights, so he didn’t make it to the top, but each time he climbed he made it a little higher than his previous attempt.

R bravely giving his thumbs up during a climb.

I did borrow another parent’s camera to take some photos of the climbs so hopefully he’ll email them to me.

On Sunday, Adrian took the older kids (mostly young teens) to the gun range to try shooting clay pigeons with the shot gun. While he was doing that the rest of us went canoeing. This is always a lot of fun. And peaceful. You get a chance to see wild life that you might not see if you were trudging through the woods.

JFW Long Lake 07 039 JFW Long Lake 07 046

JFW Long Lake 07 053 JFW Long Lake 07 056

However. I’ve never actually steered the canoe myself. I always go with someone who sits in the back and knows what they’re doing. But this is the third time we’ve gone canoeing with the JFW and I was beginning to feel a little silly about it because all of the other parents DO know what they’re doing. There’s always the moment before we go when they’re putting us into groups and deciding what kids go with which adults that I have to raise my hand and say that I don’t feel comfortable taking the kids by myself. No one seems bothered by it but I feel silly. So, again with this trip, I had to have a “grown-up” come along with me and J and another little girl because I didn’t know what I was doing. R and his buddy went with another parent.

Part way through our excursion we all decided to pull the canoes up on a little island to do some exploring. It was a lovely spot with a gorgeous nature trail.

JFW Long Lake 07 074 JFW Long Lake 07 073

Afterwards, when we were all getting into the canoes to go back to camp, my “grown-up” offered to let me sit in the back while she guided me through the steering process. I was eager to learn and thought that I pretty much knew how to do it anyway. I just hadn’t actually done it yet. And this is what I told her when she offered. So, I confidently took the rear seat of our canoe.  BUT, it turns out I really had no clue what the hell I was doing.  We started out okay but then under my “skilled” paddling we ended up going in circles pretty much all the way to the dock. Our group had gone, brought in their canoes, and were headed back to camp by the time we even reached the dock. And to make matters worse, there was a whole new group of JFW’s waiting at the dock to use the canoes. So, I had a nice large audience watching me attempt to steer in this canoe. We had a good laugh about it back at camp, but it was quite frustating in the moment.

J and friend with my “grown-up” canoeing chaperone.

All in all it was a wonderful trip. We returned home exhausted but in a great way because it was due to a weekend spent outdoors having fun with friends.

Now I have all of the unpacking to contend with…


About Debbie

I am a stay at home mom of 2 energetic children. I homeschool them as well. I have a great husband who, after 7 years of working away from, finally has a job where he is home every night. We are trying to learn how to live together again along with adjusting to the lower pay that came along with the job change.
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9 Responses to JFW Weekend

  1. Heather says:

    Ohhhh! It looks like such a great time!!! Very cool!!!

    I tried uploading pictures and had no luck. I gave up and will try again tomorrow.

  2. Debbie says:

    It WAS very fun.

    Have you tried BlogDesk yet? It IS quite easy to use. I think the problem with my photos this time was just my computer.

  3. Steffi says:

    Looks like a wonderful trip and great pictures!I like it!

  4. robinellablog says:

    I so look forward to the day we move out of the burbs and into the wilderness, mountains, something more exciting and full of nature. I love museums and the beach, but would rather give my kids the other stuff more, you know.

    Sounds like a wonderful time had by all.

    I’m still trying to figure out pictures on wordpress. I use photobucket to store rather than taking them from my own documents and that is working better, sort of.

  5. philosophyoflife says:

    Great post and so pleased everyone had a fun time – a ‘keep fit’ with a difference…. enjoyment 🙂

    As for the photo’s – I sometimes have had a problem and I think ‘wordpress’ have been going through some technical changes – hence a few blips along the way – until they ‘fine tune’….

  6. my4kids says:

    Sounds like a lot of fun and the pictures are great! The vertical playground looks pretty cool! I’m sure my boys would love it!

  7. Dawn says:

    It looks like a lot of fun despite your 15 minutes of fame er…infamy. The pictures are great too.

  8. Sirdar says:

    Sounds like a great program and a great time. I can really see Adrian in his element.

  9. Pingback: Climbing the Walls « A Step at a Time

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