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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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…