Thursday, July 07, 2016

Summer Camps

Girl's camp was always the highlight of my summers when I was a youth. The thing is, it wasn't that long ago so how is it possible that I have not one, but two kids old enough to go away for summer camp?! Technically Jayden is not quite old enough, but I'm so glad they let him sneak into scout camp this summer. They've been planning their big trip to Catalina Island and we were bummed that Jayden would miss it by less than 2 months since he doesn't turn 12 until August. At the last minute they had someone cancel so there was an opening that they said Jayden could take. Last minute as in, Jason called me on my way home from Sedona. I pulled up, grabbed Jayden to go get a physical at a local clinic, then spent the evening filling out paper work then took a midnight trip to Walmart getting supplies so they could leave at 3AM Monday morning. It was a whirlwind to get him out the door, but I'm so grateful for the amazing time he had there. He learned new skills, developed more independence and responsibilities, strengthened friendships and his testimony and developed a greater appreciation for my home cooking and a soft bed. His leaders were really great about posting pictures and updates on fb, some of the highlights that week included kayaking to an island where they built their own shelters to sleep in, lots of early morning kayaking and hiking, bike rides, classes, competitions and the $25 pocket knife he bought at the gift shop. 

EFY (Especially For Youth) was always a favorite too, so I was excited that Kylie was old enough to go this year. It's the perfect mix of fun and spiritual growth, and of course boys. Kylie and Marlee had fun rooming together, but these cute girls are trouble when it comes to boys. They met some fun ones that they've gotten together with a few times since being back. They loved the dances and Bro. Young's class, they didn't love so much the cafeteria food and the girl that wiped cheetos on Kylie's bed. I love that she came home and gave me the play by play action of everything that happend, it seems like lately I'm pulling teeth to get any details so it made me so happy that she was just bubbling over with excitement to tell me everything. Definitely a sign that she had a good time, and they're already planning for next year.

And then came girl's camp (I'm hoping to get more pictures from her leaders). Kylie is the first to admit that she's not a camper. She likes sleeping in the comfort of her own room with hot showers and wifi. With that being said, she wasn't super excited about camp. Especially when they said everyone would be sleeping in the same tent and there would be no shower facilities. But she ended up having a good time, the highlight being the faith walk with the Tree of Life, and hiding out in Sis Janda's car blasting the air conditioning and Justin Bieber. They asked her to bear her testimony in church about her experience that next Sunday and I loved hearing how much she grew in those few short days. We sure missed these kids while they were gone, but am grateful they had these experiences. My heart is full of gratitude for all the leaders and individuals who have put so much work into these camps. These teen years are so crucial in forming who they become and I am ever so grateful for experiences like these that help build that strong foundation and strengthen their testimonies. It takes a village to raise a child and I'm so grateful for this wonderful village that surrounds us.

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