Thursday, June 19, 2014

Picture of the Week - 6/19/2014

This has been a quiet week for us.  The big boys are away at Camp Woodlands and our calendar is remarkably open.  It's been a pretty weird week!
Camp Woodlands is a place up in the north Georgia mountains that I had heard some really good things about.  We decided to try it out this year.  My first indication that this was going to be a good week should have been the fact that the registration process (which happened the 2nd week of January) was crazy.  There were several emails sent out to prepare the parents for registration day.  On the designated Saturday, we were assigned a registration time, based on age.  Luckily for me, I only had to deal with one time because the boys are in the same age group.  I waited for "GO TIME" and got Quinn all registered.  It took me 6 minutes to work through the process.  As soon as I was done, I attempted to register Spencer and was more than a little dismayed to find out that the camp was sold out and I had to put him on a waitlist.  Yep...  the camp sold out in less than 10 minutes.  It's like the Taylor Swift version of a summer camp!
As things usually do, everything worked out.  We were able to get Spencer into the camp after the dust settled and (presumably) some kids cancelled out.  Rock on!
We drove up to drop them off on Monday and as we pulled onto the gravel drive, I was immediately impressed.  There was a team - probably a dozen or so - of counselors who very enthusiastically - as in almost annoyingly happy - welcomed our car and helped pull our luggage out before directing us to the dome.  We entered the dome (after being welcomed by yet more super friendly and remarkably good looking young people) to find a well organized, CLEAN, and happy area that had been set up with refreshments for the waiting families, games for the waiting kids, and a number of clearly marked areas for dropping off medication, gathering packages to be delivered later in the week, etc.  They had water jugs with fresh fruit in them.  How awesome is that for a summer camp???
After finding a seat and waiting a bit, we were approached by a counselor who let us know that we were welcome to wait, but she wanted to make sure we knew that the gift shop was open and we may want to check it out because everything was discounted the first day and we could beat the crowd.  So we went to check out the little shop.  I expected there to be a t shirt design or two.  Maybe some necessities.  Maybe a few keepsake things that the campers could take home with them.  This shop was NOT what I expected.  There had to have been 15 different t shirt designs.  There were hats and sweatshirts and shorts and water bottles.  There were car stickers and books and lanyards.  There was an ENTIRE library of Christian themed books for sale.  There were leather chairs!  There was a FULLY FUNCTIONING coffee shop.  It was NICE.  Opposite this pimped out store, there was also a canteen where they sold frozen slushies and hot pretzels and ice cream.  There were air hockey and ping pong tables.  And if you walked through all of this, you came out the other side to a deck that overlooked a lake. 
I started to want to stay myself!
We returned to the dome and waited for check in time.  The first stop in the check in process was to meet Big Jon.  Big Jon runs the camp.  We had, obviously, never met him, but he was the one sending the regular updates and reminders we got leading up to both the registration process and the actual camp date.  He individually welcomed each and every kid.  I was immediately impressed with him.  He asked a few questions and based on the responses he was appropriately reassuring and enthusiastic and engaging.  He's the kind of person that you would like and trust on sight.  And then I set aside any lingering doubts about leaving the boys at camp.
After getting the boys checked in, we went to find their cabin.  This is no ordinary camp cabin either.  I mean, *I* would have stayed there.  It was clean, and gigantic!  Each of the big cabins sleep somewhere around 100 kids - split into 8 different rooms.  I was impressed.  The picture of the lake is the view out the window from the boys' room.
 I really can't wait to hear how their week has gone.  If the condition of the camp and the quality of the activities in the pictures that I have seen - which they have been posting daily on their Facebook page - are any indication, I'll mark my calendar now for the second Saturday in January to make sure I can get them signed up again next year.  They have had relay races and competitions between cabins.  There is a zip line and a swimming lake with things like a giant water slide and a huge trampoline thing.  They have an entire basketball court IN THE WATER.  (Have you noticed yet that I was super pleased with this place?)  I have been able to send some email messages to the boys (one way) just to let them know they are missed and remind them to take lots of notes so they can answer all my questions when we pick them up on Friday. 
It will be really good to get them back home.  I really haven't liked having them "missing" from the house.  It's been kind of a weird week.  We haven't gone through nearly as much food and milk.  The house is SOOOOO much quieter.  At around 8 pm, we are alone and free to watch whatever we want on TV.   Bob and I have joked a bit about the fact that having 2 kids is a breeze compared to our normal chaos.  But at the same time, we have also agreed that it's just not right.  We are missing the sound of Quinn crunching through a cup full of cereal while watching America's Got Talent every night.  We are missing Spencer's presence in the kitchen while we try to make breakfast every day.  We are definitely missing being able to ask the big boys to let the dog out. 
I hope the boys are having a great time!  I hope they are anxious to go back.  But it sure will be good to see them tomorrow!!
Pictures included are of the boys meeting Big Jon and the view out their cabin window.
Have a great weekend everyone!


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