Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Final Camping Trip for 2013

Friday afternoon we left for our final camping trip of the year.  This is a gathering with friends from our church and a neighboring church, probably about 200 or so of us for the weekend.  It is at  a conference center on the ocean owned by our denomination.

Unexpectedly it POURED most of the way up to our destination.  This was so not in the plans (or the weather forecast.)  Technology isn't everything, folks. As we sat in a common room on our arrival looking at the forecast on my phone, it said "30 per cent chance of scattered showers."  Um, there was so much rain you could not see out the windows and this went on for hours!   LOL

However my joy was that my kids did not let this dampen their spirits.  We were one of the earlier arrivals.  Most people stay in dorm rooms in a variety of buildings for this experience.  I could not afford to do that and have always camped at a greatly reduced rate. Chet had been given the responsibility of helping people check in and find which building and room they were staying in.  He loves to help with this and the fact that his task was "official" this year was super for him.  He rummaged through the sites lost and found and located spare sandals that would fit him  if his shoes got too wet  and a rain poncho to borrow.   The littles found games to play with me and then just danced and sang to music on my phone.  At no point did anyone whine or moan.  Then, about 7:30 or so, the rain began to lessen and we spied this double rainbow out over the ocean.  It was much more spectacular than my photo portrays.  But shortly after that, the rain let up enough for Rob and I to go look for a tent site and for the littles to go play at the playground with friends.

Finding a tent site was a challenge as the land is lowlying and most were very much under water.  Inches of water.  I finally found a platform to put the tent on that was not inundated and we set up camp.  Luckily we can do this so quickly we were done in jig time.  What I did not factor in, was that we were in a totally different locale of the sites from any other year we have camped here and the impact that would have on Chet.

At 9:30 we went back to the tent as the littles were tired and Chet had finished checking people in.  He flipped out because we were in a different spot. Change is sooooooo hard for him. He was beyond agitated, flailing his arms so wildly I thought he was going to knock the tent down.  Eventually I just got him to lie down and I kept saying, "just go to sleep, you will be okay with this in the morning."  And he was.  That was really the only bump in a very fun filled weekend.

This is a weekend where the "village" cares for the kids. I often had kids with me that are not "mine." My kids got to eat with friends instead of in our family unit.  They ran barefoot and joyful during the day and curled up like exhausted puppies late at night in sleeping bags piled high with extra quilts to ward off the 45 degree temps.

For me, it was time to chat with adult friends, steaming cups of coffee while looking at the ocean and very little to have  to do.  I love to chat with people and there were lots there so I was never lonely!

We are all sad to see camping end for the season but grateful for this last final gathering and the memories we have to carry forward into the new season.

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