Monday, June 20, 2011

Let the Camps Begin!!

I am so glad to be finished with my marathon week of being gone to many different places with lots of different beds. I put nearly 1200 miles on vehicles throughout the last week. .and probably a few extra wrinkles on my face! As I reported last week, I helped transport 32 campers to our 4-H camp, and I stayed there as well to work as the camp nurse. I continued to be amused at the activity and interactions of the kids. And this year I didn't feel like an outsider. .I have become quite familiar with the camp, the agents, and many of the returning kids. The last two years I have posted my reflections of camp as an outsider looking in.  . .but this year I decided to illustrate through pictures just WHAT they do there for 3 days. So come along and join our fun!
The first day includes a pizza lunch and lots of group building activities, both in small groups and as a whole. This year there were 106 people at camp. .including counselors and adults. .so it was quite a busy place to be! Some of the group building activities the first night included parachute games. . .
Rowdy rounds of tug of war. . .
And rousing games of dodge ball, along with some relay race games.
The second morning always includes a special flag raising ceremony. The atmosphere created by the silent reverence, the balmy morning air, and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance always leaves a warm spot in my heart.
The kids rotate in small groups through a number of different activities. Air rifles are a favorite. Even the girls seem to enjoy shooting at the paper targets. And bless Mike, he is an agriculture agent. .but always does a nice job helping the kids be safe, learn, and have fun.
Chayde and Cody await Tanner's ok to shoot the recurve bows. .another annual favorite. The kids always seem to enjoy visiting with each other as they wait for their own turns to shoot.
Across the road from the camp, is Scott State Lake. The kids get the chance to fish. Ethan and Landon found a quiet spot to sit on the rocks while others stood on the banks.
This year, Christine's (the agent in the green shirt) husband came along as a volunteer to help. It was the first year that kids in each group caught fish. He laughed about the noise level near the lake. .and reported that the fish turned and swam the other direction!
While wandering around taking pictures of the camp happenings, I spotted this heron!! Isn't it majestic looking! There were great birding opportunities available to me in my spare time too! And both Grant and Devin noticed the different birds around too (Tristan was too old to go this year, and hopefully will return next year as a counselor).
This may be one of the all time favorite activities. .mine for sure!! Canoeing! And how fortunate for me that the canoes happened to be crossing paths all at the same time! It made for a great photo anyway.
The theme this year was "Wild, Wild West" and Carmen's craft class taught them the art of making baskets. It was a skill that challenged their patience. .but lots of the kids could be found working on their baskets later in the week and on the ride home.
A new activity introduced this year was a really big hit! They had an hour of water games!! The kids LOVED it! They played some water games, started by the firing of a WATER gun!!
The games included a bucket brigade water relay. .
Shooting shaving cream off of their partners. . .
A water balloon toss and water dodge ball were some of the other games included! Joe and his wife Karen were new this year and they did a great job!! The last activity that took place was a short field trip to some old Indian ruins not far from the camp. I wasn't able to go check it out, since I needed to be close to the nurse's quarters!
The kids enjoy several hours of free time each day.
They go in small groups of friends. .to swim at the pool, buy snacks, play basketball or other games. .
. .and hike. .which seems to be a huge favorite for all the kids.
The hike up will take you to the top of a cliff that overlooks the campgrounds and the lake. The view from there is awesome!! This picture was a zoom up from the bottom of the campgrounds. .and then I was in trouble because it didn't show how tall the hill really was!! Free time is always my busiest work time. Lots of kids come in with abrasions from falling, pain from touching the sting weeds, puncture wounds from the yucca plants, and splinters from whatever!! This year we had two diabetic campers and lots of kids with morning and evening medicine for me to dispense. So not all my time is spent observing! I really do earn my keep!
The camp food is actually really good, but the second evening the agents grill hamburgers for the kids as a cost saver for the campers. They eat around the fire pit and have a great time! I must say these guys wear their aprons well!!
This is also the night that a dance is hosted for the kids. Those kids start preparing for the dance by mid afternoon when their free time rolls around. The girls all get makeovers. .lots of hairspray, bobby pins, and curling irons. The boys change shirts and put on cologne.
This was the first time I actually saw THIS type of outfit from the males!! First of all, one would have know Luke, to appreciate the magnitude of his outfit!!
The best part of his whole outfit?
The courage to wear THESE!!
This kid has no self esteem problems. .and was later seen taking off his jacket, rolling up his sleeves, and doing the WORM dance!!
I had to include this photo. .because it is so typical. You may notice on the right side of the picture are the girls. .dancing and having a great time. On the left side shows a few of the many boys that were playing basketball and holding up the retaining wall, also having a great time! As the sun sets. .the dance floor does get fuller. .and my 8 year old didn't set foot on the dance floor until it got dark and his mom couldn't see who he was dancing with. .He informed me that he danced 3 times. .though I only caught his sillouette once! Darn kids! A movie marathon occurs at the same time as the dance for those kids who would rather do that. Then around 9 pm the whole camp reconvenes for an ice cream sundae party!!
And I can't resist doing the cotton eyed joe!! It's one of my favorites. They also played the chicken dance. .just for yours truly!! It's another dance that attracts lots of dancers!
Here's our whole county crew the last morning of camp. By then kids are tired, adults are tired, and many of us (and them) are ready to return to our real lives. It's a fun camp. .with lots of opportunities to play, learn, and make new friends. .as well as catch up with our old friends. We will look forward to going again next year!
And until then, our fun memories will hold us over!
Wishing everyone a great week!


  1. WoW! Looks like a beautiful place! I love the very last picture. =)

  2. Thanks for sharing the photos - I enjoyed them, and hearing about all the camp events.

  3. Oh wow! Looks like you all had lots of fun! I hope it wasn't to hot out here. It has been crazy hot here. LOL girls on one side and boys on the other. Wait a few more years.