Sunday, July 26, 2009

Camp Grandma

The kids had another great week at Camp Grandma! Each summer, we bring the kids to Rhode Island for a fun filled week with my mom serving as camp director. it's official- they have t-shirts to prove it!

She provides crafts like necklace making, hat decorating and decoupaging vases.

She also fills the days with activities like Native American Dancing, kickball games, scavenger hunts, makeovers etc. Add a few field trips to the penny candy store, fire station, the beach, a PawSox game, my sister's pool and the local ice cream shop and my kids are in heaven.

This year they even added a service project and did a car wash to raise money for Hasbro Children's Hospital. It is wonderful for my kids to have this time with their cousins and grandparents, and Mike and I took advantage of it and slipped away to New York City for the weekend to see "Wicked" on Broadway. It is such a great production, and one that I will see over and over again if given the chance! We had a beautiful hotel room on Times Square and we had a wonderful few days of sightseeing.

I drove home to Rhode Island Sunday night because Mike was staying another week in NYC for a sales conference. The kids and I spent a few more days having fun with Grandma and flew home Weds. night. The kids were great on the flight and I even got a little nap when Julia fell asleep. Great friends picked us up at the airport at midnight, and we were happy to be in our own beds by 1 am. It was another successful Camp Grandma- thanks Mom!


We had a great week at the Boy Scouts LDS Leadership Conference. It was held at the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, just southwest of Raton. We spent a week living in a tent city with the kids, and I never thought I would love it as much as I did!

This conference is so well organized. Every day we would eat breakfast with the kids, and then drop them off at their morning activities. Mike attended BSA leadership classes with some of the members of the General Young Men's presidency and other BSA leaders, and I was able to go on tours, take classes, do handicrafts etc. We picked up our children up for lunch and spent an hour of family time together before returning them to their groups for afternoon activities. They loved their activities, which included things like pony rides, archery, rifle shooting, tomahawk throwing, making homemade ice cream, hiking and outdoor games.

We'd pick them up in time for dinner, spend the evening at one of the wonderful family events they had going on (western dancing, movie night, skits etc) and tuck in some worn out kiddos each evening.

It was just a blessing for our family to have this kind of week. Being outdoors brings out such a feeling of gratitude for the wonders of nature and for our Father in Heaven who provided us with such a beautiful earth! It brought out these feelings in our kids too, and led to wonderful spiritual discussions that I will cherish. While we were having these experiences at base camp, Autumn was having a mini-adventure of her own, taking part in a 6 day mountain trek through the backwoods. She hiked 30 miles with a 30 pound pack, without showering or having any conveniences from home. She weathered pretty severe electrical storms that would blow through the mountains each afternoon. They also took "Leave No Trace" to a whole new level- recquiring the kids to drink the juice out of a can of chicken after they opened it, and to eat any food that was dropped on the ground. Autumn proved that she can do hard things, and we are so proud of her for going with such a great attitude, and coming home with an even better one.

I hope that our boys will have similiar experiences at some point in their life! All in all, we are just grateful to have been able to participate in this training conference. It was one of the best vacations we have ever had!