Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Hamptons by the Sea

Well, we've been told about this camp called Campus by the Sea for years (well I have at least). I've heard so much about it and have mentioned it to Larry a few times figuring it just wasn't his thing. Last year one of the husbands was talking to Larry about it and probably because it wasn't ME telling him (you know how that goes) he actually thought about going.

I have to throw this in..... the two little ones heard Lar talking about possibly going and summer of 2007 had packed their bags for it. It wasn't until I noticed a few certain items were missing (a few months later) that I found already packed suitcases under their beds. We then broke the news to them that they'd have to wait for summer of 2008.

How it works is that you sign up for your 1st,2nd and 3rd choice of weeks and then they get back to you and let you know which week you get. We got our registration sent in the first possible day and got our first choice which was the last week in June which also happened to be my birthday week. The fun thing too is that we had four other families from our church that went the same week as us.

Anyways, to sum up our trip..... well it was a structured Christian family camp that had guest speakers, sing time (which everyone seemed to enjoy) set meal times and I HAVE to mention the food was awesome! A huge thing is that we never had to once think 'uh oh, where's Chrish?' the kids are either with their leaders for group time or off doing their own thing. They had so much freedom but it was in a totally safe environment. We didn't have the usual exhausting chore of keeping an eye on them the whole time, or the checking in continually. The kids even had an account at the 'snack shack' and I don't know who enjoyed it more (ok well the kids) but we set the limits for the kids on the first day and whenever they wanted a snack they'd go get what they wanted and as long as they hadn't gone over their limit they got what they wanted. It was nice not to keep track or have to keep small cash or change on me or even have to accompany them.

There was kayaking, tubing, snorkeling,fishing (Hannah had the catch of the week catching an 18 incher, and Chrish caught a 12 incher) volleyball, basketball, camp fires, square dancing (all the kids tried it and kept up very well), talent show, game show night, a make your own boat and race competition. We were in the top 10 out of like 30 boats.... not bad for us newbies.

Wednesday was my birthday and happened to be the 'free' day. Those who wanted to hiked into Avalon at 7am. Hannah stayed at camp all day with her friends. Larry and Emma took a boat ride in at 930 while Caley, Christian and I did the 6 mile hike into town. Unfortunately Caley got poked with some cactus which left a dozen or so pricks in her leg, poor girl. But, she was a trooper and kept going though we couldn't get them all out. Got to Avalon, played a game of mini golf (Emma has her own strategy) then we ate right by the water which I enjoyed. We then got some yummy ice cream and hiked in town another couple of miles to watch the kids play soccer. After a relaxing boat ride back to camp we had beach time which was one of my favourite times. At dinner they had announcements like normal and reminded us about the talent show that night. The next thing you know all the workers start singing a RENT song (really well too) I was getting into it and luckily I stopped and realized they were all coming to my table. I was thinking "this must be for the talent show and spread out you guys" and then they stopped and sang happy birthday to me. Tickled me pink! What's funny too is that Emma who had gone to the bathroom came in right when they were coming up to me so they grabbed her hand and she joined in.

On Friday night they had a nice banquet for everyone. Well, the adults had their own and they decorated the food hall with all the crafts the kids had made during the week. We had a delicious prime rib dinner and then took turns sharing our highlights of the week. Some people had been going there for more than 20 years.

While we were doing our thing, there was a separate banquet for the jr. high and highschoolers and then a movie night and camp fire for the youngsters. Everyone seemed to really enjoyed themselves. It was a great way to end such a spectacular week too.

I think it was by day 2 that the kids were saying ' when we come next year can we.......' It's definitely a place we want to go to again and are planning on going next year. If you know Emma then you won't be surprised when I say that she has already asked me 'how many more days til' we come back mommy?'