Friday, June 22, 2007

And now we return to our regularly scheduled summer...

June 22, 2007

This has been THE WEEK--that week that is so completely packed with activities that our heads are spinning like Linda Blair's in The Exorcist. And not just run-of-the-mill activities: this week has been American Heritage Girls camp for us and Cub Scouts camp for the boys. What that translates to is this:

For the past 2 weeks, Caroline and I, as the troop's chairwomen, have logged 44 volunteer hours in planning for and implementing AHG camp. We had lots of help, of course. We couldn't have done it without our 7th-12th grade Pioneers and Patriots, who also spent hours planning and then served as camp leaders at our Monday-Wednesday camp.

These girls were phenomenal, all 15 of them. In this photo, they are about to shout with joy because this was the closing ceremony--the very last activity-- at camp. They are teaching the girls the hand motions to "Day Is Done."

And these two moms, BrownSugar and Kelly, were so unbelievable. Not only did they work through the entire planning process with the girls, but they worked in the kitchen during camp so that no one got scorched or poisoned. Plus, they're just really fun and make us laugh all the time.

We had 55 campers plus 15 girl leaders and 8 moms helping out. The focus of the week was our Native American badge. On Monday the girls played various games; made pottery and beads, popcorn balls, sandart; learned Native American sign language and symbols; and heard some stories.

On Tuesday we went to two local museums that are treasures of Cherokee information: Ft. Loudoun and the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum. In the photo above, the girls are waiting to get inside this replica of a Cherokee home.

We started off Wednesday with a fabulous presentation by one of our AHG families (above). Mr. Montoya is a Hopi, and he regaled the girls with tales of growing up on the reservation. His sons (Desmond is shown above) told us about their naming ceremony and showed us other family treasures. Our little AHG girl, Lenora, is in the back in full costume (which she promptly ripped off when their talk was over). After the Montoya's talk, our girls had another full day of games, activities, crafts, stories, food, and history.

I think they all had a great time. We have an amazing group of girls, and they are delightful to work with. So, while all this was going on during the day, Duncan was hanging out with various friends. He was exhausted by Wednesday, but not too tired to enjoy swimming with the PartyofFive family.

And I'm sorry to say that, on two of these days, Jesse was at home, sleeping late and then fighting boredom. He had a great day Tuesday celebrating Son2Dad2Three's birthday, but other than that...he suffered some long mornings.

Photo by Lynn Freeny

Photo by Lynn Freeny

But his evenings were probably even longer. Not only did Randy and Duncan go to Cub Scout camp, but Jesse also went as volunteer staff. This Twilight Camp runs from 6-9 each evening and is confirmed by all to be absolute chaos with 200 campers in a mass state of disorganization.

Photo by Donna Williams

Nonetheless, Duncan is having a blast. Because he's pretty much happy wherever he goes and finds a friend. And so, at the end of a long week, we have a weekend of camping with friends to look forward to. Laurel and I are about to head out for a grocery-shopping trip while the boys are at their last night of camp, and tomorrow, we'll head for the mountains. There is absolutely nothing like a campfire, a river, friends, and mountains to restore one's sense of balance and peace.

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