Family Camp

This has been so fun celebrating Shari’s Camp Club Girls release, McKenzie’s Oregon Operation included in the 3 in 1 volume, Operation: Excitement!. Like most of the Inkspers, I don’t have any of my own camp experiences (barely made it through Girl Scout Day Camp – I was lonesome!!), but we had wonderful family camp experiences through our church. I coordinated many of the weekends, which was a HUGE amount of work, but camp itself was soooo much fun, it was worth it.

Family Camp was at Camp Lebanon in Upsala, MN, about an hour and a half northwest of our home. A perfect distance for driving with two little kids anxious to get to camp. As you an see from the photo, it’s not exactly roughing it at Camp Lebanon! It’s definitely “camp” but along with the requisite cabins, there’s a lovely A-frame Lodge (air conditioned!), and the remodeled main lodge (at left in the photo).

Family Camp-Camp LebanonThere was always something to do during Family Camp – either our organized activities or those put on by the camp. We provided lots of large group and family things to do – Olympics (a huge hit), kick ball games (required every year, the adults and kids had so much fun), a talent show, hikes, bonfires with s’mores, morning worship together, boat rides, fishing, paddleboats and canoes, swimming at the beach. And lots of camp crafts (which always seemed to include popsicle sticks and colored pipe cleaners – lots of popsicle sticks).

We’d all cheer each others kids on as they tested to be allowed to swim out “to the raft.” For those who couldn’t pass the swimming test (done by the lifeguards), we made sure they had fun in the shallower water. And we’d celebrate when they passed the following year.

We attended family camp for eight years – the kids were teeny the first year, and in upper elementary by the time we stopped. They couldn’t WAIT to get there – once we unloaded the car, they were gone! And the best part was that our church group took up pretty much the whole camp so we were all watching out for each others kids (and the kids knew it so they had to behave because there were dozens of parents watching them, not just their own!).

We also went to Camp Lebanon for Marriage Retreats. Without kids. It was heaven.

I could fill pages sharing memories of this wonderful time (including the time I had strep – at both the Marriage Retreat in the winter and at Family Camp the following summer), and stories about the lifelong friendships that were made. It was a time that truly blessed our family, and many other families as well.

Comment or share your camp experience to enter the drawing for a copy of Operation: Excitement!

Operation Excitement!Join the Camp Club Girls on a series of clue-filled adventures and cheer them on as they crack the case in this entertaining 3-in-1 story collection. Whether the Camp Club Girls are vanquishing vermin in Vermont, searching for stolen sea lion pups on the Oregon Coast, or investigating peculiar elk stampedes in Estes Park, you’ll encounter six charming characters who combine their mystery-solving skills to save the day.

Special Note:  I won’t be able to respond to your comments as I will be in Italy when this post hits the Inkspirational Messages blog, so have fun answering each others comments!! Sorry to miss the fun!

So Not a Camper

We’re celebrating the release of Shari’s Camp Club Girls release, McKenzie’s Oregon Operation included in the 3 in 1 volume, Operation: Excitement!

When I tell people I never went to church camp, they always seem shocked. I guess they assume this preacher’s wife grew up in church. But I didn’t start consistently attending until I was twelve. And our church was very small. Small as in twelve members who were all related to me on my mom’s side or my dad’s. There weren’t any kids my age. There were some younger cousins five and under, but I don’t remember camp ever being mentioned. If our church had sent kids to camp, I wouldn’t have gone. I’m not the rough it type.

Gold Hiking SandalsI’ve always said my idea of camping would be a motor home with electricity, great air conditioning, and plumbing. But I like Dawn’s idea better – a cabin with electricity, great air conditioning, and plumbing. With accommodations like that, I probably wouldn’t go outside. I don’t like bugs, heat, humidity, or critters such as ticks and snakes, and I’m extremely allergic to poison ivy. Camping in a cabin in the fall would be nice.

Last summer, I had my first and only brush with camping when my local writers group, ACFW AR had a retreat at a church camp. We slept in squeaky bunk beds with ladders in the middle of one side and the open side against the wall. We all chose the bottom bunks, but the top might have been better. Crawling out the hole beside the ladder was a bit like crawling out of the birth canal. The showers were and toilets were all in one long room in stalls with shower curtains.

I was completely unprepared and never dreamed we’d go hiking. I brought two pairs of wedge sandals–no tennis shoes. But never one to use my shoes as an excuse, I went on the prayer walk in my gold and rhinestone sandals. It turned out to be a mountain climbing expedition and my shoes became forever known as my hiking boots. Those are the intrepid hikers above: Debbie Sheetrum, Rosie Baldwin, Ann McCauley, and me.

This year, our writers group found a Bed & Breakfast used for Christian retreats. Talk about accommodations. Technically, it couldn’t beRustic Retreat called camping, but it was my idea of camping. Nice beds, rustic decor, and very comfy with two bathrooms. The mosquitoes were thick, so I didn’t step outside except when I arrived and when I left. I don’t like the smell of Off. They need to come up with a perfume scented version. I told you, I don’t rough it.

Comment or share your camp experience to enter the drawing for a copy of Operation: Excitement!

Operation Excitement!Join the Camp Club Girls on a series of clue-filled adventures and cheer them on as they crack the case in this entertaining 3-in-1 story collection. Whether the Camp Club Girls are vanquishing vermin in Vermont, searching for stolen sea lion pups on the Oregon Coast, or investigating peculiar elk stampedes in Estes Park, you’ll encounter six charming characters who combine their mystery-solving skills to save the day.