Thursday, June 1, 2017

Memorial Day: Family Camp

We excitedly decided to try our first Family Camp over Memorial Day at Trout Lake Camp.  Trout Lake Camp is where Paul goes on Men's Retreat with our church every year, and is about 3.5 hours north of our house.  We have never done a family camp before, and I wasn't sure if Larkyn would be old enough, but because we are done with daily naps now, it seemed like a good chance to give it a try!  I cannot say enough good things about our weekend.  It was perfect.  The camp planned all the activities, meals, etc and we only had to show up and have fun together!  All chores, responsibilities, stressors, and even technological pulls (due to the lack of service!) etc melted away when we drove onto the camp's property, and allowed us to have such quality and fun family time for an extended weekend.  The kids are at such fun ages where we are moving away from the "kids are so much work" phase and we can truly start to just have fun together with them!

We picked up Summer a bit early from school, and headed through the Memorial Day traffic for a side route stop in Alexandria to see Grandma T after she had back surgery this week.  She is looking strong and even walked a few laps around the hospital with us!  Then we headed up to camp and pulled in around 9:45pm.  We got our cabin set up and some excited wiggles out, and then had a great first night's sleep.

The kids were awesome travelers and enjoyed some CDs, some window looking, some books, and some Paw Patrol on our portable DVD player.

Our family stayed in Whitetail, a rustic bunk house, a room that held 16 bunk beds!

The kids loved setting up their things in their own little nooks.  Larkyn had this nook to herself.

Summer and Colton shared this nook (across from Larkyn's nook)

Paul and I took some mattresses down from one bunk nook and set up our bed in the "meeting area" of the cabin.  The cabin didn't have running water, so we did bring along a portable potty for middle of the night runs with Larkyn, but otherwise it worked out great as we didn't spend any time except sleeping in the cabin!

Despite the late night before, the kids were ready to go for the day!  We had plenty of time to get dressed and ready before walking to the dining hall for 8am breakfast.

Every meal was so delicious!  (Maybe it was extra good because I wasn't cooking or cleaning up after it?!!?) All five of us enjoyed their food!
Every morning after breakfast they had a packet of family devotions you could do.  The first morning this was our choice spot for family devotions.

Us parents ;)
After family devotions, we had chapel.  The kids had so much fun singing the fun camp and worship songs and always wanted to sit in the front row!  Paul and I couldn't help but laugh watching Larkyn as she did an awesome and adorable job keeping up with the motions and shaking her little belly as she danced!  Here are a few videos Paul captured of one particular chapel...

After songs, the parents had a session while the kids had fun camp games and activities and snack with their age groups.  The older two were in the same age 5-8 group and LOVED their games with the counselors and had so much fun each day.  Larkyn preferred to stay with us and get some extra cuddles during the adult session rather than go to her 0-4 year baby/toddler class.

We then had an hour of free time, lunch, and then an afternoon of free time with various activities.  Dinner was at 5:30pm, evening chapel was at 6:45pm, and then there were evening activities you could choose from.  Here are some pictures/video of some of the things we did.

Mini Golf

Tether Ball and GaGa Ball


 Shooting BB guns

Sling Shots

 Acting out a skit about Adam and Eve

Summer was a walrus and Colton was trying to think of a name for it while he was naming the animals :)

 Tossing Rocks in the Water and Wading


All the meals were so good!  And it was so fun to come at mealtime, get food right away, sit as a family, and then go play!  No cooking. No dishes. So Fun!

They did have us bus and wipe our own tables - love this pic of Larkyn!  She loved wiping the table!


 Bottle Rocket Craft

 Each family had the opportunity to make a rocket and then launch their rocket at the end of camp.  Ours actually traveled one of the farthest!  After the pictures is a video of ours launching.

Getting Ready to launch our rocket

Floor Hockey

This was Colton's favorite activity.  It was in the rec room, under the dining hall.  He couldn't get enough of it!  He ran himself silly playing multiple times a day for over an hour at a time.  He loved playing with Daddy, with the other kids, and when we played family hockey (boys vs girls).   This also provided a great activity for a rainy afternoon.  Also in the rec room was carpet ball and foosball, which were huge hits and we played a lot of!

(Summer is in pink and Colton is in yellow)

Hiking and Climbing

On Saturday, the older two and I hiked around and explored while Daddy took Larkyn back to the cabin for a nap.  While S and C are not old enough for the zip line and ropes course (or trust fall and flying squirrel) we enjoyed hiking out to the adventure activities and seeing them in action.  Both kids are excited for when they are old enough!  On Sunday, we hiked as a family and Larkyn fell asleep in the Ergo carrier.  We enjoyed exploring a different part of the woods/camp and came upon the massive climbing wall.  Both kids wanted to try it!

Evening Chapel

On Saturday, the camp had an amazing magician and uni-cyclist put on one of the most amazing and funny shows, ending with a great message.  His "tricks" were new and made us all so curious how he did them!  Some parts of the show he called up volunteers, and Summer was chosen to help him with his unicycle act.  She LOVED being on stage!  Here is a video of her on stage and a bit of his cool unicycle tricks.

Ride Home

It was a very quiet ride home!

It was truly a blessing trip to have such extended and uninterrupted time as a family in such a beautiful and fun location.  It goes down in the books as one of my all time memories as a family to date, and I would love to go back again next year!


The Baum Family said...

That looks absolutely amazing!

The O'Connor Family said...

SO fun!! I wonder if there is somewhere like that around here!!!

Kristin Bjorklund said...

Looks sooooooo perfect!! I can see us going some year! :))

Post a Comment