I've been gone since July 10th. Left for camp and arrived for training on Saturday, July 11th. We spent a day and a half prepping for the kids and in volunteer orientation. Once again, it was another great year at camp. Our volunteers are amazing. We have a 75% return rate on our volunteers. It's a family. About a month before camp, a major countdown has started. Facebook statuses start reading things like "can't wait for camp." All this week, I've seen "I miss camp," or So-and-so "wants to go back to camp!" It's our favorite week of the week. I know it certainly is mine. Love me some camp.
Our Arts & Crafts projects once again centered around a woodworking project from the SunCity Woodworkers. They made footstools again this year, which were a huge hit with the kids. They even come out to camp to build with the kids, letting the kids use drills to assemble the project. By the end of the week, I was covered in tie dye from doing tie dye t-shirts with over eight of the twelve cabins. I still have some green tint in my cuticles! My hands were stained for days! I've got the Arts & Crafts area down now where things move very smoothly. It can be hectic in there with two cabin groups at a time, guests, media coming to film at times, and all the counselors too, but I love the organized chaos.
Our days start early at camp and end late. I was up by 7 and asleep around 12:30 or 1am every morning. I was tired, but I made it through. I did take a "Happy Nappy" on the Wednesday of that week because I hit a wall. Turned out not to be my best idea because I struggled to get myself out of the fog of a nap and back into the groove of working. By Friday morning, I was not feeling well and couldn't move. I skipped morning flagpole (where a counselor Alex Michael had his hair cut to donate to Locks of Love--he has been growing it out since after chemotherapy and I missed it!), missed breakfastand didn't get down to my area until five minutes before our first activity period. I just couldn't move. Luckily, I regained my energy, finished off the week in Arts & Crafts well, and enjoyed the end of camp.
As always, I was inspired by the kids at camp. They continually amaze me. It excites me to see the kids who were bald one summer and then return the next with hair and looking fantastic. It saddens me to see those that come back bald because they've relapsed during the year. I'm inspired by the kids who literally walk out of the hospital and on to the bus for camp. Those that have chemotherapy just days before camp and are sick but willing to participate in most activities. I love the kids that come back summer after summer and are living their lives to the fullest. I left camp inspired and full of love for all those that were there. I miss it already!
Andrew and Maggie met me in Austin on Saturday. The Posse family lakehouse trip was starting on Sunday. We went to stay at our family friend's lakehouse in Horsehoe Bay for the evening. I was so exhausted when we arrived (post camp exhaustion is killer, especially pregnant!), so they were so sweet and let me nap while going out on their boat with Andrew and Maggie. We had a great visit with Mary and her family, including her new puppy, 8 month old golden retriever Lola. Lola adored Maggie and followed her everywhere. It was so precious!
We met the other Posse families at the lakehouse Sunday night. By this point, I was beyond exhausted. Unfortunately, I was worthless that night. The kids were eager to have fun and enjoy our awesome pool. The adults, including my husband who drank more than usual and was apparently hilarious that night, were anxious to enjoy hanging out after the kids went to bed. I was anxious to go to sleep! Please remind me never to go to the lakehouse, or anywhere for that matter, the day after camp.
The kids were great. They played in the pool, on the Wii, on the patio and in the dirt. They went with the men (and a few of the moms who weren't napping) to shoot off rockets, and they slept curled up next to a friend. Maggie was joined at the hip with her sweet friend Maddy. At night, the two of them were head to head in the bed, often perpendicular to the bed. Sweet girls. We had a really nice time.
I'm back home from camp and the lakehouse and working from home today. Maggie and I are home together. She says she's working too--coloring and playing with her princesses. I missed my girl so much while I was gone at camp!