During February vacation we packed up once again for our third consecutive year at Camp Jewell's Winter Family Camp! Some friends from last year couldn't make it this year so we picked up some new friends to come along. With the winter having been so mild and void of snow, we were all a bit concerned what this year was going to be like. Our camp highlights over the years have been all of the cold winter actitivies..... tubing, broom ball, cross country skiing and ice fishing. So what were we going to do without snow or cold temps??
We awoke our first morning to a very different landscape...our first ever view of a grassy field and the lake, which had always been covered in snow. What was also exposed was the big green slide which turned out to be the most fun and memorable activity of most of the campers.
As I look back on the pictures I took from our first day, I'm exhausted all over again. We all split up in groups and moved to all the activities. The kids played on the big green slide a ton, played basketball and tether ball outside, played big games of broom ball in Centennial Hall, did target sports, climbed the indoor rockwall, and spent lots of time with the farm animals.
After lunch some of the kids got henna tattoos....another new activity for us!
And then the brave ones gave the climbing wall a try. This was MUCH harder than it looks. The climbing structure offered three levels of difficulty. Ben took on the medium side and Sam went for hard.
Ben perservered and finally made it to the top.
Nighttime activities included Camp Fire with songs and Smores and the Dutch Auction, where we can never forget Luke's participation in the milk chugging and carton crushing event. The big boys stayed back in the cabin for the evening events and enjoyed many laughs playing games with Mrs. G and hanging out with their buddies.
On Day 2, the kids all continued to enjoy the outdoor activities and most participated in pretzel making.
The kids took turns at Flying Squirrel and got some candle making and arts and crafts in as well.
During break out activities, where the counselors take the kids and the parents get some much appreciated 'free time', a group of us moms took a great hike and got to see the beaver dam. No beavers appeared, but seeing their habitat was very cool!
We continued our hike to Sunrise Mountain and I saw the tree house for the first time. I grabbed this photo of the sun peaking through the railings.
The view was amazing and we could see the some of the kids from a distance. The moms tried to get their attention by yelling and waving arms, but the kids never saw us.
It was such a great hike and always nice to have a few moments to decompress from excited kids running off from one activity to another. The kids have so much fun....but they never want to stop!!
Arts and Crafts is a good way to slow the kids down. The kids tried their hands at leather craft, gimp, painting, sun catchers, coloring, shrinky dinks and sand art.
We awoke our last morning to a winter wonderland. A front moved through and brought a glorious coating of snow. At first the moms weren't sure whether to be happy or sad. Our bags of snow pants, boots, mittens, etc. had remained in the cars. We were all thinking about packing up....not unpacking bulky snow clothes only to have them get wet and repacked.
But the kids hadn't had much snow play all winter and they truly had a blast! The snow was perfect for packing snowballs and making snowmen. And when the kids went down the slide with their snow clothes on, they absolutely flew down at high speed.
The kids got into a big, friendly snow ball fight with each other and the other groups of kids that came to Camp. (including the group of "ladies" who also made the camp experience interesting this year)
On our last trip to the farm, the kids got more adventurous and handled some of the birds. Chica was pretty happy with herself.
Even though the mild winter didn't give us our typical "winter camp", the kids were able to do so many new and different activities. In my eyes, this was a complete bonus. The kids were outside a ton and enjoying outdoor activities we normally would never get to try. And then mother nature topped it off with great snow. The kids were amazing....everyone got along great and we deepened friendships with some amazing families. It might have been one of the best years yet!!