2017 Adventure Camp

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This year, we sent both children to Adventure Camp in Georgia, at Cohutta Springs Conference Center. It was strange to be without children for five days and five nights, but we were so busy that we almost did not miss them. Almost.

Cohutta Springs Youth Camp

Our daughter (second from the left) with some of her new friends

Adventure Camp is for boys and girls who are 7-9. Our daughter is seven and our son is nine, so this was the first year they were together at camp. He has been there twice before. This was her first time. They missed us and got homesick, but they did not cry. Continue reading »

They had a blast. This camp is on the side of a lake and they have a lot of water activities. Also, they have a gym for rainy days, where they play dodgeball and other games. There is an indoor climbing wall, too. They have horses to ride and a swimming pool. They do archery, BMX, and arts and crafts. Lots and lots of fun.

Boys doing crafts

Our son (in the foreground) working on a craft at camp

With four activities in a day, three vegetarian meals, one hour of afternoon quiet time, morning roll call and evening camp fire, it was a full schedule. They really enjoyed it. Although my heart broke thinking about how independent my children have become, I was glad to hear they missed us and looked forward to coming home.

In fact, the night before their departure, my daughter cried a bit thinking about being without me for five days. I told her missing home is a great thing. It means you have a loving home, which many people do not. She is a blessed little girl for having a loving home to miss. I am not sure she got it, but at least I left that thought with her.

While at camp, she made a friend who was interested in becoming a pen pal. They exchanged mailing addresses with the help of their counselor, who has access to their files. And they look forward to seeing each other again next year. This is the kind of pen pal friendships with which I grew up and I like it.

Which brings me to socialization. The only reason I was OK with sending my children away for five days so others can take care of them and entertain and nurture them is because I know they screen their staff carefully. Also, this camp is through our church conference. Their social interactions are monitored carefully and no bad languages is allowed. They are to keep their hands to themselves at all times. There are rules about boys and girls interacting with each other. Especially for homeschooled children, camp is a great opportunity to flex the socialization muscle and learn how to be in a group setting.

Our children are growing fast and we are growing with them. Hopefully.


Adventure Camp

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My son went to Adventure Camp last week, Sunday-Friday. It is the second year we have sent him to this camp in Georgia, three hours away from home. Cohutta Springs Youth Camp is operated by our denomination and, as such, we trust their hiring process and the staff they employ. In fact, we know from people we trust that the hiring process is highly selective.

The staff is a very energetic group of 18-22-year-old youth who choose to spend the summer making minimum wage while ministering to children ages 7-15. Sure, they have fun in the sun (and lake water) while they are at it, getting to socialize with people their age etc. But you know they are not there for the money. They want to make a difference in the lives of these kids.

Adventure Camp is for ages 7-9. They have four activities each day and each cabin rotates according to a pre-set schedule. For ages 10-13, the camp specializes in several different camps with a focus: horsemanship, photography, wakeboarding etc.

Adventure Camp

My son (second from the left) and his 11 cabin mates plus their counselor.

The cabins are nestled on a peninsula around a lake at Cohutta Springs Conference Center near Crandall, GA and the setting could not be more picturesque. Twelve kids to a cabin, plus one counselor. They have assistant directors, one for the girls, one for the boys. Then, there is a pastor who oversees the whole operation as Camp Director.

The meals are all vegetarian, with vegan options. The children are expected to clean their own cabin daily and to memorize Scripture every day. They have camp fires every night, and chapel every morning. My son loved it last year and he wanted to go back. Our daughter, who is only six this year, cannot wait for next year, when she is seven and can participate with her brother at the same time.


Mommy Camp

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My daughter and I go to Mommy Camp while my son is at Adventure Camp in Georgia. Mommy Camp is something I came up with last year, when we dropped our son off at Cohutta Springs Youth Camp for the first time.

Playing mini-golf in Pigeon Forge

Playing mini-golf in Pigeon Forge

On the way back, our daughter was feeling really sad that she was only five and could not stay at camp with her brother. Adventure Camp is for ages 7-9.  Continue reading »

So I told her that for that week, while he was at camp, she was at camp, too. It’s called Mommy Camp. I promised to take her somewhere fun every day. She loved it. We went to the Track in Pigeon Forge, we went out for icecream, we went downtown Gatlinburg just for fun, and we went shopping. We also went to the pool.

The Track boats in Pigeon Forge

The Track boats in Pigeon Forge

This year, it was time to do it all over again. We played mini-golf at the Track. We watched the cloggers do their number for Tunes and Tales downtown Gatlinburg, I photographed her at The Village and we got some movies for her to watch: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and The Last Unicorn.

The merry-go-round at The Track in Pigeon Forge

The merry-go-round at The Track in Pigeon Forge

These are classics that I think she should see once in her life because they are part of the fabric of modern America. We watched 30-45 minutes per night only. So it took a whole week to see them. She was on cloud 9, of course. She loved the attention and the one-on-one time with mommy.

Mommy and daughter luncheon at Cielito Lindo Mexican Restaurant in Pigeon Forge

Mommy and daughter luncheon at Cielito Lindo Mexican Restaurant in Pigeon Forge

She also played by herself quite a bit. When a child receives enough personal attention, they have enough “mommy-ness” in them to last them for a bit. So I got a lot of things done as well. However, we missed our son a lot and it was very good to get him back five days later.

Horsing around at The Village in Gatlinburg

Horsing around at The Village in Gatlinburg

She was happy to be reunited with her play buddy as well. Camp Mommy is fun, but getting back to normal is even better.