since it takes close to two and a half hours to get from our place to camp, we decided last minute to bring the whole family along for the ride, more or less for something to do. read: tear the kids away from their electronic devices for a while. although on the way home, when babies were bawling and the younger kids were fighting over who gets to sit where and complaining about the LONG, BORING drive and how much their heads hurt and how they felt like they were going to barf and how thirsty they were and so and so is touching me and on and on, I was seriously doubting my mental capacity at the time I made the decision to go about this. like, what was I thinking?! that everyone was just going to sit nicely with their hands folded and watch the pleasant scenery as it passed by? not. honestly, why does everything we do have to be so difficult and exhausting? when I look at my friends' (who have large families as well) vacation pictures on facebook, they all seem to make traveling look so easy and effortless. kinda makes me scratch my head and wonder, well, what's my deal? why do I always feel like Mt. St. Helens about to erupt on these trips? I don't know, maybe I'm just a wimp. but feel free to share your tips on how to enjoy a stress-free road trip/vacation with a pile of kids, because obviously I missed that part of child-rearing 101. or was it 303?
well, anyway. enough of that.
when we first told Hannah that she would most likely have to go to Kamp Kipa, strictly because it was the easiest place for our family to travel to at this point in our life, naturally she was a bit disappointed. of course she wanted to head out of state, up to Minnesota or Michigan to be with her friends and cousins. I mean, how entirely boring to have to stay in Dullsville, Arizona all summer! those were her two main complaints; boring and no friends. which, to a fifteen year-old, pretty much means the end of the world. but after hearing that one of her close friends was switching to Kamp Kipa she quickly changed her mind, deciding that it probably wouldn't be so bad after all. "look," I told her. "no matter what, you're going to have fun, that's just how camp is. so you might not "know" most of the kids. instead of looking at it negatively, why not think of it as an opportunity to meet NEW friends, some of who you may develop close, lifelong friendships with? plus, how neat to be the inaugural confirmation class at Kipa!" after thinking about it for a minute or so, she finally agreed. "yeah, you're probably right, " she said.
what? my kid, er teenager, actually agreed with me?! hold on a second while peel my jaw off the floor.
as the weeks went by, Hannah became more and more excited about camp. and when Danielle arrived last week, well that's pretty much all they talked about.
let the agonizing over what to pack begin! seriously, how many lotions and potions can you fit in that suitcase, girl? five tons? also, don't mind Scarlett's hairdo in the above picture. I'm pretty sure someone emptied an entire can of hairspray in order to get it to stick up like that, ugh.
|thanks, Anita for the picture on the right :)|
as I looked around, I couldn't help but marvel at all the work that has been done at Kamp Kipa. it's evident that God has given the increase, allowing this camp to flourish into a place where we can gather and be spiritually uplifted and strengthened in our faith. it's indeed a beautiful spot, so quiet and peaceful. I have yet to attend a camp there myself, maybe mother's camp this fall?
on the way home, I texted my mother-in-law, relating to her that we had dropped Hannah off at camp, and how strange it felt to have a kid this age already. we both agreed how important these camps are for these kids, not only to meet new friends, but most importantly to encourage them along this walk of faith.