Sunday, June 21, 2015

Wrapping up . . . Camp meeting

Whew! Campmeeting 2015 is over.

This year's exhaustion (for me) was different than normal. My mom got to experience my normal exhaustion of managing the kids' schedules, keeping Little Bit entertained while her sisters are off "having fun" but there's nothing for her age group. . . Figuring how how to have lunch ready as soon as meetings are over (though thankfully this year the big girls didn't want to do all the available afternoon activities and were able to arrange things so that the earliest time slot after lunch was free, meaning they didn't have to inhale their lunch, so Mom didn't have to figure out and have lunch ready the second they got back from morning meeting (seeings as how SHE was also just getting back from taking Little Bit to morning meeting).  . .

So, while Mom was handling all that, Dad and I spent our days at my house tearing a shed off the back of the garage (and doing other projects when the rain prevented us from working on that.  It was definitely more physical work than I'm used to, and more time spent out in the heat than I'm used to, but we got a lot done and I suppose it was good for me. . . re-reminded me why, when I was a kid and my mom would give my brother and me choices on which chores we were going to do each day (during summer vacation), I always chose the indoor ones! I don't do heat well. . .

But now to back up a little bit. Sunday schedule at campmeeting is different from the rest of the week. There are no meetings for the kids (except evening meeting for the bigger kids). So we decided to spend Sunday visiting a National Park instead. Hopewell Furnace was one of the early Junior Rangers the big girls earned and has always held the place of "favorite Junior Ranger" in their hearts. Little Bit was too little when we did it though, and there was a new Passport stamp there that Dad wanted. So we headed back there.  It's still a favorite. In addition to the "scavenger hunt" that Little Bit did to earn her Junior Ranger (and that the big girls remember so fondly from our first visit), they now also have a more challenging page for older kids, so the big girls got to earn another Junior Ranger there, doing different things from the first time. The girls were disappointed that the horses were too hot to come over to fence and say hi, but otherwise it was a great visit and confirmed that it's still one of our favorite National Parks :)

While I wasn't at camp meeting much, I did go up in the evenings for supper and got to hear about the girls' week. The big girls still love all the things they've always loved, though this year cemented in their minds, their feeling from 2 years ago, that Primary (age 7-9) is the most fun tent. Apparently the songs are better, the pastors give out candy, and . . . I don't remember what other reasons the girls gave for missing being in that tent. Their continued love for Primary has Little Bit anxiously looking forward to getting to go to that tent next year.

Little Bit didn't have very fond memories of her own class from 2 years ago, so we weren't sure how things would go this year. But apparently being one of the oldest instead of one of the youngest in the class (for ages 4-6) makes a big difference. Not only did she happily go to her meetings, but by part way through the week she didn't even need/want my mom to come with her (making that whole "have meals ready" thing easier . . . at least this way Mom could prep the food during meeting, then go pick Little Bit up, and then just do finishing touches while the kids all waited).

There was quite a bit of rain during camp meeting this year. I can't imagine how miserable it would have been to stay in a tent, but the motorhome made it not much of an issue for us. One evening though, it had just started to rain when Lexie and Ashlyn were ready to leave for their meeting. They decided they could walk in the rain rather than be driven to meeting by grown ups (oh the indignity!) so they set out. I wasn't paying much attention to what was going on outside, Little Bit was soundly beating her daddy and me at Sorry, when the gentle rain switched to downpour and I glanced out the window to see the trees surrounding the motorhome whipping every which way. Eek! I texted the girls to make sure they'd gotten safely to meeting before the sky opened up. Ashlyn replied that they had, and soon after getting to the tent, the leaders had moved them all to the basement of the girls' dorm (camp meeting is held on the campus of a boarding school). Whew! Rodney and I waited for the storm to pass and then headed home for the night. Later we found out that soon after they got all the kids moved out of the tents and into the dorms, the Primary tent collapsed. Thankfully nobody was hurt and they were able to get it set back up in time for the next morning's meeting.

We finished off our week, and camp meeting, with a church potluck picnic. The kids all had great fun playing on the playground before and after lunch. It was overcast, but didn't rain till we were packing everything up to go home anyway, so all worked out nicely.

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