SCHOOL CAMP

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It’s that time of year when our kids head off with their school friends for a few days at camp. This week my two youngest have had their turn to go to camp. Their ‘camps’ actually consist of them sleeping in cabins with plumbed bathrooms and all meals prepared, so calling it a camp makes it seem so much more hard core than it really is!

Based on past experience, I gather they will be doing lots of team building exercises, getting clothes wet and dirty, not getting much sleep, playing games, getting clothes wet and dirty, eating plenty of food, participating in sport and getting their clothes wet and dirty!

It is the first year my son has gone to camp, so I have been warned by other parents of boys to expect to see him arrive home in the same set of clothes he left in. Hygiene is not very high on the list of priorities for boys without parents there to enforce it. If this turns out to be the case, the upside to this scenario is that at least not all the clothes will come home wet and dirty!

The camps do ramp up their intensity in high school where the kids actually have to sleep in tents and do have to prepare their meals. Last year, my eldest daughter’s camp shelter was just one tarp strung between trees over the entire group. The kids were all freezing, with some even opting to share sleeping bags for body warmth. They had to dig their own toilet in the bush with ‘Doug’ the spade and had to fetch and boil water before drinking it. My daughter came home stating she was traumatized by the conditions, but it was a character building exercise and she survived to tell the tale!

For now, the house is awfully quiet without half of my kids here, but I know come tomorrow afternoon, our home will be filled with excited voices recalling funny incidents that have happened on camp and discussing new friendships that have been formed. I look forward to being able to give my kids cuddles and hear their tales – before I begin washing the basket loads full of wet, dirty clothes!

 

 

(Picture courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS, freedigitalphotos.net)

THE MINI-BREAK

We are so busy living our everyday lives that sometimes it takes a change of scenery and routine to re-connect.  This last weekend our family packed up the car and headed south to the little seaside town of Kiama. It wasn’t that far away nor so different from where we live, but it was a place where our family could solely spend time with one another without any external distractions.

We headed to a water park with the kids and even the older girls (and to be honest my husband and I too) were like little kids again, riding water slides and playing around. It was such a relaxed environment to have a few laughs and not worry about our day-to-day concerns. 

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We visited scenic lookouts to appreciate the natural beauty of the region and ate out every meal, getting the kids to try their tastebuds out on Mexican and Indian food.

This change of pace and scenery allowed our kids to interact in a way they seldom do at home when we are busy with our individual social lives. As much as we have amazing friends and our kids do too, the beauty of this weekend was time spent just as a family unit. I think this mini-break had such a profound effect because it is so different from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives.

I took lots of photos in an effort to store away beautiful memories of this weekend, as I see my kids growing in front of my eyes everyday. I know that in the blink of an eye they will be grown up and that all the time we spend together now is priceless.

We are now back home in the normal weekly routine but all feeling calmer and more re-connected from our mini-break away. I’m just left bewildered by one thing – how can two days away create so much washing????