Sunday, January 30, 2011

Clergy Kids - Part One

This past weekend we attended our first Clergy Kids Retreat. The Florida Conference has been putting on a retreat for clergy kids for about twelve years now, one weekend in January at the Warren Willis Youth Camp in Leesburg. Those clergy kids fourth grade and up can attend by themselves; those clergy kids third grade and under need their parents to attend with them.
Mommy and Daddy were excited about the opportunity to attend Clergy Kids for a couple of reasons. One, we want the boys to form friendships with other kids who understand what it's like to be clergy kids and kids they can maintain friendships with no matter where we live in the conference. Two, we wanted to introduce the boys to camp because it was such a special place for us growing up. Most kids don't get to attend camp until they are rising 4th graders; hopefully this way the boys will have a love for camp instilled at an early age.

So we packed up our clothes and gear and headed out on Friday afternoon. First stop was the Ramshackle Cafe in Leesburg where we met our friends, James and Will Holden for dinner. The other half of the Holdens stayed home (Christy and the new baby) but the guys were joining us at the Clergy Kids retreat. After dinner we headed over to camp to register and settle in to our rooms. We all ended up in the same section of Lodge 5. The first activity was games in the Fellowship Hall of Barnett Lodge. There was four square and nine square (always very popular at camp) and some people were playing frisbee inside. Then we got into the group games. We played "People to People" and "Egg, Chicken, Dinosaur," then several rounds of something akin to "Rock, Paper, Scissors." Except we played on two huge teams and had to decide as a team which super hero power we were going to use: hat toss, super stomp or the "fainting goat." Here are all of the guys practicing the fainting goat move - Wesley ended up with rugburn on his forehead from this one.

Soon it was time for chapel. Here's a view of the cross on the lake as we were headed into worship:
Wesley certainly enjoyed the music for praise time.
He ended up dancing all over the place in the pew in front of us.

When we went to get ready for bed, we discovered that Will had also brought along his green Toy Story jammies. So the 3 Stooges really think alike!

Storytime with Mommy. We were reading from Mr. Parker's Children's Bible and Mommy was taking requests from the boys for their favorite stories: Samson, Joseph and Pharoah, David and Goliath.

When we woke up the next morning, we got dressed and made it to the dining hall by 8am for breakfast. The boys loved the pancakes, eggs and sausage, as well as the endless supply of fresh fruit (bananas, oranges and apples). We had some time before morning devotions on the benches, so we just chilled out in the famous rocking chairs on the back porch of the Lodge.

After devotions we spent some time wandering around out by the dock checking things out. The boys were of course fascinated by the water. Lake Griffin does have some alligators so we kept a close watch on the small fry and tried to keep them away from the edge.

This innocent looking "father-son" bonding moment is actually a retrieval. Someone decided to run out on the dock by himself and check things out!

We took a walk along the lakeside down to the Boat Basin.

They were amusing themselves by throwing sticks in the water.
Daddy and his friend James. Back up at the lodge, Mr. Brave decided to walk along the planter walls.

The boys then spent about 90 minutes in small group making crafts and playing games. Their group was everyone 3rd grade and under and they had two college age kids (also clergy kids) as counselors. One of the crafts they made were Holy Spirit windcatchers and they took them out for a test run on a walk around the camp.

Free time before lunch involved some volleyball and frisbee.

Inside the dining hall for lunch. We always sat at this back corner table together. Parker and Will were taking a break from eating to play the regular version of "rock, paper, scissors."

At lunch Daddy discovered the reason that Wesley's pants kept falling down. It seems that on our earlier hike he had collected quite a stash of hickory nuts off the ground and stored them in his pants pockets!

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