Sunday, January 30, 2011

Clergy Kids - Part Two

In the afternoon after lunchtime, the boys headed back to small group with their friends. Mommy and Daddy and James decided to tag along with the middle school students who were headed out to the high ropes course, since none of us had ever experienced it before. There are probably seven or so obstacles out there, but the one that the kids were working on was the zip line.

The platform for the zip line is about 5 stories up in the air and the only way to access it is by climbing up the huge support poles (using little hooks in the poles). We let all of the kids from the middle school group go first and Mommy and Daddy worked the end of the line helping the kids get down for a while. We were the last pair to go up the poles. Here's Mommy on the left and Daddy on the right.

It was very scary jumping off the platform but it was exhilarating on the way down!!!!! So glad we got the opportunity to do that and to do it together!

Here's Daddy at the end making his funny face.

Small group was over before we managed to get back to the lodge, but one of the other parents had picked up the boys and was hanging out at the volleyball court with them. They were building sandcastles in the dirt with her daughter Sharon.

The rest of the afternoon we had free time. That's one of the really nice things about Clergy Kids - a lot of unstructured free time for families to spend together. The boys spent some more time hanging out on the dock (literally) and then we decided to take them for another walk to explore the camp.

We went back along the boat basin out to the Path of Silence. Here's the plaque at the end of the path at the base of the tree that the boys climbed.

Kicking leaves along the path.

From there we headed back out to the ropes course to show the boys what we had done on the high ropes.......we discovered that when the counselors packed up they had taken the spike steps off the bottom of the poles but that didn't stop the boys from trying.

Then we wandered over to the low ropes course and the boys just had fun exploring some of the different obstacles and creating their own ways to work through them.

We hiked down to the south side of the camp next so that we could show off the pool area to the boys. Gone are the two big diving boards that once dominated the deep end of the pool, replaced instead with two new tube slides. The boys were a little miffed that they couldn't go swimming, but there was no lifeguard and it was still too cold.

After all of that (two plus hours walking around) we packed up our stuff, loaded up the car, and headed to dinner. Wesley was so exhausted by all of the day's activities that he fell asleep at dinner!

Then it was time for more games in the Fellowship Hall. Mommy coached Parker a little bit on four-square and then he ended up being able to play it with some of the bigger boys.

Our time at the retreat ended with the Talent Show. Wesley sat absolutely still next to Will for the entire duration of the show, mesmerized by all of the kids performing on stage. There were comedians, "magicians," piano solos and some singing (accompanied by cell phone, guitars and bongo drums).

Playing on stage with the drums after the show.
While the weekend wasn't technically over (the retreat ran until Sunday at noon) we left to come home after the talent show. We didn't find out about the retreat in time to rearrange the worship schedules at church - it was a fifth Sunday and everyone was looking forward to our scheduled Pulpit Swap. It would have been ok, except Parker saw a schedule and read that there was more to the retreat - so we had to promise that we would work it out better for the whole weekend next year!

We had no idea what to expect really when we headed into this weekend. But we really had a very good weekend! It was fun to be with our friends James and Will and good to meet some new people as well. We also loved the spirit of bonding that happened between the kids. The older kids were very accepting and understanding of the little kids and tried to include them in the big games. At the talent show, one of the senior high girls was singing along to music from her cell phone and there was a glitch. She started to walk off the stage mid-song, until all of her senior high friends started singing the song along with her from the audience. She stayed up there and finished and received a super round of applause when she finished!!! That's definitely something we want our boys to be a part of. We are already looking forward to next year.

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