Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring Camping 2009

Excitement filled my heart as last Friday's classes drew to a close. Soon after 2 p.m., I ran to my room, loaded my things into my brother's car and headed home. Not only was it the beginning of spring break. It was also the start of our semi-annual spring camping trip! Having missed the one in the fall, I was even more excited to be able to make it to this one.

Scheduling worked out well this year, for Lydia, Elijah, and I had exactly the same dates for our spring break. Since my college was right on the way for Elijah, he picked me up and we enjoyed talking as we drove home together. Because of the rain and a detour and a few wrong turns, the drive was a little longer than anticipated, but it was great to be able to spend the time together.

We arrived at the campsite soon after 9 p.m. The others had been there for most of the day, and we enjoyed spending some time around the campfire, as it hadn't yet started raining.

This time we camped at Alabama Elks Youth Camp. Rain was predicted for the whole weekend and the location was farther away for many people, so we had quite a small group show up to camp. It was a different experience to have only 3 families and a few extra people come to camp, but we had wonderful fellowship with those who could make it.

It turned out to be a huge blessing that the place we camped was a summer camp with many facilities. We were able to cook and eat in an outdoor pavilion and spend a lot of time indoors as the weather raged outside. It rained some on Friday night, all day on Saturday and most of the day on Sunday. Because of the constant rain, most of the tents got flooded or leaked, so almost the entire group ended up spending the night in the building, spread out on the floor in the various rooms. It was definitely an adventure to camp in the rain, but because we had a warm, dry place to retreat to, it wasn't too much of a hardship. =)

It was wonderful to be able to spend the weekend with my family and dear friends. We made many memories and enjoyed talking and playing many games.

My sister Miriam and her husband John even flew down from Ohio to come camping, and it was fun to have them there! Our family has gone camping twice a year from 10-12 years, so it has become a tradition that none of us wants to miss.

On Saturday afternoon, since outside games were out of the question, indoor games were played. Although it hardly seemed like a camping trip without our usual games of volleyball and ultimate frisbee, we enjoyed playing other things. Taboo was fun to play with a large group, especially when you had family members on your team!

Dutch Blitz was another favorite. I, however, got "kicked out" of the game after winning too much. They told me I played too fast, so I left to give the others a chance.

Lydia brought two friends from college to camp with her, and it was fun meeting them. They enjoyed playing a long game of Settlers of Qatan.

The recreation room was a favorite place for a lot of the children, for there were nice foosball, pool, and pingpong tables. There was also room to run around when energy levels were high.

The food we eat while camping is always delicious. We took turns cooking, I making breakfast with mom's help, John and Miriam cooking a delicious Indian recipe, and Lydia and her friends making Chicken Fajitas. The pavilion allowed us to eat outside, and the fresh air always stimulates everyone's appetite!

The spring camping trip almost always falls around Miriam and Lydia's birthdays. Lydia turned 24 on Sunday, and Miriam turned 29 today, so we celebrated on Saturday night with cake and bubbles left over from Miriam's wedding.

That evening, we played large, simple yet fun group games for quite a while. It was fun to interact with everyone and just enjoy goofing off.

Saturday night was our traditional "stay up late" night. Esther joined Elijah, Miriam and I as we played and talked the night away.

We started off with Phase Ten, moved on to Ten Hole Golf, and ended with Rook. As 1 a.m. approached I couldn't stay up any later, so we crept in to our various sleeping spots so as to not disturb those who had retired hours earlier.

On Sunday morning we had a worship service, singing, sharing things that we'd learned over the past months, and praying together. It was an encouraging and refreshing time.

After eating lunch and packing up all of our wet things, the rain finally stopped and the sun began to shine through. As a lot of the group left, some of us headed off to walk to Lake Martin.

It was beautiful. The water was emerald and we enjoyed being together.

It was interesting to think about how much we'd grown from when we'd begun camping years before. Those who were babies and toddlers were now teens. We'd grown from children to young adults, playing together over the years.

Dad had brought some bubbles with him and begun to blow them as we admired the rainbow colors that appeared within them.

Blowing the beautiful bubbles was fun, so we just had to take turns. :-) The day was lovely and the surroundings were peaceful.

Soon after we walked back, it was time to head home. We hugged goodbye and piled into the cars, already looking forward to seeing each other soon and camping together again in the years to come.


Nella Camille said...

Beautiful post, Anna!

Miriam Rebekah said...

Great post!

What happened to the pictures, though? They are sort of squished and elongated.

Luke and Michele said...

What fun! Can't wait to see you guys in a few weeks!!

p.s. I might need your help finishing Bethany's Easter dress if I don't get it finished by then... :)

Anna Naomi said...

Sorry about the pictures. Not having my computer with all its programs that I usually edit pictures on, I tried to use the programs on the parent's computer to resize images, since the internet here is a little slower. When I resized them I thought they would automatically keep their proportions, but evidentially they didn't. Elijah showed me what to do and I re-uploaded the fixed pictures.

Michele: I don't mind helping to finish her dress if you need it. =) I can't wait to see you all!

Ella said...

It is great to have family members on your team when you play Taboo. I love Garrett and I being together--we have so many inside jokes and phrases--we can school Mom and Dad =)

Thanks for posting pictures of your time camping. Though I am sorry it rained!

Elijah Lofgren said...

Good memories! :)

Katie said...

Looks like you had a fun time :). Hope you have a God blessed week.
In His great and awesome love,
***Katie Rendleman***

Katie said...

Looks like you had a fun time :). Hope you have a God blessed week.
In His great and awesome love,
***Katie Rendleman***

Tina said...

How fun! Thanks for sharing. (We love Taboo and Dutch Blitz too - they're lots of fun!)
In His love,

Lake Martin Voice said...

Hey - glad you had a good time, and it doesn't always rain at Lake Martin! :)

If you head back this way and need some local info, feel free to stop by my blog http://lakemartinvoice.com


John C

Miriam Rebekah said...

Mr. Coley,

Welcome to our blog!

We've had wonderful times camping on Lake Martin. Wind Creek used to be a favorite spot until they turned their primitive camping area into a horse corral. =)

Yes, it's lovely when it's not raining, but we still had a good time.

My dad has built many houses on the Lake, so I'm pretty familiar with the area. In fact, he's working on a dock in The Ridge right now.

I am sort of curious, though. How did you find Maidens of Worth? I always like hearing how people find our blogs.

*~Virginia~* said...

Wow, looks like you all had fun! DUTCH BLITZ IS SO ONE OF MY FAVORITE GAMES!!!!!!!!hahaha. AND, I LOVE Esther's bangs! They're so cute!