Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Lana's Summer Camp Marathon, Part 2

Before I was married and had kids, I heard about Cougar Kids Camp, and even as a childless single lady I knew it was something special and that one day my kids would be attending. This is Lana's fourth year attending and it still hasn't lost its luster. She often comes home with sand in her hair, is exhausted and happy, and full of stories.

CKC is held at the Student Rec Center, a multi-million dollar facility at WSU that is underutilized in the summer (all the students are gone). It gets turned into a wonderful playground for kids. Campers go swimming, climb the rock walls, play lots of games, do crafts, go on field trips around campus, meet Cougar celebrities, go on excursions (like hiking and visiting the water park), and learn cool stuff about the outdoors, safety, nutrition, being in college, and leadership. In short, every week is awesome and quite frankly, I want to pay $122 and go for a week myself. (That's another thing. As far as summer day camps go in this area of the world, Cougar Kids Camp is CHEAP. It's less than daycare, less than Parks and Rec, less than science camp, and that makes it awesome in my book. I think regular price is $142/week, but I make sure we sign up in advance for the early-registration discount and I take advantage of the multi-week discount too.) This year Lana even did an overnight at Cougar Kids Camp and camped out on the soccer field and played capture the flag in the dark. Pretty much she had the best time ever. Nora wants to go to CKC and thinks it sounds awesome too. In two more years, I'm sure she'll be there right alongside her big sister.

VBS (Vacation Bible School) is a week of songs, crafts, games, stories, Bible learning, and friends. And Lana starts asking me about it months and months in advance. She loves the outlandish themes (this year's was Galactic Starveyors - lots and lots of outer space) and the songs. The stage and classroom decorations are so well done and turn our regular church into a who new world.
Lana comes home from VBS full of Bible stories and shows off new dance moves to her new favorite songs. Just like with Cougar Kids Camp, Nora sees what Lana is doing and want to do it too. When she was told that she could do VBS when she was five, Nora (without missing a beat) said with authority, "I'm five enough."

Next up - Mega Sports Camp VBS (yay for another VBS!) and Parks and Rec Cheer Camp.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Lana's Summer Marathon of Fun, Part 1 (Bike Camp and Ross Point)

Last summer Lana learned(ish) how to ride her bike(ish). We decided to sign her up for bike camp to help her get better on two wheels and gain more confidence as a rider. Bike camp did all that and more. The instructor and his helpers got all the kids riding upright and took them on jumps and ramps, down some maintain biking trails, and helped them work on riding up and down hills safely. They learned about proper helmet fit, basic bike maintenance and riding rule and etiquette. They also rode their bikes a lot, which is exactly what Lana needed.

The first day I picked Lana up, she proudly rode her bike around the obstacle course without falling, a grand improvement over what she did when I dropped her off five hours earlier. She excitedly told me. "I crashed three times and have two band-aids and IT WAS AWESOME!" I took my cues from her and figured if she wasn't too hung up on the injuries, I wasn't going to be either.
Over the course of the week Lana earned the nickname of Crash Queen, but also earned the admiration and respect of the other campers and the instructors for dusting herself off and getting back on her bike after every fall. I was expecting Lana's bike riding skills to improve over the course of the week, but it was her strength of character that probably grew the most. Lana wants to do one of the more advanced bike camps next year and I think that's a great idea.

After Bike Camp came Ross Point Baptist Camp, the only overnight camp Lana's got scheduled this summer. For Lana's age group, she's only gone Sunday-Wednesday, but that's certainly enough time for me to miss her. Ross Point is very much a typical, traditional summer camp. There's swimming in the Spokane River, as well as canoeing and paddling, campfires, a climbing wall, singing silly songs, Bible studies, s'mores, staying up too late, and making a dozen new friends.

Lana loved going last year and I knew she'd love it again. More than anything, she's excited for next year because she gets to stay for a whole week. I can easily see our girls going back to Ross Point year after year after year.

Two camps down, six more to go! These two are definite keepers.