Last week the family took our annual trip to Fort Wilderness for family camp. Katie and I have been taking the family there since 2009 when Sorin was ten months old. We slept in a tent that year and even though things went very well in our REI Hobitat, we have been making reservations in Peshtigo cabin ever since.
This year Sorin is 8, Norah 7, and Christian 4. What a great age for camping! Fort is a very safe place for kids. Our only issue was Christian didn’t quite know his way around camp yet and since he isn’t riding a 2-wheel bike, he got left behind one time and got lost. Poor boy! It made for a solid hug when I found him. The only other unfortunate event was rain. We had rain most of the days which didn’t get us soaking wet but was enough to keep us indoors and more importantly out of Spider Lake, which is one of our favorite activities at Fort.
Sorin had a great camp. He spent some time in the craft shop with Katie and made a cool leather bracelet amongst other things. He was reunited with his friend Nate and they rode bikes and played between the two cabins all week. Not a strong swimmer yet, he still made it out to the floating mat and let me and my brother throw him off during a classic game of king-of-the-mat, featuring adults vs. kids. Most memorable for me was Sorin’s attempt at archery. We did it last year but this year he went to the tournament (without me!) and won 2nd place with 30 points!
Norah was connected at the hip with her cousin Max all weekend. This was a very fun relationship to watch, especially since Sorin was with Nate so much. Norah also helped her younger cousin Emily a lot. In the water she was the “instigator” for us tossing them off the floating mat and she also let me launch her in the shallow end of the lake and I even got her to stand on my shoulders and jump off. She and Sorin also had small roles in a skit and had no problem (still can’t believe it!) getting in front of the Jamborie crowd of 150+ people.
And Christian, oh Christian. My single greatest memory of my youngest is jumping off the dock performing a couple jumps, belly flops, and even the rare back flop. The boy loves the water. We didn’t have the greatest weather so when he got tired he would come to the shore, shiver his lips and cuddle in a towel before running back to the water to do it all again. He tried archery also and even with me holding the bow he aimed and hit the target a few times. He ran as fast as his little legs could go to keep up with the older kids and cousins and by Tuesday was singing his song of the week from children’s ministry: The B-I-B-L-E.
Fort Wilderness is the Stronghold of Christian Adventure. We go there to be together as a family, connect with extended family, meet new friends, and spend time with God. Each day we hear from our speaker for the week. This year it was Mike Bellanti from Northbrook church. He was an excellent speaker with messages he admitted were simple but useful. As he stated a couple times, he has two degrees in the Bible and he’s still figuring things out. Isn’t that the truth? Sometimes I have ambitions to gain more knowledge and go deeper in my understanding of God and the Bible but sometimes what I need most is a refresher on the basics.
I have to preface this next part: Katie and I aren’t campers. We bought the tent specifically for family camp but had never camped together or even talked about wanting to camp before this. It was pretty easy to be in the tent and with the cabin now, let’s just say it’s really good living at Fort.
If you’re looking for a great week to spend with your family you will love Fort Wilderness. As most of you know Katie’s grandpa started the camp and we highly value the Christian influence of the Fort. The Bible teaching is not over-the-top. If you’re considering the teachings of the Bible, Fort is a great place for you. While there are daily sessions of music and teaching, there’s no pressure to attend if it’s not your thing yet. Play games, take a kayak or canoe out on the water, or take a hike during that time. The Northwoods is a beautiful spot in Wisconsin and I hope you’ll consider joining us next year.
Feel free to message me on Facebook if you have any questions.