Family Camp

It was an interesting year at Family Camp. We just had our third child five weeks earlier, so Katie and I had made the decision that she wouldn’t go. It would just be too hard and she wouldn’t be able to do the things she wants to do. It was a tough decision, but we are confident it was the right one. This meant that I was going to be single-handedly leading our team of three for the entire week. To say I was excited about this opportunity and challenge is a drastic understatement. I did all the packing, all the organizing, and all the planning while at camp and I loved every minute of it.


I’ve already drafted two additional posts about some more of the details of our trip. I’ll post those in the next couple weeks. And at this point I’ll also add that I’m drafting a post about the significance of leading this trip without Katie. There were significant developments with our family – all good, great actually! It was a very meaningful time for our family and I want to share it. But for now, an overview of Family Camp 2013.


The Family Campers

SwimmingIMG_8717 The kids’ favorite place at camp is the beach. We’re on Spider Lake and we have it practically all to ourselves. They mostly play in the sand but they also get into the water. By the end of the week, Sorin was out “swimming” with me with his lifejacket on and me holding him – that’s still a big deal 🙂 It’s my goal to get them out of those life jackets while they’re on the beach and use the jackets when they go on the paddle boards with me.

norah water



Sorin loved the craft shop this year. He racked up quite the bill there… $8.50. He made a couple bracelets and even made one for Norah and surprised her with it. Video to follow – super cute. He and I also make a leather journal cover for Katie Sunday morning. Norah made a bracelet also. I can only imagine they’re excitement bringing those all around camp all week. Believe me, it was tough to make it to meals on time without the bracelets!












Our first one at our cabin wasn’t until Monday night. Not cool. This is one of my favorite parts of camp, and I know it’s Jeff’s favorite! The all-camp fire was awesome because Grandpa Steve told a great story about boys camp. But in our defense, the bugs were pretty bad this year and things were very wet, so fires were a little more difficult.





The biggest laughs of the trip were on my hammock. A wonderful give from Grandma Suzie, I love this part of our base camp. This kids both fit in it well and laughed long and hard as I swung them in it.











Tube Float
Katie said it was a bad idea. I confess: that statement probably added a little motivation for me to pull this thing off. Sure, I had grandparents helping me but to get two kids to hike a half mile through the woods and get down a river on a tube at this age was a pretty big deal. Oh, and it meant no naps. Remember, Katie said “bad idea.” We did it!



I’m not a fisherman. But I’m loving the idea of fishing with my kids, especially at camp. It’s a tradition now that Steve and I take the kids to Blair Lake and fish. Sorin caught on within 3 minutes, all by himself! Norah has no fear of worms or the fish, but maybe the sun and the camera. Want to see your kids have fun fishing? Get to Blair Lake.


Fort Wilderness is about family. Family, capital F. It’s that important. Uncle Tom runs Fort and he had a wonderful introduction and challenge to the campers. He challenged dads to take their kids fishing or shooting. He challenged husbands to take their wives on hikes or canoe rides. He challenged all of us to be intentional with our time. The theme was “Sow what?” The idea is that we sow things now so that we can reap the fruitful rewards later. Family camp is about spending great time with family, and we met that challenge and thrived in the process.



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