Saturday, July 21, 2012

Summer Camp 2012

Right before we left to go to the beach, the park ranger at Fort Pillow in Henning, TN, who just happens to be someone I went to school with many moons ago, told me that he was doing a summer camp this year at the park. He asked if my boys might be interested. We checked it out after our beach trip, and I started thinking wonderful thoughts of my boys getting out and exploring the woods and doin' all kinds of fun, educational stuff!
Then I read that if your child was under the age of 10, an adult would have to accompany the child. My thoughts quickly shifted to, " I really want to do this? I know Jan can't miss three days of work to go with the boys. If they go, it will have to be ME going with them. An 8:00-4:00 day is a long day to be at Fort Pillow!" (Just sharing my true thoughts with you there.) I began picturing myself in the woods, and thinking that it was JULY and it was HOT!! Do I really want to do this? I did have babysitting options for Mary Claire, so that wasn't an excuse I could use. Darn it!:)
Now, let me just say that I have never been one to be afraid of doing something adventurous or getting dirty or sweaty. I actually like to hike and do all kinds of outdoor things. So, it didn't take me too long to wrestle with the thoughts racing through my mind before I decided YES, we would do it TOGETHER! Momma and her boys off on an adventure!

Wednesday morning, we got Mary Claire "situated" with a little help from my dad, and we were pulling out of the driveway by 7:30 a.m. And yes, I did stop for my large Diet Coke (with ice) before leaving town. Woods or no woods, I was not to be denied my Diet Coke. :)

The night before, I had packed our bag with 3 different types of OFF! (for the bugs), a change of clothes for everyone, 2 towels, band aids, stuff for lunch, water bottles, hats...oh brother, I can't remember what else. I took one wrong turn because I thought I was going the right way and didn't think I needed my GPS which made us a little late arriving. But that was o.k. We quickly got started with some cane pole fishing!

And yes, I showed them how to bait their worms on their hooks:), and I gave thanks that I knew how to bait a worm so that I could show my boys how it's done. After fishing, we set our sights on CANOEING!! This is the only picture I took because I was not about to take my phone in the canoe with me. Too risky! It was my boys' first time to canoe, and I have not been in a long time! We had alot of fun! We saw carp and a ton of turtles.

After canoeing, we played a game of kickball and then headed to the museum to cool off and eat lunch.

After lunch, we enjoyed some leaf art! Nice, cool thing to do inside.:)

Jonah liked the miniature model of the Fort Pillow area.

We finished the day with a compass course in the woods right outside the museum. That was going pretty good until we we were told to get out of the area we were in because they thought we had stumbled upon a skunk den! John Owen and I thought we smelled something...We never saw one, and I am just glad we didn't.
The next day, we canoed on Sullivan Pond again where we spotted a snake and said hello to the turtles again.
Then we hiked over a mile and a half on a trail in the woods. Yeah, we were hungry and ready to rest after that! We had to cut Thursday a little short because I had to get back to town to get ready for a surprise farewell dinner for some friends. And the fact that we were under a HEAT ADVISORY made it an easy decision to leave after lunch.
Friday, Jan was able to go with the boys, and they invited some friends, David and Lewis Lofton.
Canoeing in Cold Creek was their adventure Friday morning! John Owen and Lewis even jumped in after they finished canoeing! Then lunch and a buzz saw craft. The afternoon featured the Birds of Prey exhibit, so Mary Claire and I loaded up and drove over for that. All of the children got educated on snakes,

and birds!

Who's that camper under that fishing hat?

It's Mary Claire!:)
Maybe she'll be ready next year!

It was a great summer camp!
Did I mention it was FREE?!
 (Well, if you don't count the gas we spent driving back and forth, right?) 
We are already looking forward to another adventure!:)
By the way, for those living in the area, Fort Pillow Historic State Park has a facebook page where they will post any upcoming events. If you are interested, just "like" them on facebook and find out what's coming up. Your next adventure awaits you!

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