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Tuesday, April 15, 2014
When I heard our local 4H group was participating in an overnight camp in Williamsburg, I was eager to get Charley involved. Since we didn't really know anyone there, I decided I'd go along.
There were kids there from two counties and most of them had never hung out together.
I was really impressed at how all of them, ages 8-18,
worked/played together while genuinely having a good time.
Little Charley was the youngest one there, and she jumped right in.
I'm always preaching participation to her.
It's good to see her just let loose and have fun like nobody is watching.
They're untwisting a really tangled hand holding situation. Fun stuff.
Lots of fun activities...
This looks like a really sad picture where Charley's waiting to be picked or something, but in fact it is just a portion of a semi-circle; there were kids to her left. But hey, what's up with that old school method of picking teams? Whoever thought it was a good idea to have the most athletic and popular kids, pick other not so popular athletic kids to be (or not to be) on their team? Terrible idea. The idea of being picked last still makes my blood run cold.
This game looked especially fun! I wish I knew the name of it. It was like a smaller version of dodgeball (but somehow less mean) enclosed in a hexagon shaped wooden structure. You had to avoid being hit from the knees down. There were several rules.
After one game Charley explained, "Me and Kate were one of the last ones to get out! But it wasn't because we are good. It's only because nobody threw the ball at us." Folks are always underestimating little girls. No, I actually watched some of the boys (who were encouraged by the older girls) taking it easy on Charley, even letting her win one. How sweet is that?
New friends were made...
(A sixth grader and my second grader)
These kids were such characters. It was interesting to sit back and observe their little personalities. Most of them were very well behaved but there was one especially bad little boy there; (not going to point him out) he was so disobedient I found him comical. Though, I wouldn't have been snickering to myself about his antics if I was the one responsible for him. :)
Our little cabin
I have very fond memories of many camping trips with my youth group from Dwight Baptist Church. In my mind every camp just feels a very distinct, very pleasant way, so I was excited to be a part of the beginning of similar wonderful memories for Charley. Even though I'd obviously never visited Jamestown 4-H Educational Center before, the place really took me back.
I had to get some shots of our bunk beds. They look so campy.
Campy, but not comfortable at all. Those mattresses were designed for the bodies of children, not mothers. One of the leaders introduced me to a trick called stealing one of the empty bunk's mattresses and doubling up. It helped a little, but three or four would have been better.
I have a crazy obsession with these chairs.
Also these grits. SO campy.
An old piano...
I just love this stuff...
A closeup of the stage...
After a sunset that was way more beautiful than this picture portrays, we went out to the firepit and froze to death while the "firemaster" (or whatever they called him) struggled to make fire.
If it wasn't so cold it would have been hilarious.
Under our blanket, I said to Charley,
"Would somebody PLEASE get that firemaster a can of lighter fluid?"
Then we snickered like little girls.
Charley and I were situated in separate rooms but directly across from one another.
I think we are inching into the parents-embarrass-her-stage, so I tried to give her a little space.
I just photographed her continuously from across the hall like a creepo.
Since the leaders didn't seem to need me for anything, I had the rare opportunity to wander around by myself taking pictures throughout the following day. It was great.
Sailboats! Not something my childhood camp life entailed.
Is it weird that I want to eat these archery targets with a spoon?
The camp store...
Jamestown 4-H Center is situated on a beautiful piece of land overlooking the James River.
There were surprises around every corner.
These are cypress knees! I walked down to the river bank and felt like I'd entered a magical world.
I followed this path and scared up at least 5 deer! They were pretty close too.
I love that.
At the end of the path I found another outlet to the river and this amazing tree!
I wish I'd had a different lens, since I couldn't capture the whole thing with my 50mm.
Then I spotted this mysterious feather and rock arrangement up pretty high in a tree.
Anybody know what it means? Should I be worried? I did not touch it. :)
These stairs led to a campfire ring and a bluff overlooking the river.
I may have ventured off the property a little onto an old public campground.
I still can't get over the size of the trees on the piece of property that borders the camp.
They were SO AMAZINGLY HUGE!!!
They were so huge I almost teared up just thinking about their massiveness and history.
These pictures do not accurately portray the size of these old guys.
It upset me to see ivy covering many of them.
It's a shame that something as simple as a vine will end up taking these beasts down.
It was great to not only have time to myself but to also have the
opportunity to hang out with Charley as she experienced 4-H camp for the first time.
I love my first little baby.