Happy Camper by Momfessionals
I am so excited to have one more post in our series from fellow SkyMom, Andrea McAnally, creative behind the amazing blog, Momfessionals! The last 2 posts re-capped her family’s time spent at Sky Ranch’s Horn Creek Family Camp, today she’s talking all about her son coming to our Van location for overnight camp! I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I have!
Momfessionals: Happy Camper
It's been a whirlwind week around here - last weekend we found out that there was an opening for Mason to attend the last session of Sky Ranch overnight camp and since he's been begging to go we talked it through, prayed about it, paid his tuition and printed off the packing list.
Mason was MADE for camp - he's adventurous, social, loves meeting new people and lives for an activity-filled day and we have been so impressed with all the Sky Ranch programs we've experienced - and while it was an easy decision to let him go it's been a little tough on us (okay... on me) to "let go".
Drop-off yesterday couldn't have gone better. We talked all week about what to expect and he handled the whole thing like a total champ. The only tears were mine and they were in the car as we were pulling out - counting that as a total win :)
We got there, got him all settled in, hugged it out and then he was all, "okay... see you guys on Saturday!" I felt like all the thumbs ups were his way of being like, "mom... I've got this!"
After drop-off and my cry sesh in the car the four of us made a stop at Buc-ees for dinner (yes, it's that good!)...
.... and I may have ate my feelings in the form of smoked turkey barbecue :)
So a few things to add...
... look how stinkin' cute and excited he looked picking out his trunk last weekend!
And if I'm being super honest - I channeled my anxiety about sending my seven year old away for a week by organizing #allthethings and being completely extra on the notes we sent...
Everything got labeled...
... and then I bagged up his outfits for every day and labeled the bags as well.
I bought a car trunk organizer that fit perfectly inside...
... and I'm really hoping that it helps him find what he needs throughout the week (or at least that's what I'm telling myself to feel better thinking about him taking care of himself - hahaha).
The top left section has socks, underwear and his bathing suit and swim shirt.
The bottom left had daily outfit bags, a rain jacket and a hoodie.
The large right section of the organizer had his bathroom stuff (the blue and green things are camp towels that are super compact and awesome), extra shoes, pajamas, water bottle, Bible, notebook, etc.
The left side of the trunk had all the things he needed for the night events - a knight costume, horse mask, etc. :)
This is where things get REEEEAL extra...
I used foam board to create a bulletin board inside the lid and then printed a bunch of pictures to put inside. I grabbed the pencil zipper pouches at Dollar Tree and they're holding a few self addressed envelopes with blank cards inside (he asked for one for Luke, Griffin, me and Dave, Gibi and Haha and his friends Jack and Ben - I'm so crossing my fingers he decides to use them because how stinkin' precious would that be!?!?!)
He was so excited to pick the pictures to print and I was so glad that we did it because one of the first things he did when he got in his cabin was show his counselors the pictures. It was so sweet to see him talk about his pets and friends and family and get to share that.
Amanda from That Inspired Chick ROCKED the vinyl stickers for his name and the Bible verse and she totally came through for me in a time crunch! Thankfully we had some stickers laying around from TCU (duh!), our last Vineyard Vines order, school and our trip to CO earlier this summer.
When we dropped Mason off we were able to drop off care packages for him that would get delivered throughout the week. We decided to go with fun notes, jokes and a few little treats but kept it pretty minimal in terms of volume of things. I included things like a beach ball to blow up, those little monster finger puppet things, a few glow necklaces, ring pops, etc. (one of those things each day)
I can totally own the fact that I am over the top with the notes - Mason LOVES and appreciates this kind of thing and I needed something to work on last week in the evenings :) I hesitated to share these but decided to go ahead in case and of y'all are sending kids off to camp and are looking for ideas. They have theme nights each night of the week and so I made my letters coordinate with the theme of the day and tried to keep them fun and light-hearted for him.
I also included a "joke of the day" in each package and put the answers in a little folded piece attached to the back. I thought that these would be fun for him to read himself and then share with his friends in his cabin :)
Each of the notes and jokes went in one of these envelopes along with the little surprise I mentioned above and we just dropped them off at the designated spot when we checked him in. My parents also wrote him a note and included a surprise for each day and one of our very favorite families took the time to each write him a letter and so I put one of those in each of the envelopes as well.
I can remember my mom always putting a lot of time and energy and thought into the letters and packages that I got from my parents at camp (I actually still have them!) and I was so excited to get to do that for Mason this year.
Well - that's that! Now we just pray that he's having a blast and wait for Sky Ranch to post pictures every night so we can scroll through and try to spot him :) I'll be sure to share how he felt about camp once he gets back and we get to talk - I'm so hoping that I get more than a "it was all my favorite" response (moms... you know what I'm talking about!) but even if that's all that I get I'm confident that the experience will be one that he never forgets and getting to spend a week with counselors who are confident in and vocal about their faith will be something that sticks with him forever.