(Camp) Memories Light the Corner of My Mind: What Summer Camps Are You Doing?
posted by: Amber Johnson
I almost cried on my final day of camp.
But here’s the really sad thing: I wasn’t even the one who attended.
Last week, my children wrapped up their first ever “grown-up” camp with Avid4 Adventure. We’ve done casual sports and art camps through the school or county but this was our first real deal. My kids participated in their Multi-sport Camp and every day was dedicated to a different pursuit: kayaking, canoeing, hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing.
Another reason I cried: I didn’t get to do it with them.
I did, however, catch a glimpse of why they said they had “the best time ever” by attending each of their parent days. I witnessed Bode scale a huge rock wall (while my grateful feet remained on solid ground) and I went canoeing with Hadley at Bear Creek Lake Park. My history with canoes involve capsizing or using a rake as a paddle (long story but when you don’t have oars you improvise).
No improvisation was needed with the Avid4 kids as they became extremely proficient in each of the activities. I was impressed with all the instructors who were not just college students on summer break but rather certified, highly trained and passionate about instilling a love for the outdoors.
That makes all the difference when it comes to choosing a camp.
The kids taught the parents all the canoeing safety and skills necessary before heading out on the lake. They went easy on us before introducing us to games like “Stinky Fish” (where we tossed wet sponges into each other’s canoes) and the parents squealed as much as the kids.
The best news of all: I did not lose face with a bunch of 8-year-olds by capsizing.
While Hadley’s adventures with the older kids lasted all day long, 5-year-old Bode’s group of all boys did half-day adventures. They then returned to “base camp” where they did music, arts or crafts with specialized teachers and even learned yoga from Yogini Eileen. I knew my “boy’s boy” would thrive in the regular pursuits but I had doubts he would take to the Downward Dog.
I figured a formal introduction was appropriate.
“Bode, this nice lady is going to show you how to do something called yoga. Eileen, can you demonstrate a pose for him?”
I figured she’d do something nonthreatening like the Tree Pose but she opted for the Standing Head to Knee Pose, which if you’re yoga newbies like Bode and me, looks like one of those circus contortionists.
I first heard about Avid4 Adventure through a friend who raved about their Outdoor Education School Programs and what’s not to love? They bring a portable stations to schools such as a 25-foot mobile climbing wall, a 30-foot portable pool for kayaking or canoeing, mountain bikes and a portable mountain bike skills course and an outdoor Leave No Trace classroom.
Between their school program, adventure day camps all over the Metro area, family camping trips and overnight Camp Eden, the only thing Avid4 Adventure is missing is classes for adults. I’ll be first in line should it ever it ever happen.
With oars (not rake) in hand.
What camps are you doing this summer?