Sunday, August 4, 2013

Family Camp

A first for our family this summer was attending Family Camp at Sonrise Mountain Ranch in Cimmaron, Colorado. It's waaaayyy the heck up this long valley. Seriously, we lost our cell phone service an hour before we got there. No phone. No internet. A whole week to truly unplug.

When we got there, we found this. (Ahhhhh!)
And a staff of friendly people waiting to welcome us
even though we were about 90 minutes late for dinner. :) 

We loved the schedule laid out by SMR: Breakfast at a very reasonable hour (8:30 at the earliest), then family worship. The rest of the morning was split into separate kids and adult sessions. Yes, that means some wonderful college students took care of our kids while we had "adult time."

The adult sessions were discussion based, rather than speaker based, and the group was small—just seven couples. We spent one session thinking about ourselves as children made in God's image, then two sessions talking about how our marriages can reflect the image of God and two sessions focused on how our parenting can help our children to grow up in the image of God. 

It was nothing new, but oh so good to have time set aside to reflect on these things.

We attended with two other families from our church, which is part of SMR's design. If we grow together at camp, we can go home together and help each other live out the things we have purposed to do.

Breakfasts at camp were creative—sometimes in the dining room,
but sometimes in our cabin or at other locations around camp.
This is our second "pancakes on the porch" breakfast of the summer.
Maybe it should be a tradition.
"River breakfast." The camp staff transported hot breakfast to the
bank of the river. I could totally drink my coffee to the
sound of running water every morning. 
Josiah enjoying his hot chocolate. 

After the morning sessions, we headed to the "family challenge course," to overcome some fun obstacles as a family. With the size of our kids, we needed special accommodations for most of the problems, but we had fun anyway.

Our friends the Holzes solve a bridge problem.
Six-year-old Henry was the
mastermind behind the solution. 
Afternoons were left free for family time and rest time. Both of our kids still nap, so that meant mommy took a nap every day too. 

The bigger kids enjoyed catching minnows and crawdads
from the small dock. Our kids loved the paddle boat
with mommy and daddy pedaling.
Lorien and I painted our nails and
then she wanted to dry them with the fan,
 even though we were outside. 
Awesome playground.
We also went on several short hikes. Once again, I was impressed
by our kids' endurance as hikers. Makes me excited about
 adventures we'll go on in the future. 
I promise there are people in this picture. (Josh, Lorien and Josiah
 at the bottom of our hike to the river.)
The best part about afternoon free time? While I was reading, napping or playing with my kids, someone else was making a delicious dinner. Almost zero cooking or cleanup for a week was heavenly! In the evening we'd have an activity like a camp fire or family movie night. 

The only thing we will have to figure out for next time around is long-range baby monitors so we can share evenings with our friends on the cabin porches after the kids are asleep. 

The whole group from FPC. 
Suffice it to say, we are now big fans of Sonrise Mountain Ranch and are plotting to make the trek again next summer!

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