This past January, Sam took a new job as facilities director of a local Christian summer camp. It has been an amazing change for him and he LOVES going to work every day. My favorite added benefit of this job is the opportunity for our kids to go to camp for free.
Henry is old enough for overnight camp and we decided to send him this first week of July. We prepared him as best we could, packed his things up in a trunk and took him up to camp on Sunday afternoon. Henry had been counting down the days until camp...but when it finally got here he was a little nervous.
Sky Ranch does an awesome job of making campers feel welcome. They suggested we decorate our car in advance, so we went all out. (Truthfully, we may have gone overboard as it's a little difficult to see out a few of the windows, but it looks GOOD!) When we got to camp I had Henry move up to the front seat so he could better see what was going on outside.
There were staff members everywhere to greet and direct traffic. They met us at the front gate with fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and lots of cheering for our decorated car. All the employees wear matching green shirts on arrival day, so it's easy to spot them. We followed the orange cones around to a parking area (getting stopped many times along the way to be welcomed to camp and have people cheer for Henry). Once there, an employee greeted us and asked where Henry's luggage was so that he could get it unloaded for us. They loaded our luggage onto a people-mover trailer and asked us to hop on too.
The trailer had a 'tour-guide' giving us camp information along our route. We were dropped off not far from Henry's cabin and told his luggage would arrive shortly.
Henry was apprehensive but went ahead and walked right in. Henry has three friends joining him for camp this week and luckily one of them had already arrived. That helped a lot with his nervousness! Henry was given a choice between top or bottom bunks (he chose top!) and we set to work making his bed and helping him settle in. See the family pictures taped up to the wall? He was pretty excited to have those to look at while he is at camp.
Because of the fourth of July holiday, this week's camp attendance is low. So Henry ended up in a cabin with only nine campers and five counsellors. Pretty good ratio for camp, eh? His counsellors were all very excited about the week and they seemed like great guys. Before we left, the head counsellor handed me biographies of all the counsellors so we could 'get to know them a little better'. Sky Ranch is very selective with their summer staff and only bring on the best of the best. They are all Christians, passionate for sharing truth and teaching kids about Jesus.
When it was finally time to go, we gave Henry a hundred kisses and hugs and he stood at the door until we walked away. I turned around to glance back at the cabin before we got too far and I saw this:
One more chance to wave! :) I love that boy so much!
I've heard a few updates through Sam and others that he works with throughout the week. It's not quite the same as hearing it from Henry or talking with him, but it's been nice to hear something at least.
So far I know that he passed his swimming test (meaning he doesn't have to wear a life jacket in the pools), rode horses (even though the other kids were done after one ride, Henry rode four times!), tried out all the big water slides, and got stung by a wasp ON HIS EYE! I could have done without hearing that one, but I am just grateful that Sam was at work yesterday and able to go help Henry when that happened.
I am so thankful for Sky Ranch and all of the incredible staff that are pouring into my boy this week. I know it is going to be life-changing for him. :)