It’s ironic that my last post was the one about bringing 21 books with me on vacation (written before I actually left home, though posted later) because during the international Pathfinder Camporee I was, for the first time I can ever remember in my adult life, too busy to read.
Actually, by Thursday my system had adjusted to the Camporee schedule enough that I was able to read a few pages before falling into an exhausted sleep each night. But I have to say honestly that the five full days that we spent at Camporee were among the most tiring I’ve ever lived through. We were on the go from early morning (I had to go to a directors’ meeting at 6 a.m. each day) till 11 at night when we got back from the evening meeting and got all the kids through bathrooms and teeth-brushing. We went from one event or activity to another without a pause most days, walking back and forth across a huge and crowded campground in 90 degree heat. Things were scheduled so tightly that there was never enough time, so we were always urging the kids to hurry to the next activity. Every day there was at least one time when I thought, “I can’t physically do this anymore!!” All the adults, I think, felt the same.
But all this is not to say that we didn’t have a great time! It was a wonderful experience. All of us parents and leaders in our group (and I’m sure in all the other groups as well, across the whole campground of 35,000 people) worked hard to make it a great experience for our kids, and it paid off. At the final meeting Saturday night, after the triumphant ending of the main-stage musical about the story of Esther, they gave a “sneak preview” of the theme and main stage presentation for the next Camporee in 2014 (though they did qualify it with, “See you in 2014 — or in heaven — whichever comes first!”), then finished with an amazing fireworks display. All my kids wanted to know was, “Are we coming back in five years?!?!”
I hope and pray that in five years, they will be just as active in church activities (something they will have a lot more choice about by then), and just as eager to go on a trip with their parents and their church friends. And, of course, a little more able to supervise themselves, so maybe the 2014 Camporee will be a little less tiring for the parents!! This one was an experience we wouldn’t have missed for the world, and I think everyone in our small-but-dedicated Newfoundland group felt the same.
Since leaving Camporee on Sunday morning, our family has shifted completely into vacation mode, spending an afternoon river tubing and another at a water park. We are camping today at a KOA in Wisconsin and heading to Minnesota later today. Westward ho! As long as KOA wireless remains good, I’ll update as often as I can and maybe even post some pictures later on.
And, of course, I’ll be catching up on my reading!