Friday started our first full day at camp. We had hoped to get a vacation run in this morning, but alas, it was not meant to be. We were able to get moving in time for our 8:30 breakfast meet-up for new families. New families were quite the thing this year with the camp doubling in size or so over the last couple of years.
After breakfast we dropped the kids off with their age appropriate groups, each color coded by shirt color. Quin’s group, the first graders, were colored red, and Ethan’s group, the middle schoolers, were colored tan. The separation ceremony was done in the gym along with some African dance being taught to us by a local troupe of African dancers. We, and most others, were predictably inept at dancing, though Quin made up for the rest of us. Ethan didn’t care to have any of us around him for the separation ceremony, but we could see him from across the gym and he looked typically uncomfortable, though he was trying, it was clear.
After dancing, the kids were off and we went to the auditorium for the adult program. The morning program involved “heritage camp speed dating.” The room was split into four sections and each section was assigned a topic. If the topic applied to you, you went to that area. Jenny and I made a point of splitting up and took part in topics like “kids in middle school,” “kids that have spent time in the foster system,” and “kids that have spent time in orphanages.” It was interesting to talk with people that were in similar situations to us. We found out pretty quickly that there was a very large contingent of people here that had adopted from Ethiopia. We also quickly established ourselves as some kind of minor celebrities. For one thing we had adopted domestically - that was pretty common. But very few had adopted domestically and were also in the process of adopting internationally. But what really set us apart was that we managed to drive 15 hours from Wisconsin to attend… In other words, we learned that most people at this conference were “locals.”
Jenny and my programs were quite interesting, and I’d love to blog at length about them, but the topics are likely pretty dry for the rest of the considerable leadership, so I’ll skip the gory details. Lunch on Friday was catered from a local Ethiopian restaurant, which was delicious. Quin had a meat and cheese sandwich while Ethan got to got white water rafting with the other middle and high schoolers. All on-camp meals were served on an open field on the campus, and there was never a time when there wasn’t at least 10 kids playing soccer. There also was never a time when Quin wasn’t one of those at least 10 kids!
After lunch was much of the same as the morning. Quin went back to his programming, we went back to ours. The afternoon programs ended up at 4:00 at which time we collected Quin and waited around for Ethan. The rafters didn’t end up coming back until close to 4:30. Apparently Ethan had a great time rafting and wants us all to do it again sometime. Quin met some good friends throughout the day as well, but it was time to get away from camp and do something else for awhile.
After camp, we went back to the hotel to swim a bit. I used some of my newly learned child psychology to have some fun with Quin in the pool while Jenny and Ethan rested in the room. After swimming we got ready and met my cousin, Caitlin, and her fiancé at the Bull and Bush, pretty much my favorite place on earth. Bull and Bush is an English style pub that brews their own beer and has better than average pub food. Caitlin and Paxton moved out here only a month ago after Caitlin got a job at a nearby museum. It was nice to see them. The most interesting part of the dinner, though, was how Quin literally slept through the entire meal and then some. The week’s activities and messed up schedule had him completely wiped out, and he caught up on 3 hours worth in the car and on my lap around dinner time.
After dinner we met Maylee and Steve again at their floor hockey game in Parker, just south of the city. After a couple of drinks and appetizers afterwards we finally went back to the room but didn’t get there until 11:00, late once again! Looks like Quin is going to continue to be off schedule at least another day!