Saturday, August 31, 2013

Camp is Over...

We all just spent a lovely week at camp. My dear husband is camp director for the Free Church Camp, a Bible camp that runs through the last week of August every year at Camp Abegweit. I am not directly involved in the running of the camp right now (It would be a bit difficult with three little boys underfoot...). We all still go, though. I feel a bit bad about going without contributing, but Stephen insists on having us with him during his only summer vacation week. So the boys and I spent the week eating delicious food that I did not prepare, and lounging on the beach with my book and their sand toys. It was wonderful. SA and JJ are at an age now where they play quite well together. It helped that I brought their scooter to play with. MM was coddled by the little girl campers. It was actually my easiest camp week so far since I've had children.

I even got to sit and listen to most of the talks, which has not happened since SA was born. (This was SA's sixth year at camp since the first one when he was two months old.) SA would sit with his papa, JJ would sit and colour, and MM was fairly content to play on the ground with his toys or hang out on my back in the Boba. Jack Gautreau from NB was our speaker this year. His theme was from the Heidelberg Catechism: "What is your only comfort in life and in death?" He clearly presented the gospel in a way that was relevant even to the majority of the children there who have "grown up Christian". I especially appreciated how he took the time to clearly explain terms like "propitiation" and "justification". I remember what an eye-opener it was to hear those terms clearly defined when I was a teenager. I grew up hearing those words in almost every sermon, and yet had never heard anyone explain exactly what they meant. What a world of meaning opened up once I understood! I pray Jack's talks this week did the same for at least one child or teenager (and hopefully many more than that). He ended most of his talks with one of his own songs, and I think everyone really enjoyed that as well.

MM began to walk one afternoon at camp. He had been taking one or two steps at a time without realizing what he was doing, but this time he noticed. I could see the exact moment he realized he had taken some steps. He looked over at me with a mischievously smug look. Seeing that I was suitably impressed, he turned and took several more steps. For the rest of that afternoon, he took eight or ten steps at a time, fell, got up, and repeated the process again. Once he hurt himself when he fell and I worried that he would be discouraged, but he got up again and kept going. The next day he seemed to have forgotten about the walking, and has not done it since (aside from the inadvertent one or two steps he was doing before).

I had a chance to start reading Charlotte Mason's Original Homeschooling Series. I was going to wait until I was done my How to Teach Math course, but I decided to stay off-line during most of camp. I only got through the preface to the first book, which was dense with meaning and required a lot of thinking and note-taking. I have a feeling this project is going to take a while, but I'm convinced it will be worth it.

The most fun part of camp for me was the late-night hanging out with counsellors after my children were in bed. I went to bed way too late on quite a few nights. There were stories and memories from other years, songs around the campfire, silliness when we were all too tired to think straight. Now to catch up on sleep...and laundry!