Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Queen

And for once I'm not talking about myself.  This past weekend was Bigun's spring outing with the Indian Princess program.  We had so much fun just me and her out at Camp Seafarer all weekend.  She had a blast, just being a kid and doing kid camp things.  She might have actually been most excited about the potential for spending that much time away from her sister, but hey, who's counting.  The pictures are what really counts.

I took Friday off from work and got us all packed up in the morning.  After packing, I also got in a great brick, riding 10 miles around Jordan Lake in 34 minutes and then ran 2.7 miles on the Tobacco Trail in 21:56.  It felt incredibly good to actually ride Roberta on the road again after being on the stationary bike all winter long.  I think that was my first road ride since Ironman.

Bigun had an early release day at school, so she got out at 12:30 and we got picked up about 1:15 to ride down to the camp.  Good thing I was already packed. We rode down towards New Bern, stopped at this store for a pee break and to get the cabin assignments, then on to Andy's burgers for dinner.  This was the beginning of my allowable camp horrible eating binge.  We took a ferry across the Neuse river, which the kids absolutely loved.  It was a huge boat, taking 34 cars to the other side.  The kids loved it.  We rolled into camp about 7:15, and at 8:30 they had an ice cream social and "welcome to camp" presentation.  The introduction of the pirate theme really kicked things into high gear.

The first unbelievably cute thing Bigun did was during the ice cream social.  She's a really sloppy eater anyway, and when the pirate ran past our table she thought it was a real pirate and was genuinely scared.  The costume was really scary,  and the guy ran right past our table.  I'll give her that.  But she's shaking a bit with a face covered in sprinkles asking me if it was really just a guy in a costume or were we all really in trouble.... I mean come on.  That's just cute.  I told her it was just a costume and she came out from under the table and enjoyed the rest of the presentation.

Finally we made it back to the cabin and I was able to unpack everything and start taking pictures.
Playing with Anna on the top bunks

She's crazy like that hair.

Saturday was the big day for activities.  They blew the horn at 6:30 am and most of the kids were already up.  Luckily, Bigun slept right through the horn.  I was able to get up, shower, grab a cup of coffee, and organize my head before she awoke.  Sunday morning I wasn't quite so lucky.  but Saturday was really cool.  We got in a boat ride, archery, shooting BB guns, some water works, a canoe ride, all kinds of fun stuff.
On a boat ride

Hanging with the Bakers and Harris' on the boat ride.  The boat held 100 people and went out through the river on a 30 minute tour.  Bigun loves Gilligan's Island right now, so she was loving the "3 hour tour".

Both of us shooting bows & arrows.  She loved it!

Everyone needs a little help from Dad every now and then.

She had a tough time getting the hang of shooting guns.  Kelley is a sharpshooter, so Bigun must not have gotten that gene.

The strangest story has to be on the water slide.  The highlight of the camp is a zipline.  You start on this platform that is 45 feet above the water, and zipline down so you land in water.
We're up there with the Bakers.  We did a lot of stuff with the Bakers, that's a good thing.  The Little Baker started freaking out first, Mike is also pretty scared of heights so he was nervous but ok.  Everything at this camp has to be done daddy/daughter.  So I couldn't go down if Bigun wouldn't go.  And once she saw the Little Baker opting out, she was done too.  45 feet is pretty intimidating when you're up there, but we're strapped into safety harnesses and I felt totally safe and ready to go.  But when Bigun backed down we had to walk all the way down there and get the harnesses off. 

Notice the blue structure behind the wood?  It's a waterslide, and she really did want to do that one.  I didn't plan that one very well.  At the end of the waterslide the water was about 5 feet deep, so you had to then swim back to the ladder to get out.  Bigun can swim pretty well, and I didn't think the slide would be a problem.  She went down the slide first, and somehow she stopped at the bottom of the slide without actually going off into the water!  She said she was scared because it looked too deep.  My friend Luke was at the bottom with his daughter trying to decide what she wanted to do, so he jumped into the water and got Bigun from the end of the slide back onto the deck.  When Luke jumped in, his glasses fell off and sank to the bottom.  So when I came down the slide I shot out of that thing like a rocket!  I don't see how in the world Bigun stopped without flying out of there.  I helped Luke feel around on the bottom until he found his glasses, then we got out.
Luke and Bigun coming out of the slide.

Bigun and the Little Baker trying to dry off and warm up

Luke and I looking for glasses.  It was that deep.
I should have gone down the slide first and been there to catch her, but I wasn't sure if she would freak out over the height from the slide like she did on the zipline.  The zipline is only about 5 feet higher than the slide, but since it's open air and not the enclosed space like the slide is, the freakout factor is a lot less. The slide was still really fun.

I wanted to wait until the afternoon to hit the water stuff in the hopes that it would warm up.  It was in the high 70's or low 80's all week in Raleigh.  So of course saturday only got up to about 65 out at the camp.  it was very cold all day, and the water activities were just as cold as you'd expect.  Bigun loves canoes, so we got in a few rides in the afternoon, as well as some tennis and more archery.
This may be my favorite pic from the whole weekend.

Going out to catch some turtles with the rest of the tribe

All of the girls with a turtle they caught

She finally mastered the hula hoop!
Saturday night they put on a campfire with all 500 campers and dads.  There was all the expected campy campfire stuff like a spooky ghost story and camp songs, again with a pirate theme.  Can you guess what happens when you give glowsticks to 500 kids and tell them ghost stories?

I think the look on Carl's face says it all.
The campfire was a blast and of course the kids were completely wiped out by the time we got back to the cabin. They crashed hard and slept all night long.

Sunday morning they blew the horn at 7:30 instead of 6:30.  While I was very glad to get more sleep, they also had scheduled activities starting at 7:30 that I wanted to attend and subsequently missed.  They even had a 5k race starting at 8.  Bigun wasn't up for the challenge of a 5k so we chose to pass, but plenty of the other dad/daughter pairs in our tribe did complete the race.  My left foot was killing me after all the walking on Saturday, so I wasn't pushing the 5k too hard.  Apparently the way to play it is that the kids ride their bikes while dad runs and they can pace about the same.  We got breakfast and coffee, then watched some friends go down the zipline.
She is just too cute!  The Indian Princess program is called Arapahoe Nation - hence the indian theme and the whole program includes boys.
Carl and his daughter hit the water at the end of the zipline
 They had a pit for the kids to go digging for sharks teeth, so we dug for a bit and found 5 teeth.  Sunday morning we found the craft building and turned one of those teeth into a necklace.
Proud doesn't quite cover it.

Then we ate at the sunday brunch and got back to the cabin for some group photos. 
The whole tribe of first graders

Proof that they are actually first graders.  Older kids would never be that silly right?
After that we all finished packing up and headed back to Raleigh.  This was a priceless weekend with my oldest daughter and great friends that I wouldn't trade for anything else in the world.  The spring outing marks the end of the program year for Arapahoe Nation, and I have to say that it is one of the most rewarding things Bigun and I have ever done together.  It's a YMCA program that is nationwide, so if you have young kids I highly recommend contacting your nearest Y to inquire about it. 


Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

So...you survived?! Good job! That looks like a lot of fun. I used to love (and still do!) hanging out with my Dad. It's great that the water is warm enough already to swim in. Over here it's still a bit nipply.

Chris Johnson said...

I will have to stop saying how cute your girls are, but they are. I love the big hair in the bunk. Good job, Dad!

Viper said...

Looks like a fun time. I wonder if they teach shooting guns to city kids? Cheers!

Jess Milcetich said...

Sounds like such a fun weekend! Looks like you and Bigun had a blast together!

Hugh Jass said...

I had no idea it was a YMCA program. The "3 Hour Tour" might have made me a little nervous. The zipline looks awesome!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

That is so awesome - you got so many great photos. Bigun is just adorable. I love that she got freaked out by the pirate - that is so cute!

That is one packed weekend! I bet you were both really tired on Sunday night!

Karen said...

What a fun weekend for you and Bigun! She is going to have a lot of great memories from that one :) Love that your friend hopped in there to save her from the slide.