During our End of Year Family Planning Meeting, one of our family goals for 2021 was to carve out more quality one-on-one time with our kids. To be honest, that has been so much harder than we anticipated. Sure, we take one kid to the grocery store sometimes, Caroline and I often cook together and grab pedicures pretty often, and Matt and Thomas get hair cuts and spend time at the driving range together, but for the most part we prefer to spend our weekends all together. So when I learned about Camp Merri-Mac’s Mother-Daughter Weekend and Camp Timberlake’s Father-Son Weekend, I immediately signed us up.
Not only did the long weekend give Matt/Thomas and Caroline/me some unbelievable quality time, our kids (& Matt) experienced their introduction to summer camp!! And let me just say…everyone had the best time ever and none of us wanted to leave after 3 days. If you’ve ever been to summer sleepaway camp, you know just how magical it is. The days are packed with back to back fun activities, camp traditions and kids are encouraged to be wild and free!
Matt and Thomas dropped me and Caroline off at Camp Merri-Mac before heading to Camp Timberlake 20 minutes away on Friday afternoon. Caroline and I were assigned to the Tweedle-Doe cabin with 4 other mamas with daughters around the same age. It was wild how many families drove or flew in from far away states for the weekend. Many of the parents were former campers too which was so cool. And even though we were only 2 hours from Charlotte, I didn’t meet any mamas from Charlotte the entire time which surprised me since I’m pretty sure one of the Counselors told me there were 180’ish participants at the mother-daughter weekend. Anyway, we absolutely loved our “cabin family.” The other mamas and daughters were all so amazing and we had so much fun together.
Although I was nervous about it at first, one of the camp recommendations was to leave cell phones in the car to allow parents to completely unplug. However, once we arrived I learned camp was pretty relaxed and moms carried phones as cameras. There was absolutely no cell service or wifi, so our phones were definitely useless outside of snapping photos. While I didn’t have my phone handy for most of the weekend, I was thankful to grab a few photos and videos of our time at camp. Meanwhile, Matt impressed me with his photography skills on his side of the mountain and captured so many precious moments! And both camps had photographers too which was really nice.
On the first night both camps had “Initiation” where we received our Tribe assignments. This was so dang cool. The experience reminded me a lot of sorority initiation combined with the Harry Potter sorting hat. Once your Tribe is assigned, any future family members attending camp will be initiated into the same tribe, which was really cute to see daughters getting initiated with their mamas who were former campers. Our entire family was initiated into the Golden Eagle Tribe!
The rest of the weekend was packed with activities. For the most part, we were able to hop around to the various activities of our choice throughout the day. I let Caroline design our activity schedule, so we made friendship bracelets, roasted s’mores, painted canvases, attended 2 cooking classes (s’mores in a cone & eggs in a cup — both cooked on the grill), played lots of gaga ball, hiked all over the camp property, slid down the massive slip & slide (many times), and swam in the lake! I was shocked that Caroline wanted to jump off of the high dive onto “The Blob!” She was so brave and did it twice!
All of the campers came together several times each day too. Each morning we all attended Chapel and also ate all of our meals together. Mealtimes were really fun. We sat with our cabin families to eat and learned all the camp songs. The food was really good too.
And in the evenings, there was a large group activity — one night was Battle Ball (similar to dodge ball) and the following night we competed in a Sock War (similar to Capture The Flag). Both activities were a blast and I played so hard I pulled a hip flexor. In fact, my entire body was sore from camp for days after we got home. haha.
Each night our Counselor came to our cabin just before the “lights out horn” at 10 pm and led an evening devotion which was really sweet.
Meanwhile, Thomas and Matt were also having an absolute blast at Camp Timberlake. I am pretty sure they did every activity — riflery, archery, canoeing, fishing, fencing, lake swimming and lots more.
On Sunday we were all sad to leave but were thankful for all of the memories we made at camp. I absolutely cannot wait to return next year, and the next year, and the next year…