Sunday, June 23, 2013

Camp Winnataska

We are happy to report that Bennett made it through her first spend the night camp experience!  Back in January, we began talking about the possibility of going to camp away from home for a few nights.  At first she was apprehensive, but as the time got closer, she became more comfortable with the idea.  We have been preparing for months....learning to bath by herself (learning to get all of the shampoo and conditioner out of her hair), shopping for the essentials, having sleepovers, and just talking it up so she wouldn't be worried.
Bennett and Caroline

On Wednesday afternoon, Pres and I drove her out with her gigantic duffel bag and pillow!  We got her all checked in, I made her bed, took a few photos, and then she basically kicked us out.  As my eyes started to well up with tears as I hugged her one last time, she said "you don't have to walk me back, I got it."  My baby girl was growing up....

Samantha, B, Vivian and Caroline

Bennett in front of her cabin

Bennett w/ Adelaide, one of her counselors
For the past few days, Steve and I have checked pictures online, but that was our only way of checking in on her.  Of course, we were so excited to go get her this morning and hear all about it.  She looked happy, and said she had a great time.  When we asked her to tell us about it, she would tell us bits and pieces, as she remembered them.  She is eager to return for a week, and I know she had fun.  She got to drink Pepsi (which she hadn't tasted before camp...yes we are those parents), go canoeing, swim in the lake and pool, go horseback riding, hiking, sing and dance, do crafts, shoot bows and arrows, experience a ropes course, and otherwise just be independent for three days!  We are so happy that her experience was a good one, and hope that the years to follow keep providing her with long lasting memories. 

Telling Preston all about camp
Camp Winnataska is a great little camp, and we are lucky to have it so close to our house (less than 45 minutes away).  This year they celebrated their 95th anniversary, so Bennett participated in some special birthday activities.  The camps run Sunday to Saturday for the older campers, but the younger kids have the option to go for 3 nights or 6 nights.  Each night they have a special theme....cowboys and Indians, glow night, super heroes, etc.  They certainly keep them busy from morning to night, preventing them the opportunity to miss their families.  However, she was excited to see us all, just as we were to see her again.  Love that little girl!
Together Again!

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