Monday, April 6, 2009

Palmer Family Retreat - Miscellaneous

We spent last weekend at Palmer's Family Retreat at Camp Allen, near Navasota, TX, with several other families from church. This was our second year going and we loved it. This year's 'theme' was the Sabbath. A priest and her husband joined us from Dallas to talk about the importance of rest, observing the sabbath and how we can incorporate it into our lives. We came away with some good ideas and did feel pretty well-rested at the end of a fun-filled yet relaxing weekend.

Again this year, Gay and I drove up with the children right after school with the hope that we would miss some afternoon traffic. It worked and the kids did a great job of getting along on the drive up. Olivia and Abby tried to come up with cheers for our cabin - Cabin 8.

First thing's first - gathering in 'the pit' to hear the camp rules.
(One of our cabin rules was 'no kids in the cabin unless they have permission from an adult.' This one was instituted after I came into our cabin and found kids throwing, literally, food across the cabin from one top bunk to the next.)

The marshmallow roasting/s'more making was a bust this year because the Camp Allen folks did not have the fire set-up for us. Our kids played on the playground and ran around for a little while and then were ready to head back to camp to wait for the dads. The other families who stayed ended up making mock-s'mores by putting their flashlights in the fire pit. I hate that we missed out on that, but our kids were ready to start settling down.

We had several sessions of 'group time' with our leaders for the weekend. Each family made a "REST" poster. Olivia wrote the word 'rest' in the middle of our poster and then each of us drew pictures of different activities that we find restful. We drew the ocean, a hammock, Olivia's bed and a sea monster, along with several other things. Since Will had not arrived by this point, he added a golf course and Corona Light to the poster later.

The Stricklin & Merritt kids on the steps of Cabin 8

There are a lot of things to love about Camp Allen. McIver's favorite thing was going through the food line and making his own plate. Pickle anyone?

Gay and I joined in one of the group times while Will & Don took the kids to the lake for canoeing. McIver was bored by the whole affair, I think because he didn't get to paddle or have a seat. Who can blame him?

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