JAM Camp 2011 Recap

Well, it's feast or famine on the old blog these days!  I'm warning you, this is loaded with pictures because I'm so behind and I didn't have the heart to do a day by day update :) So, I'm posting a million pictures of our week at camp.  Honestly, I can't believe we survived it.  It was a lot of work to say the very least.  I think the kids had fun, I'm fairly certain I had a little bit too, but I'm so exhausted from the whole thing I can't really say for sure.  Ha!  I'm quite sure this post will put you to sleep, but I'm sure we'll get a kick out of it next year, when I'm realizing just how crazy it was that I took two babies to junior high camp for a week!
The Armstrongs go to JAM camp!
Carty was such a good little guy, for all of the new things we threw at him this week, he did great.
Ava also did great, but she literally woke up every morning just dying to get outside and play with "the kids!" aka-junior highers
The hardest part of camp is that most of the day, Daddy is busy and unavailable.  He gives us pockets of his time when he can, which I truly appreciate, but you can imagine that it is a challenge to see him and not be able to have him with us.  At one point during the week, I was trying to put Ava to bed only to hear Travis over the bullhorn outside her window, barking out directions for a game.  As I tried to explain that to Ava, it occurred to me that I do indeed live a very strange life :)
Ava loved this stroller, which didn't belong to us, but she assumed it did and had a blast pushing it around all week!
The best Junior High Pastor I know.
Remember the "odd life" I referenced??  When your on staff in student ministry, there are lots of these kinds of things happening behind the scenes.  These pools were used for a game involving chocolate sauce, kool-aid, pool noodles and dodgeballs. I mean seriously...odd!!
Fortunately for us, we had lots of these kind of blue-skies and sunshine days.  The beginning of the week was cool and perfect, but by the end it was sweltering! 
Carty spent lots of time resting in his stroller.
While his sister ran wild day and night!
Did I mention that we roped my Mom into going with us as the camp nurse??  She was the reason I enjoyed camp :) We were busy from the minute we woke up until midnight every single day.  I could not have pulled this week off without her help!
Ava had some built in playmates with her friends Kaelem and Quincy. 
They explored every single inch of the camp and loved it!
And Carter mostly hung out with Grammy and Mommy.
Which was fine with us!
I tried to soak these moments in with him because if there is a next year at camp, he will most likely be running wild like his sister!
Meal time was an adventure with these two.
Ava was THRILLED to have a dining experience with her "closest friends" every day!  We could hardly get her to concentrate on her food and eat, she was too busy talking to everybody and hoping to get down and play on this little stage in the corner.  When she did manage to eat, she literally shoveled the food in her mouth :)
Carter quickly figured out the mealtime routine and he LOVED eating puffs at the table for the first time this week.  It didn't take long for him to bang on the table until we put some food in front of him.
I think we have some table manners to explain to our kids in the near future!
Shoes are still a novelty item to Carter!  He spends all of his time trying to figure out how he can get them in his mouth, so they don't make a debut very often.  Don't you love that hat??
Ava and the camp dog, Champ.
She loved to run after him, calling his name.  I was all for it until we watched Champ eat a bird.  Then I did all I could to keep her away from him! 
Cutest little camper!
My Mom and I spent lots of time on this porch, watching the kiddos play and drinking coffee...until we were interrupted by a crying child or some camper with an injury.  Which happened constantly!
Both kids loved being outside all week.
After the cold spring we had, it was so nice to be in the fresh air!
I think Ava's favorite part of the week was playing in the gravel with her little friends.  She sat out there for hours, shoveling rocks and making piles.  She was filthy dirty and having a ball!  I got her to bed one night by promising that she could play in the dirt in the morning...As soon as I said dirt, she laid right down on her pillow!
Travy did his best to help me as often as he could, which was good for all of us.
This was one of my particularly favorite moments of the week...
The room was actually dark and Travis was reading Ava her truck book by the light on his headlamp.  She was totally into the experience!
When we needed a quiet moment, these two watched some dvds on our bed. 
I *heart* that dvd player.
Ava became a swing addict at camp! 
She had no problem holding on like a big girl and she loved to squeal as we pushed her higher and higher.
My cousin Jenny sent all of us care packages so that we could participate in the mail-time fun!
Carter got a little football...
...And Ava got some suckers, some crayons and a tangled sticker/coloring book.
And we got chocolate, coffee and jellybeans! 
Thanks Jenny!!  It was so sweet!
We were so thankful that the Culbertsons were along for the fun all week!
When you are the daughter of a youth Pastor, nothing you do goes undocumented!
Not to mention, nothing you do goes unnoticed!
Too bad no one likes her!!  This crowd grew by the minute until I could hardly see her myself :)
While we were swimming, the big kids were doing this.
Enjoying the annual shaving cream war!
Naturally, Travis was big target!
Ava was not sure what she thought about him...
...and neither was Carter!
He did love playing in the pool however!
Funny how this kid loves a pool and yet, hates a bath???
Ava got to go down the big slip and slide with Daddy and she LOVED it!
What a fun thing for her to join in!
After we got all cleaned up for dinner, we found her "borrowing" Grammy's stethoscope and got a kick out of seeing her use it correctly!  Future in medicine??
We missed most of the evening chapels all week, because they happened during bedtime, but we did try to catch the last night that Trav spoke.  Carter hung on for awhile, but quickly fell asleep.
Ava was riveted :)
The highlight of our week at camp, is always the last day when students get baptized.
We listen to their testimonies in the chapel and then head down to the lake for their baptisms.  It's a sweet way to wrap up the week and I love that their families all come down for it and we get to celebrate as a community.
Trav baptized 14 kids this year...
Including two of my cousins' kids, Natalie and Grace.  I just love that!  This is the 3rd year in a row he's baptized family members, which makes it extra special for us.
And speaking of family, here we all are!  Not the best picture of everyone but there were 10 of us at camp this year!  Lots of fun!!

It was a great week and honestly, the Lord did some amazing things among the students and staff.  We had incredible counselors that were such a blessing to us and to their campers.  Travis and his team did a great job planning and pulling off another year of JAM camp.  One of my favorite things is to come home and catch all the facebook statuses and pictures from the week!  It's fun to read what everybody loved and learned and to re-live some of the silly memories.  Camp is truly an institution at our Church, it's always a highlight for our kids and for my husband too! 

We are so tired and enjoying an impromptu break at my parent's house for a few days.  I think we all needed some down time after such a busy week. Travis and I both worked 17 hours days all week and let me tell you, we are not getting any younger!  It's hard to bounce back from that :)

So there you have it, another JAM camp in the books.  We had fun, but I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm glad it's over too!

Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend celebrating our Nation's independence.
Happy 4th of July!

1 comment:

Ron and Peggy said...

LOOKS exhausting but oh, so much fun for Ava, I bet. I'm sure it will be an adjustment after being with so many great friends every day. The kids are growing up so fast! XXXXXOOOOOO