I hadn't mentioned camp in a while. We have an annual tradition to go to family camp, which I describe in further detail below. When the kids were little they had a lot of activities planned for them (so that the adults could relax). We've gone in the past with my in-laws, nieces, SIL and my Dad (often all together). This year was just us and in-laws. We paid our own way early on (it's actually pretty expensive, not what I would classify as frugal). But at some point in-laws were doing well and was their annual treat. Last time we went, DL brought his friend and so we just payed it forward and paid for his friend.
I *really* thought my kids would outgrow camp by now. But... What the heck do I know? 😁 DL(15) has just been over the moon happy about camp. By far the worst thing about 2020 was that camp was canceled. He *needs* this for his soul.
Post from 2017:
I hadn't thought too much about it, but was describing to a co-worker. It's basically like summer camp for the whole family. The camp is run by our city. Year 1 we tried San Jose's camp (near Yosemite). But Sacramento's camp (near Tahoe) has nice cabins. It's easier to get to, and we all just love it. So as I described to my co-worker the nice cabins, how all food is provided (dining hall) and they serve beer by the patio. The more I described it the more heavenly it sounded.
So that is a little bit about camp.
In the end, it was a really good camp year. Everything was actually pretty terrible because of the pandemic. Mostly couldn't do anything inside. Huge staff turnover. Apparently lack of consistent food supply, etc. While everyone was griping one day, I was just, "Yeah, it's always like this, since we moved to the first session." I couldn't remember why we did that, but were discussing and I guess it's because they changed the dates around and so we moved from 3rd session to 1st session. Which just makes us the guniea pigs and practice run for the season. But anyway, lord forbid we go another time (everyone else's response), but at least everyone stopped complaining after that. I just remember they had some major turnover 2018 and I am pretty sure 2019 was just as bad. Except for the food being so much worse this time. It was actually kind of funny because they went way vegetarian the first couple of things, which I just thought was due to demand or something. ??? I guess it was the food supply because then they went crazy the opposite direction.
Anyway, all of that said, I think overall it was one of the more fun times at camp. Definitely not all bad. They were only operating at about 1/3 capacity, which I think was due to a little bit of everything. They were majorly understaffed, I don't think they could have had more people if they wanted to. In turn, it was kind of extra nice and peaceful. They also put in a new deck which we largely had to ourselves.
Because there has been so little going on the past year or so, I do think everything was a little extra exciting. I was telling the kids on the way home that there may have been 3 or 4 mini dramas one day. Mostly minor stuff, but when you haven't had so much adventure or even been around crowds of people you don't know in so long... I think the vibe was mostly people were ecstatic to get back to some normalcy.
The kids had the *best* time. I know my MIL is kind of over it and waiting for my kids to outgrow. Ha! At 13/14, they were not going to do the teen activities. This year, they did them all and DL(15) wanted to make new friends and be social. Heck, I think MM(17) did all the sports (volleyball and softball) for the first time. They both had a blast.
We also were able to upgrade back to some of the nicer cabins. They are newer, more well sealed, and have electric outlets. We got bumped at some point when we missed a deadline and someone took our cabin. This time went the opposite way, with such low attendance. Everything opens up on the last day (whatever isn't reserved/claimed for next year) and so we bumped back up to the cabins with electricity. That will be extra nice next year.
Here is an (older) cabin, that we stayed in this year.
Oh yeah, and we did just take the electric car. There is a charger right down the road from camp (maybe 1 mile away) and so it's very convenient in that regard. If we ever did want to charge up, but it was completely unecessary. MH has been making the drive a lot (we have a family cabin in this area) and so he is very comfortable with it at this point. I was a little bothered when we drove 100 miles and only had a 70 mile range left showing on the car. Even though I know logically the car wouldn't use any electricity most of the way home. (Not only does going down hill take no electricity, but the downhill regenerates electricity). In the end... We literally made it all the way back to our city before we used any electricity. & that included blasting the A/C the entire 100 miles because DL(15) was car sick. We've never blast the A/C quite that much on that car. We started to use electricity for the last 20 miles (back to the flat land) and had a 50-mile range left when we got home. That seems to be our thing, always over-planning by 50 miles.