Friday, January 16, 2009

Clear Creek

One of the highlights of fifth grade in Alpine School District is the opportunity to attend Clear Creek overnight camp (located just above Scofield Reservoir) each year. This camp also provides a week-long leadership training in the summer for stuents who want--and can afford--to participate. The boys left on Wednesday and the girls on Thursday. I went up with three other moms to chaperone and assist their teacher, Mrs. Draper (who, as previously mentioned, is also one of my good friends).

After much weeping and wailing from Griffin (who was sure that I wouldn't return), the time came for us to go. We left the school at 9:15 with 22 girls and the four moms and arrived a little before 11. Let me point out that three of the four moms have been to Girls Camp together, so we started to get these girls prepped and ready through songs and other games. The bus ride was certainly not peaceful.

The first order of the day upon our arrival and loading of luggage into the cabins? Dodge ball, boys against girls. I gave myself the assignment of chief photographer, thereby excusing myself from the more violent activities. (I did join in for a game of moms versus girls a little later.)

The activities included some science experiments, snow-shoeing, crafts, survival tactics, the movie Snow Dogs,

a ropes course,

the game Curses,

sledding and general merriment in the snow,

tug of war,

and karoake. Ellie sang two songs (one of which was Summer Nights from Grease, a truly filthy song, that hopefully 10-year-old girls don't understand!).

Unfortunately, Ellie saw the side of me that Maggie has seen for years. The "moms" performed three numbers: I Love Rock 'n Roll, Love is a Battlefield, and We're Not Gonna Take It. Ellie kind of sat through the first number, was hiding by the second, and left the room by the third. We had a long talk afterwards about it and how Maggie went through the same thing when I taught the sixth grade the Napoleon Dynamite dance and how by her girls' camp experience she realized she just had to get over it. Mrs./Sis. Draper reassured Ellie that what happened at Girls Camp/Clear Creek stayed at Girls Camp/Clear Creek. (Although helpful at the moment, Maggie told her later that all these things end up on videotape and become part of history.)

After a night with no sleep (no fault of the girls as they were asleep by 11--just my usual "go to camp and not sleep" situation), Ellie and I took advantage of some free time to go snow shoeing just by ourselves, except for the caretaker's dog, Jasper, who wanted to come along.

We packed up, cleaned the cabins, ate lunch, took some group pictures, then came back to Westmore.

me, Debbie Draper, Lisa Call, Diane Stringham, Terri Hatch,

Jordan Boswell, Carolyn and Paul Kenley

Once we got back into cell phone range, I started texting Ian, Mags and John to find out if the front door was locked. Not only were we an hour earlier than we had expected, but the van was back at the house so Ian could pick Ellie and I (and all of our stuff) up once we got back. Now we were early, had no mode of transportation, and no house keys. I figured no one would have locked it, but of course, it was locked. My friend, Cherise, took us home, but then came the next step: getting in the house. Ellie is fortunately still small enough that she could fit in through the dog door in the back. She just had to compete with the dogs who were trying to come out at the same time!

I stared at the television for a few minutes before Ellie wanted to go to her friends' house (as if they hadn't just spent over 24 hours together!), so I dropped her off, then came back for a few minutes before Ian and Mags got home.

I hope Ellie enjoyed it, even though she suffered mass humiliation.

P.S. When I went to pick Griffin up at the end of the school day, he said, "I didn't really miss you, Mom." Boy, that was a killer!

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