Hello campers, Gloria here.
My son and I recently experienced our first week of family camp at Imago Dei Village. We would have brought my husband with us, but vacation time from work for him just wasn't in the cards. So it was just the two of us. On our own. For one week. Away from home.
Did I mention my son is 19 months old? And that I was on my own with him for the whole week? Away from home? And that he is 19 months old? (19 months old!)
I emphasize all of those points because going into our week of family camp I wasn't sure what to expect. I was really nervous. The whole idea of taking my toddler on a vacation on my own was daunting. My husband and I traveled with our son to Lake Tahoe (California) to visit family back in May - even with a 5:1 adult:toddler ratio the whole experience was exhausting. We returned home feeling that maybe we'd be enjoying "staycations" for the time being.
But family camp was on the calendar. We had registered. We were going. And so... with a full car, jogging stroller, booster seat, life jackets, books, bottles, and more, we headed off to camp.
It was the best week ever.
I never had to cook! My son took 2-3 hour naps every day! I took naps every day! My son slept 10 hours straight each night! I slept all night, too! We went kayaking! We sang songs! He made new baby friends! I made new grown-up friends (and reconnected with old grown-up friends, too)!
The wonderful thing about family camp is that kids and adults are able to find time for each other, with each other, and with others. What I mean is that Owen and I were able to spend lots of quality time together - I wasn't stressed over work, I didn't have to cook, etc - but I was also able to spend much-needed quality time with other, older campers - at adult Bible study, over card/board games in the lodge after campfire, etc. Camp staff took such great care of us all week long, I could completely relax and be present. Fully present.
I know lots of families enjoy spending time "up north" at the lake/cottage. I have wonderful memories of summer vacations at the cottage on Long Lake in Waupaca. But the neat thing about family camp is that you get to spend the week at the lake with all your meals covered, as much or as little programming as your family needs, with BABYSITTERS available all the time, quality activities, other kids, other adults... I got to meet other parents - other MOMS! - and talk, really talk, about things that matter. I felt like a kid at camp making new friends. Really, that's what I was.
And maybe I'm biased (I was the adult Bible study leader) but I really enjoyed adult Bible study time!
Family camp was the best, most low-stress, easiest, most enriching/relaxing/renewing, soul-filling trip we have taken as a family (minus Dad). My husband was bummed that he missed out on this year. So bummed, in fact, that he already asked me to add Family Camp 2017 to our google calendar.
Why Family Camp?
Because Family. Because Camp.
p: (920) 882-0023
f: (920) 882-9474
912 N. Oneida St.
Appleton, WI 54911