Sunday, July 23, 2006

Honor Cadre - First Muskegon

I have tried to upload this picture six times, now, finally, here it is. It was actually supposed to go with the post below. This is most of our group, starting in the back is me, head counselor Bryan (and assistant camp director), counselor Kevin, junior counselor Trent. In the front row, the cadets: Jaeger, Ceejay, Chantze, Ryan, and Austin. Not pictured are Aaron and Noah, two of our best.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Second half of Veenievacation - Cadet Camp

Chantze and I spent six days at the 2006 Musketawa Camporee on the Au Sable river. It was hot, the mosquitos were terrible, and there was a ton of exhaustive labor to be done every day. All that aside, it was a wonderful, bonding experience with my son that we’ll both remember for the rest of our lives. ‘Cadets’ is a Christian boy scout-type thing, Chantze is a third-year cadet and I’m a counselor.

Every year they get permits to set up their own camp for one week on state land, complete with an archery range, a rifle range, and a fleet of canoes from Happy Mohawk. These guys do a first-rate job of ministering to boys by being good, godly role models, and working their a##es off to set up this camp for them. It’s high-quality, safe fun that builds character, discipline, and spirit, and I can’t fully express what a rewarding experience it is to be a part of it.

The boys missed their playstations, and complained about all the hard work of maintaining a camp, but in the end, they really took care of business and won 'the spear'. For something like forty years, this spear has been passed around by the winners of each camporee's 'honor cadre'. There's a lot of history in it, and First Reformed's club hadn't won it in like a dozen years.

In the picture below, you can see Chantze is raising the American flag upside-down. He was the only kid all week to make that mistake. Ryan is whispering fiercly, "No dude, it goes the other way!"

This is a picture of Chantze with Trent, our junior counselor. They wrapped him in shrink wrap and paraded him around the camp because he's such an 'annoying kid'. Actually Chantze is very popular and well-liked by everybody, so they always choose to mess with him first.

Here's a little euchre action, and Chantze at crafts with a complete ADD child named Levi. (we kind of befriended him and tried to keep him out of trouble) In the bottom picture, he's wearing two of the dream-catchers the boys made as earrings.

This is their 'display project' that our boys made in our camp. The sign describes how you can build one of these if you're ever lost in the woods to protect you from the wind, rain, and cold.

First half of Veenievacation - Greenville

The 'Danish Kingdom' - don't ask me why they call it that.

We spent four days in Wendy's vacation home in Greenville, on two lakes (one dock in the backyard, and one in the front yard) and it was very pleasant and restful. And free. We swam, rode bikes, went out for ice cream, paddled the paddle boat, did a tiny bit of fishing, and watched the first three Star Wars movies each evening. There are too many great stories to share, of family and love and quality time and other mushy tripe, but I'll leave you with this one.

After swimming one day, I laid the bathing suits out on the deck to dry. Later I brought them in but left Paige's bikini top out by mistake. After dinner that evening, we all went back out to the deck to relax, and when Paige noticed her top, she snatched it with an irritated expression. "Dad, you forgot my bra!" We all laughed so hard that it hurt her feelings.

(Top L-R: twins cruisin, Chantze and Mom swinging, kids chillin, us peddlin)

(Top L-R: Hailie's catch, Chantze's ambush, Twin A, and Twin B - you guess the names)