Friday, August 28, 2015

Camp Chawanakee

Spencer and Tyler had scout camp back in June/July. They went to Chawanakee Boy Scout Camp by Shaver Lake (3 hours away). Spencer went there 3 years ago and couldn't wait to go back. This was Tyler's first time there.  They shared a tent.

They drove up on Sunday. We were SO grateful to the leaders of Troop 164 (the other LDS troop in Paso) for taking our boys and staying there all week! We went up on Thursday and stayed in the family camp (which is right next to the Boy Scout camp) until Saturday. 

They had a huge lighting storm the night before we arrived, and no one got much sleep. They had to go to the emergency shelter around midnight, and the lightning lasted pretty much all night long. I'm so glad we missed that!

They had to do a bunch of improvements to their camp throughout the week - they were very proud of this wood pen and gate they made. 

During free time they showed us around the rest of the camp. I've heard so much about it, it was fun to actually see it.

They especially liked the mountain boarding. The boys liked it so much, in fact, that they bought their own when they got home. It's been a lot of fun for all the boys, Brennan on up.

After we got back to our camp, the kids had a blast climbing huge boulders and fallen trees while I made dinner. This place was awesome!

In case you can't tell, they are being "chawanabears," which is what they call the squirrels up there. They climb high in the trees and throw huge pine cones at people, especially the adult leaders at camp. That's what they say, anyway.

 Dallin made breakfast the next morning - he needed to do it for his Webelos badge. 

I'm surrounded by silly people.

 They get it from their dad.

After we cleaned up breakfast, we went over to the lake. We had the camp closest to the lake (i.e. very close). It was a warm, sunny day, and the water felt great!

 We swam and kayaked all morning. 

 Dave went over to Chawanakee and watched Spencer and Tyler go zip-lining. 

They came over to show off their war paint - they did the Chieftain Run and Iron Bear. Both involve waking up early to run. 

After we were good and worn out from the lake, we went back to our camp to relax. Our campsite had a rustic cabin, but it was so full of mosquitoes that we just left our suitcases in there and slept in our tent. This was definitely a no-thrills camp - they had the stinkiest port-a-potties I've ever used. Chloe outright refused. She got really good at going in the woods.

 We played Phase 10 and ate snacks all afternoon. It was lovely.

 Then we went over to Chawanakee for the closing flag ceremony and family BBQ.

It was hilarious, we saw another troop taking pictures at this spot (which is what gave us the idea), and they were lined up in neat rows (in order of rank) with perfect uniforms and matching neckerchiefs and flags and a bunch of leaders. I think they were from San Francisco. They won an award for best camp of the week. Then there's our troop, wild and crazy and acting very silly. Honestly, they looked like they were having way more fun!

We headed back to our camp and had our last campfire with s'mores and snake bread. Wow, that is one dirty face you go there, Chloe.

It's always a bit of a miracle when we escape camp with no major burns (Levi did burn his hand the next day, but it wasn't too bad). Those kids were obsessed with the fire. Instead of buying firewood, I picked up free wood scraps from a local cabinet maker. The pieces were small, but there was a ton of them, and the kids loved being able to constantly add wood to the fire. 

The big kids broke camp quick and joined us just as we were finishing breakfast. It was the 4th of July! We didn't want to hurry home, so we we drove another hour further into the mountains and went rock climbing in the middle of nowhere! It was awesome.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cub Scout Day Camp

This year was Brennan's first Cub Scout Day Camp, and he was SO excited!  The theme was "Take Flight," and they held it in the field behind our church, as usual.  At first we were a little unsure, because they put him in a Tiger den (younger boys), but it worked out because a friend from scouts was in there with him, and his was den chief was one of Tyler's friends from school.  

 It was a pretty small group this year, which was kinda nice. His favorite activity was BB guns.

The awards ceremony on the last day was held at the airplane museum. Afterwards we broke up into groups and toured the museum. The whole family was invited to go for free (it usually costs between $5-10/person). 

It was a fun week, and Brennan was sad to see it come to an end. There he is with his den leader/Tyler's friend Joseph.

It was great that we got to get a tour, but it was a little too long for me. Too much waiting around in the heat, trying to find shade. 

We really enjoyed the huge indoor car collection, which was new since the last time we were there. Apparently one family owns all the cars and loans them to the museum to display. In fact it's only a portion of their whole collection. There are some wealthy people in this town.

They had a flight simulator that was sorta working. The man who usually runs it wasn't there, but they enjoyed sitting in the cockpit and pushing buttons. We escaped a little early and headed over to the pool to cool off. Then we got ice cream cones at McDonald's on the way home. It was a fun but exhausting day! 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Free fish-n-chips

Giovanni's, a restaurant in Morro Bay, gave away free fish & chips in June to celebrate its 30th anniversary. I got the kids out of school early (boy, were they surprised!) and headed over to the coast. 

 It was some party! The line was long, but it moved fast and was quite entertaining!

People walked around handing out free stuff - the boys got hats, and I got a shirt.

Plus cotton candy and bakery cookies. They also had a live band. The whole thing felt very festive!

 It was such a beautiful day there! 

They fed 2000 people that day. The owner was quoted as saying, "It's pretty costly, but I've been pretty blessed and I believe in giving back and the community has supported us for 30 years and it's my way of saying thank you, giving back to the community, giving back to the hungry, the homeless, everybody."

 We even found an empty table with a fabulous view.

 The fish was delicious, and the portions were huge!  We took half of it home for dinner.

They raised awareness and money for the food bank. Such a great idea - thank you Giovanni's!