Annual Bethany Family Retreat at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp: I've been meaning to write this post for a while now (the Family Retreat was the weekend of May 1st), and now I'm REALLY motivated to write as the camp is way WAY too close to one of the fires here in Colorado. :(
Not only am I bothered that intentionally faith-filled campers and their guides have been forced to evacuate the camp, but as you'll see from the photos below, I'm upset by the potential loss of land - the trees, the space, the nature that envelops the camp. Prayers that all stay safe and that the fire can become contained soon!
I literally jumped out of the car when this view came into sight - amazing!
The last part of the directions to Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp include things like "turn at the stick" and "don't miss the obscure, tiny blue sign with the arrow" and "watch out for the large rock"- things like that!
There were nature-made crosses all over camp.
We literally went around to each cabin and prayed over each family that was going to stay in that particular room. Awesome way to ground the weekend in faith and families.
That's Pike's Peak in the distance - this is the the other side of the mountain that you don't get to see unless you drive south for three hours. On unpaved roads. To the middle of nowhere.
The boys. Honest to Pete, they can play!
They made the music come ALIVE!
While Joni may harm me for posting this photo, these Recipe Prayer Cards were a super-cool activity for families to participate in, adding personal prayers of their own to the box.
Mind you, the ASSEMBLY of these prayer boxes (simple instructions: take 1 of each prayer and put it into the box) reminded me why you only include a FEW people on an assembly line or the whole thing goes down the drain pretty fast. Joni was a good sport, and we got the boxes assembled. Eventually.
Everyone was encouraged to add concerns and celebrations to the prayer list.
We love ADDISON!
And rocking chairs that are made especially for little ones!
. Amen .
My all-around buddy for the weekend, Miss Kathryn!
Breakfast on Saturday morning was apparently more amusing than normal...
Or maybe it was what we were eating...
Or the fact that I can't hold still when I talk...
Whatever it was, what a way to kick-off the day!
Missing something here...
And we're singing again! I learned more camp and praise songs in preparation for this retreat than I can even begin to count. We're talking 50+ songs in the span of about 2 weeks!
Kevin leading the little peeps.
I love the fact that everyone was involved!
The great I Am.
These children are either confused or amused.
I wonder why...
Oh, THAT's why.
The incredible Flying Lady strikes again.
I think this was the point where they would ONLY call me Princess Pippa - you see, this was the weekend of the Royal Wedding (which we all actually stayed up to watch the morning we drove the 3+ hours to camp). Joni and I were joking about how lucky it was that CATHERINE was the Princess, because the sound of "Princess Pippa" was just ridiculous.
When Joni jokingly introduced me as Princess Pippa to the kidds, well, it stuck for the rest of the weekend!
(Note: Today (6/13/11) was the first day of Vacation Bible School,
and the kids are still calling me Princess Pippa!)
Joni and the kiddos, learning all about fishes and loaves.
A lovely potato craft. (for the kids? yes. for me? oy.)
Remind me never again to use paint with preschoolers.
Paint, potatoes, and preschoolers. By myself.
A bit of fresh air after those LOVELY potato crafts.
Honestly, the views were spectacular
and the weather couldn't have been better.
Each meal began with a fun prayer. I miss camp.
I love the look on Jack's face. He is seriously
questioning whatever Ruth Ann is talking about!
There's Caya and her family (she was my music student back in 1st grade!)
How sweet are they!? Forrest and Elias near the river.
I could spend hours here. Wait....I did.
Our afternoon trekking group. I have no idea how we made
it BACK to base camp, but the in-between views were fantastic!
Here we are, post-hike. All nice and calm.
Little did I know the next 3 hours would be spent HIGH above the ground on a ropes course. Not nice. Not calm. That activity alone gets its own posting, as it was too traumatic to include inside such an enjoyable post about Camp. Mother of Pearl.
Katie and Miss Addison, just chilling on Saturday night. The guys brought their guitars to the lounge, and the families were just singing and eating smores. Camp with a capital C.
Um...what?! This is what we woke up to Sunday morning!
Look at that bunch! An energetic group of caring families, committed to walking in the faith, encouraging each other, and spending quality time with their family members. What an amazing weekend!