Thursday, July 16, 2009

Chauncey Ranch Summer Camp

I got a week job as a camp nurse last week in Prescott for YMCA Chauncey Ranch. The really cool part of the deal is that Daphne, Jared, and Kaleb got to attend the camp and Victoria got to hang out with me. It was a blessing that we graciously took. I had the normal morning and evening meds to hand out. Otherwise, Victoria and I roamed around hanging out watching the activities and partaking in a few. It is a horse ranch so the camp is mostly centered around riding and horse type activities. Daphne signed up for as many horse activities as she could. The lead horse wrangler even pulled her into the Saddle Club for some extra trail rides. It was pretty awesome. Kaleb rode a horse for the first time which I missed because we had a medical priority. Kaleb is in this next picture completely surrounded by kids. This was a Team Challenge where the kids had to balance themselves on a platform that rocks like a teeter totter. The kids sized themselves up with each other and stepped onto the platform at the same time and moved to opposing places. They really had to work at it. It took a couple tries. If either end touches the ground they had to start over.
Daphne and a couple other kids got to help give four horses a bath. She loved it. These horses are so well groomed and have silky coats. We were told that horses on pasture have healthier coats than horses on supplements. Plain ol' bermuda grass. This is another Team Challenge that Kaleb was involved with. He is in the center of all of the kids on the one platform. There were two platforms with a rope hanging in the middle. One person jumps to retrieve the rope and then all of the kids swing across and have to fit on the next platform. It was alot harder than what it looked. Some kids were just like monkeys. Others had to really work at it to stay on the rope. This one took them about ten times to complete. They were pretty pleased with themselves afterward. You weren't allowed to talk either. And the big kids automatically took care of the little kids. It was sweet.
This was the Nurse's cabin. We had our own room, bathroom, shower, infirmary and this room with all the supplies we needed. We went through quite a bit of Calamine lotion. The mosquitoes were having a field day. I never saw any... but had 20 bites on one arm. One of the counselors actually tried bug spray one day and got bit more than usual. Daphne giving Old Spice a bath. The horses just wanted the grass. Victoria made friends pretty quick. The pool was a highlight of the day. Jazmin in the center was the Camp Directors daughter and Lacey was a camper. They were all pretty cute together. The wagons were for kids who were younger and stayed for only half the week. Each wagon had their own air conditioner. Taking a break. Michelle in for her daily slathering of calamine lotion. She is a foreign exchange student from Scotland. She said they don't have bugs at home that bite like this. So bug bites was something new for her. She was really nice and down to earth. We really liked her. Victoria sitting at the desk playing with play doh. She moved right in and made herself at home wherever we went. Victoria getting a ride back from archery from her big brother. All of the campers got to choose what activities they wanted to do. Daphne, Jared and Kaleb would continuously choose the same activity not knowing that the other ones did too. They were constantly surprising each other. They liked it. They became popular with the other campers because they were all siblings. Jared won't admit it but a few of the girls liked him. They kind of had an "in" because they were friends with Daphne. They thought he was cute.
I love this looks like Jared is about to shoot the arrow into Daphne's back and she is smiling:) They both really like archery. Daphne was able to perfect her aim by the end of the week. Though I did see quite a few fly into the bushes. Daphne and Sophia drying their "bums" (as Michelle would say). Their kayak became quite flooded. Daphne's pants were actually dry in time for horses the next session.
Jared is in the kayak in the middle and Kaleb and Victoria are in the canoe in the foreground. They never got enough of the canoeing. The Paint ball crew. Jared is on the right. Daphne on the horse again. The horses name was Chuck Norris. These two were hilarious to watch all wrapped up in tin foil. Victoria talked about this for days. She really liked Liam on the right. He was a foreign exchange student from England. I think she liked his accent. Daphne and Macayla hit it off within the first hour of camp. The other kids thought they knew each other. They had alot in common, even the same middle name...Lynn.
Victoria loved to hang out with the big girls. She helped Sam and Danny set their cabin's table. She was very proud of herself. The girls would always make room for her and squeeze together, serving her food and all.
Sarah...the polka dotted camp counselor. This was phase one. The next day she was painting it on her arms and legs. I think they just liked her better than everyone else.
Here are both my boys climbing 40 feet off the ground to ride a zip line down the other side. Well, maybe Jared. Kaleb froze in that exact spot and wouldn't move. We were convincing him to just touch the green rock just above his head...the half way mark. Kaleb does want to make sure that he gets credit for that 20 feet. His counselor told him that if he went the whole way that his Mom would do it too. I was quite happy that he only went half way. Whew! This was a major accomplishment for Kaleb...last time he did a rock wall he only made it 6 feet up and wanted down :) Jared on the other hand was like a monkey...spider...he enjoyed hanging by his hands at times pulling himself up. It made me a little nervous but they were well secure with the harness. I missed getting a good picture of Jared going down the zip line. I was called away.
This one particular horse all day was reaching over the fence to get to the greener he thought. Nothing like hanging out with the horses in your pj's. The horses in the pasture were always intrigued by Victoria. I think because she was small. They would first watch real cautiously as if she were a possible threat and then wanted to smell her and get pet by her. It was neat to watch. It was interesting to observe a large prey animal. An enormous cottonwood tree. One of many.
Daphne riding Old Spice. Victoria has absolutely no fear of horses. I had to really watch her because a few times I thought she might get stepped on. It was a great week. We were all exhausted by the end of the week. Kaleb was homesick and took a well needed nap in our room a couple times. One of the perks to having your Mom around.

Happy Fourth! A little late...

We still enjoyed the Fourth of July even though we had fake poppers and frantically packing for Summer camp the next morning.