LLB and I went on her 8th grade retreat over the weekend. We drove up with R and HP.
It was a gorgeous weekend - the leaves are just starting to turn up there and the reds and oranges are simply beautiful.
The kids had a pretty good time. They did a scavenger hunt, sang songs, had a "Dump Dance" where you create your outfit from trash bags and tin foil, had an indoor camp fire, spent time with summer camp friends, and worshiped together.
I went up as a parent as did R. Our churches are tiny. We don't have youth leaders. Please let it be known far and wide that we don't EVER want to be youth leaders. Some of the larger churches have youth leaders who bring the kids up to this retreat. Those youth leaders want to be involved in what the kids are doing and they want to "spiritually fed" while they are there. Parents don't. We want to sit and enjoy the beauty that isn't laundry.
I expected to keep up with LLB - the only attendee from our church. I did not expect to have to spend time in small group discussion with the other adults or have to spend time chaperoning kids I don't know. (It was fine, but it was not what I expected.) I also expected to have my own child in my group during the scavenger hunt. Alas, that is not what happened. Fortunately, I got to see her a few times - I took her picture while she was doing the activities. I also got to hug her tight and tell her that "We follow the rules. I know other kids swapped groups, but you have to stay with your group." You know... this is supposed to be fun...
On Saturday afternoon, R and I did get to do some scrapbooking while the kids were on a hike up the mountain to the cross. We pulled a table out onto the porch of the house where we were staying, and enjoyed the sun, the weather, the leaves, and the time to sit and scrap. That, my friends, was simply wonderful...
The Dump Dance was awesome! They gave the kids 1 large black trash bag and 2 smaller kitchen can bags. The kids had to create an outfit with their trash bags and as much tin foil as they wanted. LLB made a dress out of the black bag and a sash out of the white ones. Tin foil was turned into bracelets. She was very attractive!
Some of the other kids were extremely creative. One girl traded her black bag for some extra white bags - she created a tutu by blowing up the white bags, attaching them to her waist and she completed the look by wrapping her torso in tin foil. The kids stayed in their costumes for the entire dance - they must have been hot because they all drank a ton of water. The music was great! I asked for the play list because it was so good.
All in all, I think LLB had a good time. There were a few things that she would have changed, but that's the way life is. She caught up with some camp friends, she met a couple of new kids, she sang a LOT, and she got to spend time at the place she loves. Who could ask for a better weekend?