Our local homeschool group is awesome, and this year they came up with a really great field trip to kick off the new school year. We traveled to Camp Chestnut Ridge, a camp run by the United Methodist church in nearby Efland.
I was particularly excited about this trip. I was a counselor at my 4-H camp for several years and loved every minute of it - so much so that I worked there as a cook during summers in college.
Our fearless homeschool leaders chose great activities for us. We had the option to canoe/kayak, do arts and crafts, do archery, take a hayride to a nearby farm, or to zipline. We could each choose three ....
and I was most excited when My Big Helper chose to zipline. We watched a few videos at home to prep her, since she had never seen a zipline before, but when the time came, she strapped on the harness and helmet. She was the first one ready and climbed up the ladder. That tiny platform was a total of 25 or 30 feet in the air, or so they said, and it was hard to watch her pull herself up those staples-called-ladder pushed into the tree. She climbed right up, though, ...
having just a bit of trouble when it came time to climb over the edge of the platform. Her arms and legs weren't quite long enough to reach the handholds, but she did it - and after listening to instructions, she sat on the edge of the ledge and jumped off.
It's one thing to do that yourself, but it's quite another to watch your little girl do it.
I was very happy to be there and be able to check her harness for myself.
My Little Man wasn't old enough to tackle the zipline yet, but he was VERY excited to try out a bow and arrow for the first time. He did well, and he stayed to shoot over and over. Doesn't he look so professional out there?
After rowing peacefully around the lake in our canoe, checking out the shoreline and soaking up some sun, we spotted some kids in kayaks. My Big Helper decided that she wouldn't mind trying it out, as long as she could stay by the shore, and so after a a quick paddling lesson from the instructor, she hopped in. She did stay by the shore - for about two minutes. She got the hang of the paddle quickly and soon took off straight across the lake.
I really want my kids to have the opportunity to attend camp someday. Being able to go off and try new things - things I might not ordinarily do - taught me that I could do far more than I thought. I want them to have that same chance - but at their ages, being able to experience it with them for the very first time is priceless.
Even if my heart does skip a few beats at their bravery and independence.
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