A Week of Independence: The Johnson Kids Do Camp and Utah!

Jamie and I are kid-less for 24 WHOLE HOURS before I fly to Utah tomorrow for business. I tried to convince him to play hookey with me today but he was having none of that. Something about having to work to pay the bills (lame, I  know). Tonight, we’re going on a date to see Star Trek Into Darkness and eat at a new Cafe Rio that opened near our house (my fave restaurant ever).

So, why are we alone?

The Boy

On Friday, Bode boarded a plane by himself for the first time to visit his grandparents in Utah. I only cried a little bit but cried even more when a friend pointed out the gate behind him is actually to Portland!

I knew he was surrounded by people who love him but it is his first time away from home for an extended period of time so I worried a bit. If he had a different mother than me, he’d gravitate toward behind a homebody but he has really come into his own this past year and is turning into a brave, fun-loving and adventurous little guy. I called the first night after he arrived and he said he had dessert for dinner.  Yep, turns out Grandma’s ward at church was having a big dessert social and Bode loaded up on sweets.

He has long forgotten us.

The Girl

As for Hadley, I dropped her off at YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch near Winter Park for five nights at Camp Chief Ouray yesterday. To say she was out-of-her-gourd excited is an understatement because Miss Independence is ready to fly. And, truth be told, I was just as ecstatic for her because I always longed to attend a good old-fashioned camp in a beautiful mountain setting.

We paid an extra $175 for the horseback riding option where she will spend half her day at the stable with four of her cabin mates and then rotate through traditional camp the rest of the day. She has been obsessed with horses so this may cure her or fuel the fire.

Time shall tell if we’ll live to regret it.

We arrived promptly at 1:30 p.m. for registration and because we were among the first, whizzed through the process of checking in her luggage, getting lice-checked (Colorado state law) and her temperature taken. Before we know it, I took her to her cabin where her two bubbly counselors Laura and Lindsay were waiting. Every week at camp there is a new theme and the paper snowflakes and icicles testified they were going back to the Ice Age.

Camp Chief Ouray!

We then reviewed the schedule for the week and I almost threatened to crash her party because it sounds like so much fun:
7 a.m. Wake Up/ Dress/ Wash Up/ Clean Cabins
7:45 a.m. Flag Raising
8 a.m. Breakfast in the camper cafeteria (I’d like to be a fly on the wall for the week to see what she loads up on without parental supervision. I suspect mostly carbs and no vegetables).
8:45 a.m. Camp Clean Up (She was most excited about that).
9:15 a.m. Horseback riding (OK, this was the one she was looking forward to the most).

Click to enlarge

11:30 a.m. Pavilion Call (I hope there is a dinner bell involved).

11:45 a.m. Free Time
12 p.m. Lunch (Carbs, carbs and more carbs)
1 p.m. Rest Period. B.O.B. “Bodies on Bunks.” (I would like to see this actually happen).
2 p.m. Freedom of Choice Activities. (Include archery, riflery, sports and games, dance, drama, outdoor survival skills like orienteering, nature building, fire building, arts and crafts, hiking, mad scientist, climbing, newspaper and cooking).
4:30 p.m. Snack Time (Rejoice! I suspect she will think she’s starving because normal snack time is 3 p.m.)
4:45 p.m. Cabin Activity Time. (Archery, planning for skits, games on the ball field, cabin adventures, hiking, arts and crafts or climbing).
5:30 p.m. Flag Lowering
5:45 p.m. Dinner (I suspect desserts will be interspersed with her carbs).
7:30 p.m. Evening Program.  (No idea what is involved but I highly suspect funny, corny skits)
8:30 p.m. Vespers Campfire (Hopefully they’ll sing plenty of songs and have s’mores!)
9 p.m. Cabin Devotion
10 p.m. Lights Out (10 girls in one cabin? Good luck with that).
Since Hadley was the first to arrive, she had her choice of 10 bunks. I helped her weigh her options. “If you’re in the middle, you’ll be right in the center of the action (what I would have chosen). If you choose the sides, it will be a bit quieter and may be a bit easier to fall asleep.”She selected the top bunk on the far side left, the furthest away from the counselors (they sleep in an adjacent, open room). Smarter kid than I would have been.We said our good-byes and as I was leaving, she was already delving into her first project of decorating a sign for her bunk bed.

Camp Chief Ouray is located in one of the prettiest parts of Colorado so I opted for an adventure of my own by taking the “scenic route” (which added an additional 3.5 hours onto the 1.5-hour drive from Denver), passing through Grand Lake and over infamous Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park.

It was worth it. #Understatement

Upon arriving home, I downloaded the day’s events to my husband.

Me: “And then Hadley cried when I dropped her off.”

Him (knowing his independent daughter so well): “Cried tears of joy?”

Me: “Pretty much.”

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