This weekend we went to our sponsoring parish's retreat at our diocesan camp, Camp Mikell. We love Camp Mikell eventhough we've only been there once before for a Folk School weekend. There is this air of fun and relaxation as soon as you drive up the windy road to camp and all the buildings are full of that same camp-like feeling. I so wish I had grown up Episcopalian so that I could have all the camp memories so many cradle Episcopalians have.
I have such fond memories of the camp I went to as a child, and I can only imagine being part of a place where so many bonds have been made and so many campers have gone before. I'm so excited *A* and (H) will have a chance to go to Camp Mikell and experience this amazing place. This weekend they got a taste of camp, and they LOVED it!
While we stayed the retreat village rather than in the main camp area, we were still able to have meals in the dining hall (yum!), and explore the main camp buildings. After breakfast on Sunday, while ^J^ was leading morning prayer, we snuck into the main hall (the old dining hall) with the stage, huge fireplace, and hundreds of campers' names painted on the walls and ceiling. They couldn't get enough and kept finding new things to look at with their flashlights. I was finally able to drag them out of there and we had a fun walk in the pouring down rain back to our cabin.
It rained, hard, the entire time we were there but it didn't matter. We all had rain gear and boots and umbrellas and extra changes of clothes so when the kids wanted to walk in the newly made stream running down the muddy path, no problem! We watched the creek rise and become dangerously fast while we were there and *A* had fun looking for spiders with her new spider identification book. Were planning to stay until Sunday afternoon but everyone was leaving early because of the weather, so we packed up, and the kids were SO disappointed.
It was a nice getaway and good to see people from our old church. Getting away always puts things in perspective though and we are always struck at the ways we have changed in the short time we've been at Sewanee. We had big discussions on the way home about the future and the fact that we will not ever have the opportunity to be a parishioner again (unless we're on vacation). It's kinda weird but also very exciting.
(NOTE: Since I have no pictures to share from this weekend, these pictures are from our first visit to Camp Mikell in March of 2008. Just imagine a lot more leaves and a lot more rain.)