Saturday, July 11, 2009

Lassen Pines Camp--Part I

Lassen Pines--you say? Aren't you married, Brooke? Don't you have small kids, Brooke? Yes, to all of the above. Every year my parents take one week of their vacation and head off to Lassen. This year, I decided to join them. Mom and Dad and the boys were going to be coming through here on their way between Morning Star Camp and Lassen, so I knew there would be someone to help me along the way. Tadd graciously agreed to letting us leave him for a week...and off we went. The kids were all-stars for the 12 hour drive. We stopped in Reno at a very cool outlet mall that had a huge fountain for the kids to play in. They squealed and laughed and splashed and got totally soaked. We grabbed last minute things like mouse traps for the cabins, bottled water and dangly earrings at Target. Then we enjoyed In n Out burgers and shakes before finishing the trip.

When we arrived at camp, the kids and I were put on one side of a cabin in which my mom was the counselor. I felt so bad for the girls in the cabin who were stuck with a mom and her two babies. But they were so sweet to us and very well behaved young ladies. I was quite happy not to be clear out in the tee pees using a shared bathroom in the woods.
For me, Lassen is a smell, first of all. It is a scent that I first breathed in as an over-excited 12 year old on my first trip to camp. A smell I inhaled deeply as a flirting, spending a week with my friends mid-teenager and a scent I loved as a graduated-still-coming-to-Lassen-even-though-none-of-my-friends-do-almost-woman. I had to smell Lassen one more time. Now that I live away from the home of my birth the scent of pine and dirt and love was even more wonderful. Watching my children play where I learned so many lessons from the Word of God and from godly friends was wonderful. It was good to be back in the meeting room listening to admonitions from the Word. I was so happy to be there. And so were the kids. One day I was talking to Ezra about all the fun things he had done and I asked him if he was glad he had come. He said, "Yes! I'm not sad at all, mommy!"

We enjoyed watching boys softball a couple of the days.

Hymn sings by the lake in the evening are always enjoyable. Ezra and Caroline hung out on the platform with all the other kids.
There's Uncle Brett, Maddie, Emmy-Red-Hair and Uncle Heffay.
Caroline was able to complete a baby-sitting circle while sitting here with Emma. You see, Emma's mother babysat my brothers and I when we were little. Then, when she had kids I loved to play with them at conferences. Now her girls are becoming lovely young women who helped me out this go-around. It's so fun to have continuing friendships like this!
One night during the hymn sing all the kids were called to the front to sing "Jesus Loves Me" and some other children's songs. Ezra was not uncomfortable in the least.
Caroline went up front with Emma for a few minutes before deciding she'd rather come back to mommy.
One thing that is new in the past several years to Lassen is the young children's activities. In the past, Lassen was strictly for young people and some adults to be counselors and coordinate activities and kitchen work, etc. With fewer young people coming, the door has been opened for more young families to come. Mr. Rob and Miss Jackie have started some wonderful children's activities for all those young families. In the morning Rob referees Dodge Ball for the kids under 12. Ezra played one morning. As a three year old he had "immunity". That meant that he was allowed to throw the ball and get other kids out, but no one could get him out. He didn't quite understand why I was yelling at him to throw the ball at other kids when normally he would get in trouble for that. But he did manage to get one boy out.
In the afternoon Jackie runs crafts for the kids--and I'm not talking chintzy little crafts either. The kids and I made it to the craft room twice. The first day the kids made fleece blankets and on the last day they painted a wooden picture frame. They had a blast, and we have mementos of their time at Lassen. After crafts, the kids are invited to woods to play Capture the Flag. Ezra tried his hand at that one day as well, but never really caught on enough to enjoy it. The older kids come to Lassen just for Capture the Flag.
Also, during the morning prayer meeting, the children under 12 are invited to go to Sunday School. They sing and listen to a story and then they have a chance to pray out loud together. Ezra prayed the second morning, I'm told. I love to hear the prayers of little children--the picture of faith. I only wish they would record these loving prayer meetings : )
Ezra and Caroline were thrilled to go swimming in the lake two days. The water is pretty cold and the air temp was a wonderful mid-70 degrees--perfect for playing sports, not so warm for swimming in a cold lake.
Okay, I just can't get enough of her in this year's little swim suit!!!
Paddling his "boat" to go out fishing.

So much of Lassen is about making friendships that last a lifetime and on into eternity. I am now raising my children at the same time as my dear friends who I spent my Lassen days with. And I wonder if someday I'll look back at these pictures of Caroline with these darling little girls and they'll still be friends.


Glenda said...

I know that smell! ;)

Mandy said...

Ahhh...what a great post! I love ya Cookie!

Anonymous said...

Darling darling pics! :) Love her little suit :) I saw a pic online of you playing baseball Brooke, haha brings back memories and pics I have of you there in like 96 and 97, wow! You haven't changed at all ;)!! ~Cath

Adkins Family said...

I totally know that smell you are talking about. And there is different smell for the cabins that I catch a whiff of now and then and the memories start coming back. Glad you had a nice time!