Sherry and Karl arrived first and she was able to get 4 sites together and she'd also made signs saying White Cane Campers, the name of our group (we had to call ourselves something) Sherry has 4 children and was able to bring three of them camping. Her older two are boys of 6 and 10, the youngest at just under a year was Kyden. Kyden is a little bit of a girl, but oh, did she like to move and crawl and explore, and eat grass! We were constantly on the lookout for those little hands to grab grass and stuff it in her mouth. I think she just liked the way it felt, and wanted to see what it tasted liked as another exploration sense, not as desire for food.
Acer and I arrived second, Bill arrived after work. I emptied the van, and put stuff close to where it was going to go, but needed Bill's help to set up the tent or screen tent. To Acer's delight, there was a playground close by. We spent quite a few hours there. It was so hot I had to make sure to bring liquids that he would drink. He can get playing so much he doesn't want to pause to re-hydrate.
Janet, Matt and their two sons arrived next. Their oldest is 5, so he fit right in with Sherry's two. Wesley is such a cute little guy, at 2 1/2 he's the next oldest after Acer. He's musically talented, he already sounds out songs on his mini grand piano and he has the amazing ability to sit, and balance his legs to they don't touch the grass, Killer Balance!
At this point we noticed that there was another trend among the families: On the way there the women, who'd met online, were telling their husbands about the group and quizzing them as to which child went with which parents! The husbands wisely tried to remember as much as possible.
The rest of that day was mainly a hang out and get to know each other day. I'd brought a lot of stuff from home to entertain the three older kids, it was easy to do because it was all packed in our wagon ready to go. We'd had Bill's family reunion the weekend before, and so I'd just left the stuff in the wagon and we brought it all with us. The lots were spacious enough that we were able to set up the ladder golf and the giant blow up soccer set no problem. That night two of us had the usual camp site bandits hit our screen tents - Racoons! They destroyed a little bit of food, but nothing major. They totally ignored junk food, the least healthy stuff they went for was bread. Just goes to show, animals can be wiser than humans!
Friday the three families went swimming at the little lake in the park, we were camping in a county park. The water was really shallow and the fish were incredibly unafraid of people. Schools of 10-15 would come up and get really close to you if you stood still. The other two families went back to camp, but Acer was going to play on the playground near the lake when I looked up at the sky. The clouds were rolling in FAST and mean looking. We zoomed home and secured our site. I pulled everything away from the edges of the tent, Bill took down our screen tent and anything damageable went into Hiho. In the midst of these preparations, the last family arrived and we were barely introduced before we were working like crazy to get their tent up before the storm hit. A county sheriff actually drove through the camp making a get under cover announcement during all this chaos too.
Brandi and Scott and their little daughter Kayla had made it into their tent and then the skies opened up. Kayla's the youngest of the group, by a whole three weeks. I imagine she and Kyden will grow to be great pals in the future. Scott actually had to get up early to go to work on Sat. So we were really glad he was willing to make the effort to come out. Kayla is the one whose birthday Acer went to just a couple weeks ago.
After the skies opened up on us, we sat in the HiHo and waited it out. It wasn't too bad being in the car, we were warm, dry and safe. A little but later, the skies cleared and all the families started poking their heads out. We took inventory and made sure everything was okay. As we were doing that, we could see a line of clouds coming in, despite sheriff's driving through and saying we were out of the storms. These clouds were funky, they rolled over themselves as they travelled. This translated into some decent sized hail hitting our heads a few minutes later. Note, Hail is formed when rain falls down, and then gets blown back up and freezes, repeated until it's heavy enough to fall through the wind.
We had a decent night's sleep, but Sherry and family's stuff got soaked and so they headed home (than heavens it was relatively close) and spent the night there.
Saturday, the park had a couple big events planned, hayride, corn roast and band. the whole group went, but at different times. We stayed later than the other families because there was a band playing. This is the band where Acer first played on a real drum set, and the drummer even gave him a pair of real drumsticks. You can see Acer drumming on garbage can and pole in an earlier post.
Sunday, we all basically just packed up and went home. We were the last to go and the park sure looked lonely without the others. All in all, storm and raccoons aside, we had a good time and are looking forward to seeing them all again.