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Incomparable Camp Ozark

Remember summer? My gosh I miss it. Now that we’re two weeks into school, I’m still wishing for cold pools, ice cream and summer camp. I guess a blog post about how awesome it was will have to do. Every summer, we save up to send our older kids to summer camp in Arkansas. I’m a summer camp/counselor kid and I know how much it shaped me. Being able to do that with my own kids is a tremendous gift.

Bust out the bug spray and face paint and let’s talk all things camp, shall we? It’s that time of year when I interview the kids about their week.

Camp according to CLARE

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Horsemanship: “You have to be really careful around horses. Don’t forget to put an imaginary horse behind your real horse. That keeps you from getting hurt.” Clare would know, last year she fell off one. Horse: 1, Clare: 0. This year, she learned to take care of them and have a great ride. She sure looks cute up there.
Mosaics: “They sure took a long time, but they were fun.” The cross she made was amazing, by the way.
Outdoor Survivor: “We got to make s’mores.” Sounds like my kind of class, because if surviving means chocolate, then I’M IN.
Mish Mash: Clare spent her two hours of free time every day either in the wood shop, the craft shed (seeing a theme here), the camp store or horseback riding. Not a single one of those surprised me. She said the best part was “seeing my old cabin mates and going to camp with my best friend.” One of the gals from her class in school joined her in the Ozarks and the peas in a pod couldn’t have been happier.

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Camp according to ANNA-LAURA

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Archery: She loved it so much at another camp, she did it here. “No bullseyes, Mom, but close.”
Soccer: “I learned some new tricks.” Always a hit. This was a repeat from last year. Anna-Laura adores soccer.
Painting: She enjoyed her creative side, but the thing that touched me the most was the painting she did for Gianna. She’s the second mom around here, I tell ya.
Mish Mash: Anna-Laura spent her free time at the waterfront, the wood shop, the ropes course, playing putt-putt and buying her weight in sweet tea at the camp store. “Meeting new friends and having fun with my counselors (exhibit A below) was my favorite part of camp.” My shy, trepidatious child has finally come into her own. We were super proud to see her earn the “Order of the Arrow” award, given to the camper who shows great athleticism in tribal competition. She was beside herself with joy.

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Camp according to JOHN PAUL

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Smashball: “I like smashball because it’s a fun game.” Next year, he tells us he’s graduating to water slides. John Paul and pools don’t usually end well. Lord, help me.
Riflery: “Eh, I just wanted to try something new.”
Archery: It was another new activity to the lineup. He “almost hit a bullseye, which was pretty cool.”
Mish Mash: John Paul’s free time was spent on the putt-putt course, playing smashball, on the waterfront and water slides and spending all us money on arm bands at the camp store. “I pretty much steered clear of the crafts cabin.” Mr. Competitive enjoyed tribal competition the most. We call him Mr. Armband. His hope is to beat his arm band record of 10 next summer. No Camp President this year, he says politics got old. Preach. Instead, he really dug the magician on red-white-blue night and has been doing card tricks ever since he arrived home.

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Camp according to WILL

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Archery: “I liked it because I got to shoot arrows with my friends.” Fair enough.
Tourney Dodgeball: “It’s dodgeball, Mom. It’s always fun.” And that’s when I started to have flashbacks of this movie.
Grill Masters: “We got to eat twice.” Spoken like a true teenager. His favorite dish was bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Did he say bacon?
Mish Mash: Will enjoyed nine square (like 4 square with volleyball which means I still don’t know what it is), basketball and the rock wall during mish mash. As we were leaving, he was chatting about his counselors, “I mean, I think they get better every year.” That sure warms a mom’s heart. That, and how much he loved their evening devotionals at night. We should all be so excited to talk about God and how He’s working in our lives.

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It sure makes for a great week when your kids are in the hands of dear friends you adore. To the Torn family, thank you for loving on our kids as much as we do. Plus, it’s always fabulous to run into friends at pickup.

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After one last round of hugs, we stopped at the Dairyette for burgers and Dr Pepper milkshakes and made the long drive home. Boy, was it long! But so worth it. Until next summer, Camp Ozark!

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If you’re wondering how to choose the right camp for your family, pack for all that crazy or why I think summer camp is THE best, just click on all those links. Summer camp is the bomb.com, indeed.

3 Comments

  1. Maureen Davis on August 29, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Beautiful pictures! The children are growing and sure having fun. God bless all!

    Maureen

  2. Ann Marie on March 8, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    I went to Camp Ozark for 3 summers and really enjoyed reading about your kids’ adventures there! I am interested to hear your thoughts on how Ozark’s teaching of Christianity fits with Catholic theology.

    • Kathryn on March 8, 2018 at 3:15 pm

      We absolutely love it there. Honestly, we have zero concerns about our kids’ faith experience there. Some of their counselors have been Catholic and there has never been a kid, or a staff member, who has questioned their faith or their practice of it. As for what’s taught at camp, they tend to stick to overarching Christian themes rather than theology. If I was sending my kid to faith camp, I would probably be looking for a different experience. But, this is summer camp, heavy on the athletics and community, with an underlying reliance on God. That works for our family and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to any of my friends. Hope that helps!

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