From the time we pulled into the Bluffs (the Pine Cove camp where we stayed), the highlight, to me, was the staff. These college-aged, God-loving, servant-minded staffers were probably my favorite people I've ever met. Really.
As soon as you pull in, these guys are going CRAZY -- screaming, cheering and dancing around your car -- welcoming you to camp. It's overwhelming but so much fun. When we rolled down our windows, they handed Tyler a root beer and me a rose, and we felt their love for Christ reach inside and throw an arm around our necks. It was that tangible.
The staffers remained probably my favorite part of camp -- particularly the ones who took care of my girls. At Pine Cove, there is something for everyone, even down to the littlest campers, and both my girls were part of "Cove Kids," designed for ages 0-4. Selah was part of the "Bunnies" (ages 1-2) and Eden was in the "Bears" (ages 3-4).
They (and their daddy and I) ADORED their teachers. The most patient, loving, genuine servants ever. Selah got especially attached to "Super Nanny" (they all have fun, crazy camp names) which translated to "Super Man" when Selah said it.
I fell in love with this girl and her kind heart as well and am already missing her!
Our girls had so much fun in their classes. They got to do things like play with shaving cream, ride horses, meet the "Bubble Princess," and much more. And of course they learned about the Bible and God's love for them. Oh AND they took naps! Every day! I truly cannot say enough about the care that was provided for them at Pine Cove. It exceeded my expectations in every way and filled my heart with joy as I watched them receiving the same kind of love they get at home.
You're probably wondering what Tyler and I did with all that free time while the girls were at Cove Kids. Well, we went on dates! And it was awesome! :) Pine Cove understands how difficult it is for parents to get alone time so they make sure it's built into the camp schedule and they take care of all the details for you. On Tuesday night, they set up a complete date night for us. They provided us with a very nice picnic dinner, followed by a sunset lake cruise. It was such a nice break!
We had a free day on Wednesday so we went into Tyler (TX) and saw a movie and went out to lunch. And Thursday night was another arranged, adult-only camp night with a nice kid-free banquet. I know -- three dates! Craziness.
The awesome thing about family camp, though, is that there's a balance to everything. Although we got lots of adult-only time, we also got good quality time with the kids. The theme nights at camp were especially fun!
Like I said, I could go on and on about our week. I haven't even told you about the amazingly wise, articulate speaker who shed light on Bible passages like few people can. Or the camp director. Or his wife. (Who both challenged me deeply just by walking in the room!) And I haven't told you about the friends we made. Two families, particularly, with Cove Kids of their own. I'm genuinely already missing them and praying God reunites us all at Week 6 in the Bluffs next year!
But the main thing you need to know is this: Pine Cove cares about your family. And they care about mine. They "get" the importance of flourishing families so they work tirelessly to offer a place that's both a retreat from the world and a place to recharge your spiritual batteries.
It was definitely both for us. I plan to share more in the future about specific things we learned at camp, but for now, I want to ask you to prayerfully consider attending a Pine Cove camp next summer. It's not simply a way to spend a vacation.
It's a way to invest in your family.
And when you weigh your priorities, what's more important than that?