Back from camp

Seem quiet around here to anyone? If it has, it’s because we’ve been at family camp for the past five days. I’m back with stories to tell (meal trays and cousins and BEARS, oh my!) But I wanted to start by thanking all of you who love me enough to tell me how old you are! I got home to 394 emails in my inbox and was amazed to realize that 3/4 of them were birthday wishes from you! You all made my day– I smiled the whole time I was reading those comments! It was really fun to get a better picture of the folks who stop by to read each day– what interesting people you all are! Thanks to each of you for such a great party!

Y’all may remember my angst over my last year’s job as camp cook and how whipped I was . Though I didn’t end up feeling right about totally backing out of my position as camp cook, we did some things differently this year.

I decided that I would still plan meals and buy the groceries. But I was determined not to spend so much time in the kitchen once we got there. I decided that my girls and I would cook the last meal. Then I stuck a sign-up chart at the back of the church with 4 ‘cook’ slots for each of the other meals, and hoped that people would sign up. And – glory be – they did! Some people signed up for one meal. Some people signed up for three. Every space ended up being filled and every meal turned out great.

Granted, I still put some long hours into planning that week before camp, not to mention the 6 hour shopping trip with my sister. Eleven meals plus snacks for 70+ people per meal is a LOT of food. But once I got the shopping done, and the food divided up in the big camp fridge so cooks could find what they needed, I actually had time to play!

I still answered a few questions, and hopped into the kitchen to help with a few things like making jello or pouring juice or putting cookes on plates for evening snacks. But the vast majority of the kitchen work was done by other people, which freed me up to chase my 3 year old and play tetherball with my 6 year old and snap pictures of my kids on float tubes and Tarzan ropes at the lake. There was even time for a couple of fierce and hilarious games of ‘Up the River’ with my folks, my brother, and his family.

The meals went off without any problem. People pitched in and helped with whatever was needed (it really is a great group at our church!) Everyone had some time where they weren’t expected to do anything– a very important factor in not burning any one person out. And it ended up costing around $1.60 per plate, which I think is pretty good, because the food was GREAT!

I’m heading off to bed now, but tomorrow I’ll try to get a few pictures up of the camp fun.

Thanks again for all the birthday wishes!


  1. Congratulations on finding a way to make it work–great planning. Somehow I relate this to your post on preparing your kids for how to behave in public. A little bit of prep and planning, while still remaining flexible, can go a long, long way.

  2. I’m glad you had such a good time! I wish we had a family camp that was that small and intimate!!

    I didn’t comment on the age post because by the time I got there, there were so many comments already…I figured mine would get lost in the mix. 🙂

    I’m 35.

  3. Welcome back. Glad you had a great time – and weren’t so exhausted from the cooking.

    I can’t remember if I posted on the birthday post – think I didn’t because of the huge amount of comments already. Happy belated birthday!

    I’m 42.

  4. i’m so glad you got to spend time with your family, and still contributed so much to cooking and planning the meals. sounds like a great compromise, and it gave others a chance to serve, as well. 🙂

  5. Aw-Some! Glad you were able to have fun this year!

  6. Sounds like you had a great time! Welcome back.

  7. WOW. you amaze me. $1.60 a plate? You must share your secrets…I’ll wait patiently, thank you. 😉