Over the holiday's our family was honored to attend FAMILY CAMP at Pine Cove in Tyler, TX. We won this weekend through a blog contest and we were so grateful for this opportunity. We have tons of friends that take their kids to family camp each summer and lots of people that send their kids off to camp each year. Camp is something that is important to me. One of the greatest things I've done in my life was when I was a camp counselor at Kanakuk Kamp one summer in college. Not only did I grow so much through the leadership there, but I got to see kids have the time of their lives, get loved on my counselors that loved Jesus with all their hearts and was able to see their hearts and minds grow to love Jesus. I want that for my kids. BUT here's the kicker … camp is expensive. We have more than the normal 2 kids per household family! Winning this weekend was an awesome thing for us!
We were excited, but also a little leery of being in camp mode all weekend with our kids. Funny thing is that we were literally only there for about 36 hours. We had a blast and were loved on well by the staff there. It felt like a whirlwind and the kids had so much fun. To this day they are still chanting …. “WHO ARE YOU?” and “I'm Homer Hickum …. blah blah blah” (they forget the rest) and then they make a fireworks sound!!! They still act like they are going to Wild Kids and tell Story to get ready for Cove Kids.
The kids got to shoot bb guns, do archery, ride horses, play all kinds of sports and ride in paddle boat with Aaron. The rooms were great and food was fabulous as well. They even had tons of stuff for us vegetarians to eat!
On the way home we were talking to our kids and trying to get a feel if they liked it or not. We told Cayden that he was old enough now that he could go to camp without us and be with kids his age. We asked if he would like to do that or do family camp again. Without even thinking he screamed FAMILY CAMP! My kids loved it.
You might ask if Aaron and I liked it as much as the kids. I mean we are in our 30's and this was camp. Aren't we too old for this?! Well here's the truth. It wasn't bad. We enjoyed being with our kids and seeing them have so much fun. That meant the world to us. They had so much fun and we had fun with them too. There weren't computers around, there was no laundry to do and I didn't have to do one dish the entire weekend. That was very refreshing. We were challenged as parents and it felt good to know that my kids were being loved on by such good counselors.
Would we do this again? YES. I would do this for my kids. Yes it was fun for me, but a vacation for me is somewhere on a beach with a good book. BUT here's the deal. In 15 years all of our kids will be gone. FIFTEEN YEARS – that is not that long. Then they'll be gone. They'll be doing their own thing. They won't want to do family camp with their mom and dad. Heck they might not want to do Family Camp in 5 years.
So, Family Camp was awesome. My kids loved it. I LOVED seeing my kids love that. I would do just about anything for my kids and anything to help us grow as a family.
Lurker, here! I was so excited to see that the Ivey family went to Pine Cove! I was a wrangler at Towers (camp for elementary aged kids) in college and loved every minute of it. I’ve seen and heard stories of families lives being changed after a week at family camp. I’ve seen kids being challenged and changed in overnight camps. It is truly a solid ministry, and I’m so excited about how the Lord is using Pine Cove in Texas and beyond!
So glad y’all had a good time, Jamie. I look forward to seeing your family back at camp this summer! Sooner or later Aaron and I will connect and talk more about it…
Kevin – Family camp is awesome. I hope that this becomes a yearly thing for us!
Family camp may be one thing. But spending $900 plus to send your child to camp for 6 nights is just too much! I am in awe of the number of parents willing to put out that much money for multiple children and multiple weeks! Is it peer pressure, is it that great, or is it just great to send the kids somewhere safe for a few nights and not have to care for them yourselves? Are there other camps in the dfw area that less expensive??? We can afford it, but I’d rather spend the time (and money) with my family.