Earlier this summer Georgia and I spent a long weekend with our friends Piper and Ashley Beth at Kamp Kickapoo. It's about four or five hours away in the Texas Hill Country. Kickapoo is one of the oldest Texas camps for girls and has been owned by the same family since 1925.
I fully admit to being an overplanning, ahead of my game nerd when it comes to this Mommy and Me stuff. I've had checking out camps jotted on my calendar since the summer Georgia was born. Once she turned five, we were able to go to a Mother-Daughter weekend at Kickapoo.
I know Ashley is just as nerdy as I am about things like this, and we've long been discussing summer camps for the girls. They're only three days apart in age and Ashley is one my dearest friends. Unfortunately, we don't get to spend nearly enough time with them, so we were all looking forward to this weekend.
This is the big field in front of the Dining Lodge. There were always girls running around, so a playmate could always be found while this pregnant mama took a rest in a nearby adirondack chair.
This is what Georgia thought of the food - she loved it. This thumbs up was actually for salad which she has always refused to try. Note that the newfound love for salad did not last beyond our stay at Kickapoo!
Enjoying ice cream after dinner!
She wasn't completely sure about sleeping on the top bunk, but once she made her bed and got it "decorated" a bit, it was her new home.
There were five girls and five women in our cabin. The other girls were cousins and all of the girls were about the same age. I think the oldest had finished first grade and the youngest was about to start kindergarten. The other families were very nice and the girls had an absolute blast with one another!
Our home for the weekend. Not exactly luxury accommodations, but we both loved it! Kickapoo is right on the Guadalupe River and the night breezes after the rain kept the room really cool despite no air conditioners in the cabins.
I got Georgia and Piper matching Best Friends Beanie-Boos, and another little girl in our cabin brought a Beanie-Boo for each of the other girls to decorate their bunk space with. Next year we will come prepared with bunting banners, picture frames and more to "decorate" our space with. Also add to next year's list: coffee maker, wine, and snacks.
The first evening was spent playing Bingo. I thought it was fun but Georgia hated it! She doesn't recognize numbers above 29, though, so she wasn't really able to keep up. She's still telling me how boring Bingo was...
Here she is looking for lightning bugs - something from my childhood that we just don't have in the city! I was glad she got to experience some "country girl" life this weekend.
Does she not look fifteen here? Look at those long legs! When we got back to our cabin after activities the first night, Georgia wanted to sit outside and write in her journal. It was so adorable, made me so proud and is one of those moments I'll cherish forever. She's growing up so fast!
She wrote the rules, which consisted of stick together, listen to your mommy and finish your dinner.
Ashley Beth and Piper at one of the Dining Lodge activities.
Here we are Saturday morning - off to ride horses! Unfortunately, a small rain storm came through soon after this photo, so we weren't able to ride horses due to the lightning.
No horses? No problem! Here are the sweet girls from Cabin One!
Georgia had really looked forward to riding horses, but I was A-OK with it being rained out. We spent the time together at the Lodge doing puzzles and playing board games and in our cabin giving each other manicures! I ended up with blue fingernails for the weekend and Georgia wanted each of her nails a different color.
One of our cabin mate moms had attended last year during the big Texas floods, so she came prepared with quite a few rainy day activities for the girls (manicure supplies, crafts, books). The girls also made up so many new games using unfolded blankets and sleeping bags to make forts on the bunk beds. The adults got to chill out and visit and read books.
Our schedule for the weekend. Each cabin was booked for the same activities in the same time slots, and the whole campground had meals together.
Even though I spend pretty much all-day-every-day with Georgia, there's something different about being out in the middle of nowhere with no electronics, errands, playdates or places to go to distract me. Although we were already close, I feel like I bonded with her so much more during this weekend - over things we do at home together every week.
We discovered a new game, and if you have a preschooler it is perfect! The funniest thing the whole weekend was when I didn't guess right on the first try. Georgia gave me a hint: "I'll give you a hint. You are big and yellow and you take all the kids to school! Now try to guess, Mommy!"
Georgia jumped right into the Guadalupe! I don't get in water unless it is chlorinated or in the Caribbean, so I sat on the bank with some other moms and supervised.
The water slide was pretty epic and made David jealous that there's no Daddy-Daughter Camp Weekend. I don't think I will ever have the courage to go down it - I don't even get along that well with playground slides - but hopefully in time Georgia will give it a shot.
Is this really my child? She didn't think it was weird at all to be swimming in lillypads and no telling what kind of fish....
The water trampoline was also a big hit with the kids!
Taking a break to pick some flowers for Mama.
These steep stairs led up to our cabin. Enough to give a pregnant woman several workouts a day.
The girls loved canoeing! We went in the evening after dinner. It was so relaxing to paddle around the Guadalupe listening to bullfrogs and...who knows what else. But the nature sounds were really nice and not something any of us get to experience living in the city.
A rare quiet moment in the cabin. But don't be fooled! We made them rest, but they were just pretending to be asleep for this picture. I think I was the only one who ever took a nap, and I only got away with it because I claimed it was a doctor's order.
All of the Cabin One girls waiting for their turn in the canoes.
Such seriousness and determination! Watching Georgia pay such close attention to the instructor and try to shoot correctly really made me wish we could have spent a couple more days at Kickapoo. It would have been fun to watch her improve.
I learned to shoot a crossbow years ago (not that I remember much of the how-to) but had never played with a more primitive style. It was so fun and quite relaxing. I came home wanting to buy a set. How nice would it be to just walk outside to the back patio and fire off a few arrows at the fence to relieve some stress? I still may buy one and hone my skills ......
And finally - this was taken once we finally got everything packed into Ashley Beth's car. I think we only used about 5% of what we actually took, but you can never be too prepared, right? Right! We debated buying trunks; fortunately, though, everything fit into approximately 10 suitcases, four laundry baskets and a few pillowcases....
Georgia absolutely loved the weekend and talks about it often. We're going to make Mommy Daughter Weekend an annual tradition and neither of us can wait for her to go to summer camp in a few years. (Only three years - wow!) I personally think spending a few weeks of the summer engaged in wholesome outdoor fun with girls from around the state is an excellent experience for girls of all ages. They are so busy during the year with school and activities, and it's a great idea to have a break from technology, TV and worrying about boys! I always went to church camp as a kid and we spent as much time scoping out cute boys as we did praying, so I'm glad to have found that there are quite a few girls only summer camps in Texas.
What about you - did you go to summer camp? What was your experience like? Will you send your kids?