At 10 am the first set of Pee Wee events kicked off. I brought TBear’s BB gun, but it was “not regulation” as everyone shot with the Red Rider Daisy that was provided. (His was a fancier, pump-up pneumatic daisy.) There was a “BB gun trail” where they shot several animal-shaped metal targets, then a “BB gun paper” event where targets were hung for precision. MrCheezy was reluctant, but gave it a try, and LilPill did too,with much assistance. (This portion of the range is scheduled, so no big rifles were going off nearby.)
Next were some arts and crafts. They made a flower bomb with wildflower seeds in a dirt-filled nylon, so it will sprout from a cup like a ChiaPet. They had these bugs made out of easter egg bodies, with pipe cleaner legs and antennae. Inside they placed an LED votive ‘candle’ so the kids to light them up at night! (This entertained them long after the events of the day were over.) They also had beads for making necklaces, bracelets, or a keychain. Lastly, there was a scavenger hunt to complete throughout the day. On the list were fun things like feathers, but practical stuff like nails, too. (An army of kids picking up nails in a campground? Genius!)
LilPill enjoyed riding around in the backpack, as we watched the big kids take their turns at the different events. Eventually she fell asleep with ear muffs on, and Birdy carted her back to camp. This allowed me to get some proper instruction on the Hawk & Knife by a seasoned veteran. Later, he broke out the flint and steel and we practices igniting some jute twine. Though I have lots of fire-starting “kit” I was inspired and picked up a 2-finger steel for a few bucks.
Lunch was eat-when-you-want sandwiches of PB&J or Tuna. Table-stable veggies, chips, & drinks were available. At 1pm the kids events resumed with a bean bag toss for little guys and hawk & knife for big kids. At this point, they could do the scavenger hunt or beads if they missed out the first time. This was similar to many of the grown-up events as far as a flexible schedule. There were wide variations of time throughout the day for folks to practice, then they could run the course with score card when ready. Very few events were scheduled to certain times/spots.
In the evening, I was recruited to be a Dutch oven judge. They had divisions for main dish, dessert, or bread. As you can imagine, the assortment was varied and delicious, so I took my scoring seriously. Points were given for creativity, soliciting dishes like “Pecan Crack” Bannana Bread, and Mesquite Pork. They were all yummy.
For the potluck, the club provided chili from a huge cauldron-looking pot. It was delicious, and the aroma had taunted me for hours as it cooked by range. I brought a creamy cucumber salad, and as we packed 5 chairs, eating utensils, and our dish, I realized why 4 wheelers were so common. Princess was ‘crashing’ and wanted to know what the options were. She didn’t appreciate that “that’s how it goes” with potlucks. LilPill spilled her plate, and the days’ tiredness started to wear on the kids’ behavior.
Just before dusk, they put on an Easter egg hunt & hung a pinata for the children to beat. Being the youngest, LilPill got the first few whacks, but much of the line was disappointed with Princess cracked it wide open. There was a group of Boy Scouts setup in the primitive area. (One whole row is dedicated to primitive camping ONLY, so it’s filled with tents & tipis). They announced they were going to run a trade blanket. TBear took some goods over, and ended up trading his spork/knife tool for a brass candlestick base & antler piece.
He came back and read some stories to our fellow camp members, as we sat around the fire. More marshmallows and smores were cooked, and I read a few more stories, too. The day had drained us all, so we retired earlier as rain started to tease our skin.
Morning broke with the usual cannon fire, which wasn’t so abrasive the second time. Mr. Cheeze slept right through it! Birdy had dutifully packed oatmeal from our list. Next time, I’ll specify the instant, pre-flavored kind, because I was hard-pressed to make it delicious. Birdy and I took showers with surprising success.
Though it sprinkled here and there, nothing was cancelled. More Kids stuff was at 9. They did the “Hen” (relay) race, where kids hopped in sacks, jumped logs, bought eggs, hung laundry, and threw rocks and animal targets. We had some time, so we did some hawk practice before the Candy Cannon blasted the field with candy! (TBear needed some first aid after that event, as he tripped and cracked his knee on a rock.)
Things started to run a little late, and I was getting stressed. I hadn’t originally planned on staying late on Sunday, and had to return TBear to his mother that afternoon. Without any cell service, I had no way to renegotiate the pick-up time. I reasoned that if I were loaded to pull out, I could afford to stay for the awards ceremony at 11. I dashed down to camp as a “man on a mission,” sweeping up all the chairs and tossing them in my pickup bed. With my drill, I took up the jacks in no time and threw the chocks and blocks in the pickup too. I thought I was making great time (but apparently alarmed my camp neighbors) so I had to explain my rush/temperament, and assure them that I was just pressed for time, and not upset with anyone.
Now parked beside the exit, we awaited the awards ceremony. There were namings, raffles, & remembrances too. LilPill got a little too friendly with the mud & melted-down when asked to stop, so Birdy took her back to the trailer. Unfortunately, that means she missed the joyous reactions, as the kids won their trophies, plaques, metals, and prizes.
TBear won 3rd overall PeeWee, with a ‘Mousehead’ tomahawk prize. He also got a 3rd on BB Gun Trail plaque, and 2nd Hawk ‘n’ Knife medal! His best friend was first overall, garnering a real black powder muzzleloader! It was a good thing, too, because that was his last year to compete as a Pee Wee.
Princess got 1st in the Hen Race, but elected not to do any of the other events. I think she’ll be more engaged next year.
Lastly, LilPill got 3rd on the BB gun trail, and like all the kids, they got to select a ‘blanket’ prize. She got a coloring book, MrCheeze & Princess both selected flashlights.
For some, this was the first time they had won anything, or been “good at” something, so it really helped boost their self confidence. It was a long day of travel after that, and every bit of reflection was a commitment to making sure we came back next year.
After the gallery, you should check for a Rendezvous near you!