June 30, 2011

Soccer Camp, Swimming, and on with Life

Well, today wrapped up all of the scheduled activities that threatened our sanity for 2 weeks.  Sigh of relief!

We didn't even go to the last day of swim lessons because it was the day of certificates of promotion to the next level and Haven was the only one being promoted and he wanted to stay late at soccer camp with his friends rather than go.  No loss to the rest of us.  I remember those end of lesson parties where everyone got a certificate but me.  All I got was a teacher whispering to my mom that perhaps I should take that level again.  And again.  And again.  No fun.

But British soccer camp?  WHoa!!!  The boys jumped right out of the van this morning and headed out on the the field like maniacs who had never skipped a full day of camp clinging to their car seats out of fear.  They loved it!  They played pirate games, Sponge Bob games (my kids were the only ones who were asking, "Who is this Squirword guy?  These Brits are weird!") and cowboys and Indians.  I thought it was interesting that the Brits even had a feel for the stereotypes surrounding cowboys and Indians and then about fell over when they called out to a pack of 4 and 5 year olds, "Now you're cowboys who had a bit too much whiskey, so you're only able to walk backwards!"  First of all, my guess is that a cowboy who has had too much whiskey would find it near impossible to walk backwards while dribbling a soccer ball.  Secondly, who in the world comes to Utah and tells kids to pretend to be drunk?  Have they actually learned all about cowboy and Indian stereotypes and nothing about Mormon stereotypes?  Haha!  Nice.

As you can see, we got a bit of participation out of both the little fellas today!  Success!  The video is from day one and day four, as days two and three were a bit on the reluctant side.  There is one game in the video where one coach is a lsleeping pirate and the kids steal his treasure while he sleeps.  If he wakes up, they have to turn around to become invisible.  Then when they steal his treasure, they have to keep it on their heads until they get it safely back to their ship.  This teaches them, I assume, to keep their heads up as they move the ball rather than watching their feet.  The only problem is that the very idea of Coach Matt being a pirate scared the pants off of Hunter.  He just stood backwards the whole time so he could be certain of his invisibility.  No need for treasures.  Nope.  Avoiding the chance of a pirate encounter was good enough for him.  But, as you can see, there were other games he love, love, loved!

Their coaches wrote them each a nice note about how pleased they were that the boys had decided to come back to camp and hoped to see them next year.  My favorite memory of the whole camp has to be hearing, "Huntah, Brilliant!" and "Haven, me boy!  That was spot on!" yelled in heavy British accents across the Hyrum Soccer Complex.  It's not something we experience every day in our valley.  Hannah Jane wants us to host a coach next year so we can hear them talk even more, but when I spoke in an accent for our entire grocery trip, she got quite irritated with me.  Why is it embarrassing if mom does it, but cool when a coach does it?

I must say, I was totally pleased with every aspect of the camp.  The coaches were amazingly patient and kind while still commanding respect and demanding that fun be had by all.  The social skills they worked on AND the fancy footwork learned are impressive.  And the "stuff" that came with the price of the camp was all of high quality and in ample supply.  They each received a skills ball, a regulation ball, a uniform jersey and a t-shirt.  Really it was hard to beat.  If only the boys hadn't freaked out a bit.  But I suppose that's part of the experience as well.  They both learned that some things seem terrifying but once you try them, they are knock-your-socks-off fun!

As glad as I am that we can sink back into our own brand of normalcy now, I do hope the boys decide to try camp again next year.  Once they got into it, they really seemed to puff up with enthusiasm for the games and skills and the fact that they had once been so scared really seemed to make them even more proud of having had fun.  Sometimes letting go of fears and having fun is a skill worth working on.  Seems kind of sad that it takes work, but that's life I suppose.

Check out how high and muddy the water is! 

With our scheduled things are over, we headed into the canyons for a bit of exploration and fun in nature.  A step back towards the life that we're more accustomed to. We intended to have our snack and find some moss to put in our terrarium.  But quickly we found that the flood waters were still roaring quite a bit from snow melt so a) all the mossy rocks that normally line the river bed were currently underwater and b) where the floods had receded a bit left pools of stagnant, mosquito infested water. We had time to climb a tree, eat a peach, climb around in a rusted out old car on the riverside, and feel the itch of 20 or so new bug bites per body!  When we looked at each other and saw that we were all welty we took off running to the car, drove straight to the store and bought repellent for a hopefully longer trip tomorrow and calamine for the damage already done.  Now we're lounging around in next to nothing with chalky pink dots of calamine all over our bodies.  Ahhh...summer.  Really, what says summer better than a pink polka dotted body? 

With a little team work, they all made it into the tree!

You can't tell, but I'm about 7 feet off the ground, scaling a downed branch trying to get to the kids up in that tree.  I'll wear flats next time!

The half hour of fun we had before the bugs chased us off was the perfect end to the perfect day. So glad we made it. Now...what to make for dinner?

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