August 21, 2012

Oregon {Chapter 2: Badasht}

I'll get to Oregon Chapter 2 in a sec, but seriously, aren't you just dying for fall to arrive?  I am.  So much so that I'm terribly distracted by it's nearness.  Maybe it's because my friend, Sally, invited friends to join her for the Simplify for Fall Challenge and I excitedly said, "I'm in!"  Never mind that it started just a day after we got back into town, or that I hosted Feast last night.  I love a good organizing challenge, so I couldn't pass!  That said, yesterday was laundry room and closets and today is kitchens and meal planning.  Since my kitchen is new, it hasn't been all cluttered up yet, and I happen to be a meal planning freak of nature, so I already have all of that planned I'm devoting today to finishing up laundry organization. feels so good.  And all of this fall organizing and planning makes me want to light up a pumpkin pie scented candle and can me some apple butter!  But I digress.

Back to Oregon.  Phase 2 of our trip was spent at Badasht Baha'i Summer School, which takes place every year at the Brethren Camp in Myrtlewood Point.  Such a lovely spot, such a friendly staff, and always a lot of fun.  This was our second year and we're pretty sure we'll go every year for the rest of our lives!  Haven even said to me, while we were there, "Mom, I know I can't really decide that I'm for sure a Baha'i until I'm older and I can choose for myself, but I'm pretty sure already that I am going to be one and that I'm going to bring my kids to this camp every summer."  That kid melts my heart.  Anyway, it was awesome and here are the highlights!

 We played something akin to volleyball during free time almost every day.  Depending on how many tall people were in the game, it swung between a catch and throw version and an actual bump the ball version.  The thing I think I most love about summer school is how the older folks and the younger folks intermingle so sweetly.  You'll see a LOT of examples of that in my pics.

 Catching crawdads and salamanders was Hunter's favorite part.  In fact, he had the same teacher, Maura,  this year and she remembered how scared he was to come to class and how going to catch salamanders was the thing that convinced him to finally let Joe leave his side (on the very last day of summer school!) and so when she saw his name on her class list, she immediately decided to go to the creek every single class day just for him. Honestly, this woman was so wonderful with Hunter that when I stopped her to say thank you on the last day of class, I cried and had to walk away and spent the rest of the day avoiding her so that I didn't look like a huge baby.  Hunter isn't an easy guy to teach and she didn't use that as a reason to disregard him.  She just figured out what he needed and accommodated him.  She's my hero!

 There was more than a fair share of hula hooping that week.  And judging by the fact that it was a busy place and there is almost no one else in this pic, I'm thinking that we were skipping out on quiet hour to hula hoop in this pic.  Shhh...don't tell!

 Haven used the week to further his reputation as a lady's man.  Whenever someone asked where he was, I laughingly said, "I'm sure he's with a pretty teenage girl somewhere."  His god father, Ted, looked at me a little awkwardly the first time I said that, but just hours later said, "You're right!  He's always with a teenage girl!"  They love him.  And he loves them.  This was one of his favorite gals, Lauren.  He spent a lot of time in her lap and eating meals with her and her friends.

 This is Hunter and Hannah Jane's class and in the blue shirt is Maura, the super teacher.

 Haven's other love, after pretty teenagers, was playing ping pong with the teenage boys.  They were exceedingly patient with him.  In his mind, he got a point every time he made contact with the ball, and since often times his contact didn't result in the ball going where anyone could return it, he always won.  Seriously, they all allowed him to go on thinking that he'd beaten every last teenage boy there, and when I gently tell him the truth, that they were being kind, he insists that they told him he won and so he did because he's awesome and the ping-pong champion of Badasht.  His ego is huge after that trip!

 This was in our cabin.  There are dorms, tent sites, and a few cabins.  We've had the same cabin both years and it's fantastic because it has 3 sets of bunkbeds and a double bed.  PLenty of space for naps and to spread out our clothes so they don't get that mildewy Oregon smell.  Anyway, Hunter asked me to take a picture, which he never does (most of the time he snarls and says never to take his picture again), so I had to and it turned out to be a cute pic of the brothers in the old, worn out rocker in the cabin.

This is Hannah Jane lying on the chalk art that her class drew on the basketball courts.  They drew the Lotus Temple and surrounding property, but then thought about what the ideal hub of Baha'i life would someday have and added those things too.  They added an assisted living center, a hospital, and a school.  It was really pretty!

 Hannah Jane was bummed that her friends from last summer had to miss this year, but she quickly made new friends.

And she found herself some older girls to adore and aspire to be like.  She chose well.  These are two very thoughtful and intelligent young women and I fell in love with them both over the course of the week.

In addition to the frivolous fun of building fairy houses and hiking up to scenic look outs on the mountain, there were also lots of great talks, workshops, and devotions.  Joe particularly enjoyed a series of science talks by a guy who is working on a book about the writings of Abdul Baha on evolution.  I enjoyed getting to hear National Spiritual Assembly member, David Young, opening very rigorous and intense classes on the life of Abdul Baha with ridiculous Baha'i jokes.  It's great to meet people you hold in such high esteem be able to have fun before getting down to business.

So, that was chapter 2!  Tomorrow I'll cover chapter 3, coastal adventures with the Taylors, and give you an update on my Simplify for Fall Challenge.  It's not too late to join the simplifying fun!


  1. Looks like a lovely time! Reading this made me nostalgic for the years when I was a kid and we went to Baha'i summer school in WI. Oh how I miss that! They don't have annual summer schools here in Malaysia. Occasionally there is a conference, but it's just not the same. Hopefully when we move back to the US we'll be able to regularly attend camps such as these!

  2. Oh, Zerbert, I think you should start your own summer school in Malaysia! :) Easier said than done, I suppose. David Young reminded us that the summer schools are the closest thing we have to a Baha'i society. As amazing as that time is, it makes me excited for what the future holds. Perhaps our kids' kids will live in something like summer school all year round!


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