I am so sorry my post is late…but here is my excuse…..
No, my dog didn’t eat it… nor did my cat… nor did my chicken… nor my goat…. and I didn’t lose it…. So what did I do? Here’s the answer:

I didn’t actually write a post last week, so I didn’t have one ready to publish on Monday. I normally think about post ideas during the week and then on Thursday I start to write, and by Sunday night it’s normally posted. However, I spent this past week at a 4-day camp for profoundly gifted kids and their families, and by the time Sunday came around, I was still at camp and had not even written a single word. Attending camp, did give me lots to think about and in turn, lots to write about. I learned a lot at camp, and I thought I would use this post to share what I learned.

I had never gone to a camp with PGR, the organization that was running this retreat, so this was a new experience in many ways. I’ve camped with my family before, but not in an organized setting with structured activities. I have attended summer camp before, but not with my family. I had never been around these gifted kids before, so I really had no idea what was going to happen; but, me being slightly over-imaginative, I did try to create a scenario in my mind. I thought it would be somewhat like the other camping trips I have gone on with my family, just with even more families around. I was looking forward to making new friends and meeting new people, and I have to say looking back, I think I succeeded in that goal. I met many new people and made a few new friends, and I hope to stay in contact with them.

Here is a brief overview of my week:

Wednesday: When we arrived, the camp staff surprised us with a welcome song, right there in the driveway. Then, we moved all of our stuff into our private cabin, and went to the lodge to sign up for activities for the next couple of days. The sign up sheets were a bit overwhelming with so many choices, but we all picked activities that we were going to enjoy, and then made our way to the campfire to have some s’mores.

Thursday: I don’t remember the exact order of the activities, but I think it was: Bread Making, Ninja Training, Archery, Riflery, and Swordfighting. Then, it was parent’s hour, (or kid’s hour, as I like to call it.), where all the kids and counselors played games. We all came back together for dinner, then the entire camp, parents, counselors, kids – everyone, all played my favorite game of the day, Capture the Flag!!! It wasn’t the first time I played it (in real life), but it was the most complicated and fun version that I had played. The night ended with a game of D&D for those who really wanted to play, which I definitely loved. My dad and I made sure we had seats at a table and we had lots of fun.

Friday : I tried something outside of my comfort zone – Tree Climbing! I also did archery again, woodworking on the Lathe,  threw knives, axes and spears at the throwing range, and I learned how to do paper marbling. I know I did another activity, but I can’t remember it right now. Instead of playing games during kid’s hour on Friday, I decided to spend the hour at the GaGa Ball pit. What? You’ve never heard of GaGa Ball? Well, that is material for a different post. So, after spending an hour in the “pit”, we all met back up for dinner, and then I grabbed my poetry and we all went to the campfire stage for the talent show. It was great seeing other gifted kids get up there and be themselves and share their talent. I recited three poems that I wrote: Heart Beat, Life, and Who Was I. I was pretty nervous because I didn’t know the people really well yet, and I didn’t know if they would understand me or my poetry. But, I realized that the people there were different, (no one can be just like me), but these people were different and “crazy” in a good way. They enjoyed my poetry and claped when I was done; the announcer even made a comment about me being the next Allen Ginsberg.  It was a great way to end the evening.

Saturday: I did my activities, starting with Archery (yeah I really loved archery) and then Tree Climbing, Paper Marbling, Tie Dye, and silk screening. Instead of another activity, I chose to turn GaGa Ball into my sixth activity for the day. And yet again, instead of playing board games at kid’s hour, I played GaGa Ball. (can you guess what I wanted the camp to turn into an activity that you can sign up for?)  After dinner, we had a special visit from the Lazy Dog Ice Cream Truck and I had a delicious cookies & cream ice cream sandwich. Once the entire camp had their ice cream, we all headed to the field for Contra Dancing. This was another new thing for me to learn, since I had never done that kind of dancing before. I have to admit that I had a great time, but I still don’t know what a Do-si-do is. When we were all exhausted from dancing, we sat by the fire singing songs and watching the fire blaze in the dark. It was sort of sad, knowing it was our last night at camp.

Sunday: Early in the morning, we started to pack up, then headed off to our three activities for the half-day. I did Ninja Training again, (because it was fun!), candlemaking, and then my last activity for the week, silk batik.

In addition to all the new skills that I learned at camp, I learned a few things about myself and others along the way. I learned that my parents, can be goofy ninjas – well, my dad was a great goofy ninja, while my mom was the victim. I learned that they both are super-focused craftsmen; my mom practically lived in the craft shack and my dad made a fireplace tool and a wooden handle from blacksmithing and lathe class. My dad can also come up with some great sword fighting rules and make me laugh with “tis only a flesh wound”. I also learned that my mom can spend hours so focused on leather working that she doesn’t notice her hands and fingernails turning a dark reddish-brown from the leather dye.

So, what did I learn about myself?

Well, I learned that I am a person that likes…
standing up and speaking in front of others,
exposing my true self and my poetry,
being brave,
being a friend,
stepping out of my comfort zone, and challenging myself.

I don’t like to be out there alone, but I enjoy telling the world what I have to say.

I am so glad we went to PGR family camp. I really did learn a lot, and even more importantly, I had lots of fun at camp just being a kid. I made new friends that understand me and accept me for who I am, and I now know with even more certainty that I have found even more of my tribe to help me on this long journey.

Photo Credit: Uncharted Journey Blog