12 July 2011

Camping Hawaiian Style

When you camp with your ward in Hawaii you don't just roast a few mallows, sing a few songs, tell a few ghost stories and call it a night. And don't get me wrong, I love that kind of camping, but now I have another category of camping to love: Hawaiian ward camp. We've set-up day camps each year, but this year we did it for real and it was a blast!

You might just have to see it to believe it, but here is a little glimpse of the awesomeness that is:
Devotional and Zumba bright and early every morning. All ages, genders, and sizes shaking what their mama gave them and howling with laughter as a result.

A carnival put on by teenagers for the little kids. Those teenagers might be the most nurturing, thoughtful teenagers on the planet. My kids were babied and oohhed and aaaahhhed over the whole time and they loved it.

Mandatory ward games at night. Like no joke, they will call you out by name over a microphone if they see you milling around your camp site. Once you get your reluctant buns over to the main tent you are glad because it's hilarious and just wholesome and inclusive. I wiped tears away from my eyes from laughing so hard over and over.

All ages dance parties. Thomas is convinced there is a special equation for music they play over the loud speaker in our ward: Jawaiian beat, slightly sexy (but not too much heh heh) 70's vibe, and sometimes just straight up old skool or hip hop. And they play it from the time we wake up until the movie at night. Just imagine it. Glorious.

Oh yes, the movie every night. A kid movie in the middle of camp on a big screen with loud speakers. Every night til midnight the kids are all stretched out with blankets and pillows in jammies enjoying some cute kid movie together like a giant family of brothers and sisters. Some fall asleep and get silly string sprayed on their faces, some get carried off by their mamas mid-movie (Ambrose), some stay for the whole thing before stumbling into their respective tents with their families around midnight.

The annual Dino-egg hunt (watermelons buried on the beach).

The local fire department pulling up for a demonstration of all the cool toys in their firetrucks.

Oh! We all tie-dyed shirts for a ward picture on the beach.

Being with the Parkers and all our other ward friends and having fun! I loved being next to Kristen's site because they kept bringing us heaping plates of Tongan food and it was da bomb. So generous and loving!

Two potlucks and tonight a talent show.

I'm sure I am missing something and I am purposefully leaving out the tantrums my kids threw from lack of sleep or my short temper when they threw fits, but I wouldn't change a minute of it. It was all worthwhile starting with the first night when Daddy and baby were already asleep in the tent and Ambrose leaned over to me in my sleeping bag and whispered, "But Mama, I thought we were gonna look at the stars!"

"Oh yeah let's go!" I said.

We laid out the Mexican blanket in front of our tent and he showed me all the stars he could find and gave them names. And because he is Ambrose he snuggled me real tight, and gave me lots of kisses, and said many adorable things, like, "Oh this is just what I was waiting for!" and "I just love you so much Mama thank you so much!"

Nothing beats that. I want these family moments for us and we definitely got them in buckets this week!


Hema and Becky said...

Love it! Our ward camp for our Tongan Ward is just like that. We go next week and can't wait!

stephanie joy said...

Oh Becky I want to come please!! haha SO fun!

Annajean D. said...

Wow, that is seriously awesome. I think you would DIE if you knew how boring our last ward's activities were. They only have 3 ward activities every year: Christmas Party, Summer Potluck, and Pinewood Derby/Chili Cook-off. That's it. No Linger Longers, no Firesides. They didn't even have ward temple trips until about 4 months ago.

Last year's Christmas Party didn't even have decorations. Last year's potluck didn't have drinks (the E.Q. was supposed to provide them but the Presidency forgot to make assignments and conveniently didn't show up themselves). It didn't really have games either because the Y.W. were supposed to be in charge of those and not many of them showed up either. The Pinewood Derby/Chili Cookoff is the best of them all but watching a bunch of men and boys race cars down a wooden track while I sit bored to death eating Chili isn't exactly my idea of fun.

Keep in mind that was my first married ward. I came from Single's Ward with activities almost every night to...nothing. I was like "Wow, being married in the church really sucks...." But my husband assured me not all family wards are like that. We just moved into a new ward and so far its looking pretty good....

stephanie joy said...

I am so glad you are in a different ward now! haha! Yikes, what a sad little ward. They needed some Hawaiians. Big time.

melissa said...

WOW. i like my ward, but you guys are running fun laps around us.

liko said...

hahaha!! i was laughing at everything you said because that's how it was growing up and going to ward camp!!! and don't forget some of the generators and couches people bring from home! not my idea of camping, but whatever.
and saying your name over the mic - yep, can't hide. and doug came to camp with my aunty's ward and because it was the last night they had a dance, so right after we settled into the tent, the music started blasting. doug was sorta traumatized. hahaha!!
i love camping! my ward doesn't have ward camp because nobody goes! crazy! i think we're gonna do ho'omaluhia before summer's over!!!

echo said...

i love that pic at the end.
thanks for letting us hang out with you guys for a few hours.

Patria said...

oh yes, ward camp is seriously awesome- fun post!
Thanks so much for your sweet comment- pretty sure everyone has a girl crush on you- Mahalo for always reaching out and being so fun. (:

Kim's just sayin' said...

that sounds glorious. You just made me SOOOO excited to actually start attending a real family ward and get to do fun things like this!!!

Natalie said...

I want to come next year! Our ward's activities aren't too bad, but nothing like that. Except for the part of calling your name over the microphone...you know how I feel about that. What would they do if I sprinted off in the opposite direction? :)

Carrie said...

Wow! That sounds like the fun bunch of friends I always wished I had. So jealous!