The first day at a new Camp No Limits is always exciting but a little nerve wracking too. Did we pack all of the right things? What did we forget (because you know there's something!)? Who will we meet? Will this be the camp that we want to come back to year after year? Will this be like all of the other camps? What will be different from the different locations? How will the families be different? How many volunteers will there be? Will there be a sibling program? Will there be something new? What will Bella master this year? Where will we sleep? What will the food be like? Will there be any downtime? Will we sleep at all? What will it be like without Mary? Will we pick up with old friends just like before? How many new friends will we meet?
It's safe to say the questions that flood my mind are never-ending. It's also safe to say that after four times of attending Camp No Limits in three different locations that it's something I would be heart broken to miss. It's an experience like no other that's virtually impossible to put into words. That's one of the reasons that we've raised funds to send three other families.
Back to arrival day... we arrived late due to driving around the lake for a good hour and a half. Go figure. Not ideal but also not the end of the world. This is by far the most remote camp! You arrive at a dock, use your cell phone to call Camp Cross and they send a pontoon boat over to pick you and your luggage up to transport back to camp. We left our rental car, rode across the lake and took in the amazing views, while watching a bald eagle fly overhead.
Introductions were under way when we arrived and lunch was complete... only we hadn't had lunch! The kitchen was nice enough to be sure we all ate. Bella and I stayed for introductions, while the boys all ate. Then we swapped. I inhaled because I didn't want to miss anything and Bella flat out refused and ate an apple instead. How dare I even ask her to come away from the group!
Waterfront activities followed. The "beach" is a rock beach. Some sort of water shoes were pretty much a must for most people. There's a swimming area that's deeper at one end as well as a side for water activities, like canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and paddle boating. Grayson tried the stand up paddle board that was donated to Camp No Limits and didn't do too bad! Luca and I kayaked around for a bit, he was a free loader and I did all of the paddling. It was fun though and we chatted about what we saw around us.
Bella tried kayaking with her new sports arm. She was less than thrilled about using it. It's a new tool for her, which creates a challenge. I "made her" try it for about 10 minutes. Yes, tears fell, yes she was NOT happy with me, yes I was the worst mother on the planet. Here's the thing, you don't just get a new tool without a few errors. You try it and try again until you get it right. Yes I "forced her" (her words) to use it. She's not used to using her elbow and shoulder in the motion necessary for kayaking so her prosthetic popped out from the paddle a few times. This pissed her off to say the least! Either way, it's trial and error and she'll have to practice which will help her find a way that this new tool is useful for her.
Then we had a short break to change for dinner. Dinner was decent. I was warned that it was edible and that was about it. Apparently, Camp Cross has upped their game. It wasn't bad. They have family style meals, so there's a bowl of each item at your table. It's free seating. This is where you lose your kid (or at least Bella) because she's already made too many friends to be bothered sitting with her parents.
Next up, a family art project. This was a really cool idea! I brought ours home and can't wait to frame it. It's the perfect addition to our house and a strong example of working together. Way to go Camp No Limits staff for coming up with this one!
Then, campfire and smores! The kids LIVE for smores, it's likely one of their favorite parts of family camping trips. It's no different for Camp No Limits, they know that it's a tradition to have a fire at each location. We opted to put the boys to bed here and the rest of us enjoyed the fire while they slept.
We made some great connections day one. We welcomed some new campers into the Camp No Limits family and we joined the Idaho Camp No Limits family. Friends were made by all... wait until you hear what day two brings!
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