Monday, August 20, 2012

Family Camp Adventure

I often keep my blog to writing about the world of vintage and kitsch, but every once in a blue moon I find the need to blog about life in general.

This past week, our family experienced the best vacation of our lives. 

Literally. 
Keep in mind that we used to live overseas, so some of our vacations have included Italy, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands.  Those now pale in comparison!
 
When I asked my husband if it was the best week of his life, he replied, “No, the best week of my life was the week we got married.  This week was just second to that”. 

Good answer.

Today’s entry isn’t to make you envious of our week, but to point out an amazing opportunity for families to truly get away and be restored.  It’s an opportunity we knew nothing of a few months back, so I want to make sure and share it with others!

In April, we received an email via the Army, highlighting a family camp taking place here in Colorado during the summer.  We applied, were placed on a wait list, and in late July were notified that we got a slot.
My husband then went onto the camp’s website to check it out a bit, and within a few minutes shouted, “Babe!  This is a real camp!”.

Yep, Trail West is definitely a real camp.

We knew nothing about it before experiencing it, and we now have memories that will last each of us a lifetime. Evidently, Trail West has been hosting their camps out in Buena Vista, CO for many, many years. 

When we arrived,  we were escorted into camp via horseback Wranglers, there was singing and dancing, shouting and waving, photographers snapping pics, and name tags were slapped on each of us. 
It felt as if we had just walked onto the set of a musical.  

 It was magical!

Our entire week was mapped out with amazing family adventures;  horseback riding, white water rafting, a ropes course, a Jeep tour to a ghost town, family rodeo day, square dancing under the stars…and the list goes on!

Just the Fort would have kept our kids happy for an entire week!



Trail West had a large host of Kid Wranglers – high school and college volunteers who were there to insure that our children had the time of their lives, and so that parents were given adult or alone time throughout the week.  
 I have no idea where they found these Kid Wranglers, but they were amazing.  Full of energy, silliness and lots of love and patience for every munchkin present!
Every meal was planned out, with every dish served family style (with portions unlimited), and the food was delicious.  
No, that’s not a typo - camp food was delicious! 

Now I love to cook, but just escaping the three meals a day drudgery in my own kitchen was a vacation in itself!

One of the volunteers at the camp told me that she and her family spent 14 summers in a row at Trail West. 
14 years?!
Once they got a taste of it, her family never wanted anything else.
No Disney, no beach vacations, just Trail West.

She explained that it was the only vacation they had ever experienced as a family where each family member had an incredible week of adventure, but also left feeling rested and restored.

I couldn’t agree more.

You know what family vacations are typically like.
You spend more money than intended, the kids get crabby, and dirty clothes and attitudes start piling up. Moms are typically completely worn out and ready for a vacation from the vacation!

I can’t lie.  This vacation did have its share of tears.
The kids cried the night before we left, and I cried on the drive home. 
Bittersweet tears because of what we were leaving behind.


We have never experienced a vacation like this, and we hope to create many more adventures and memories at Trail West in our future. 

So, as your summer is winding down and you find yourself editing vacation pics and reminiscing over the summer, put the possibility of a family camp in your future.

It was definitely a game changer in the way we look at vacation time.
And guess what our 7 year old and 5 year old are now saying?
No Disney, no beach, just Trail West!

 blessings!


Here's who we're hanging out with this week.  Join us!





6 comments:

Cranberry Morning said...

That sounds like the most fantastic vacation ever! Wow, the kids will always remember that one, huh. :-)

I love the look of your blog. I'm big on ephemera and have a boxful of it from trips to England. I think I need to collage it like this. It's SO pretty on your blog!

beetree said...

It sounds like an amazing place! I'm so glad you all got to go, and that you had a wonderful family time. :) Thanks for sharing!

TheMoonAndMe said...

That sounds like so much fun. How is it that I've lived in CO for 20 years and do not know about this place?
Thanks for sharing!
Kelly

Revi said...

Hi Diane,
I loved this post! I look forward to seeing more of your "regular" awesome junk posts, too.
I'm following now.
-Revi

Thistle Cove Farm said...

WOW! This looks like fabulous family fun and with the children's enthusiastic endorsement...great!
Thanks for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; I am grateful.

Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door said...

What a wonderful place! I love the idea of this family camp. I appreciate you taking a break from the vintage posts so I could hear about your trip. I can see why you say it was your favorite vacation ever.

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