Wednesday, July 25, 2007

happy campers all around

Whoo, it's been a week, I guess I should blog something, huh? Just been busy, busy, busy. Hard to say with what, exactly, but things have calmed down a little now and I can catch up on reading all the blogs I've missed.

Boy11 has been at summer camp since Sunday afternoon. It's a 2 1/2 hour drive each way which we'll repeat when we pick him up on August 5. He was a bit (OK, a lot) nervous before we got there, but started to relax when he met up with his friends and saw how things were going to be. The kids come from all over but it turns out there are seven campers and four counsellors from our little town this time so it's all just one big happy family.
This is a pretty rustic camp. Just tents for the kids and the most basic amenities. There's a field and a pond and a teensy little town close to the Elbe River. That's all. Everyone seems to have a good time, though, and Boy14 loved it the two years he attended. We're hoping we're going to have another happy camper on our hands in two weeks time.

snazzy sign

laying the foundation

3 busy beavers getting that tent up

This is what you look like when you didn't sleep a wink on Saturday night and still aren't quite sure if this was a good idea

the boys' side of the field

Part of the camp's postal address is Hinterm Kirchgarten - "behind the church garden", because that's just where it is. And the mail always gets through.

the kitchen, aka The Gourmet Temple

from left to right: kitchen, laundry room, dining room

a clay oven Boy14 says they built and baked bread in when he last attended camp in 2005


In other excitement, my dear friend and part-time expat Ginnie and her partner Donica made a suprise visit to Hannover on the weekend so Ginnie and I got to chat over coffee and lunch on Monday and catch up on all the news on both sides of the pond.

And while I was downtown on Monday I bought the new Harry Potter book at Boy14's urging. And boy am I glad I did. If the new book hadn't come out last week I would have never found the very valuable (well, only to me in a sentimental way) bookmark that I had been looking for for absolutely ages and was convinced was lost forever. Today it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn't even finished the previous HP book. I know, shame on me. I'm so uncool. When I searched our bookshelves, not only did I find the book but also my beloved bookmark nestled sweetly between the pages. Yay! I'm a happy camper too.

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At July 25, 2007 3:50 a.m., Blogger Rositta said...

Wow, I've never seen pictures of a German summer camp. Sure is different from over here. Is there a lake? I hope they have a ball. I used to take my offspring to camp too but it was a 5 hour drive from Toronto to Temagami plus 1/2 hour on a little plane. But I sure enjoyed my month off and I hope you enjoy your time also...ciao
Too bad I'm not coming your way we could have had coffee, I'm going to Wiesbaden and a road trip to Trier.

At July 25, 2007 9:11 a.m., Anonymous ian said...

A clay oven to bake bread in! That is so cool. There's something in camping that really builds camaraderie and community in people. It's great for kids that way.

At July 25, 2007 11:13 a.m., Blogger christina said...

rositta - Yes, I don't know if they're all like this,it's way different than the camps I went to when I was a kid. It looks pretty bare, but they have all sorts of fun daily activities planned so no one gets bored.

Next time you come to Germany come up north where the action is! :-)

ian - Yep, the camaraderie plays such a big part in it. The people who run this place are very warm and caring and the kids seem to love the "no frills" approach and want to come back year after year. I spent three weeks at Pioneer Pacific on Thetis Island one summer as a pre-teen and had such a good time that I wanted to stay forever. :-)

At July 25, 2007 11:54 a.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

And now I get to see the pics of everything you explained when I was with you on Monday! It's exactly as you said. He'll have a blast and will talk your ears off when you drive back after picking him up. (Or he'll sleep in the car and catch you up later!)

So glad you finally got to meet Donica, and vice versa. What a lovely surprise for us to have had the trip happen so quickly. Maybe it'll happen that way the next time as well. :)

Glad you found your bookmark. Now I can hardly wait to get home (tomorrow--not Friday) to get my hands on our copy of HP, which should be in the mail waiting for us!

At July 25, 2007 2:40 p.m., Blogger hexe said...

I love the clay oven for bread. I'm guessing most camps here do not teach that skill :)

At July 25, 2007 6:32 p.m., Blogger Angie said...

Not only have I *not* read any of the Harry Potter books, I have only seen one of the movies. (#3, I think.) But I do know how it ends, because I read it on the Internet. (I won't spoil it, don't worry!) :)

Camp looks fun -- if you're 11! Glad I'm not! I only camp in hotels these days.

At July 25, 2007 7:53 p.m., Blogger Thimbleanna said...

Yay camping! I hope Boy11 has a great time. We used to take our dogs camping when we lived there. We were newlyweds and didn't have much money, so it was an economical way to be touristy.

At July 26, 2007 7:59 a.m., Blogger Schokolade Madchen said...

Wow! I've never been to summer camp - are the camping grounds always so bare, even in the US? What about a water source - bottled, order?

At July 26, 2007 12:02 p.m., Blogger christina said...

ginnie - I have a feeling he'll be plenty tired but I'm sure he's enjoying it. Lovely to see you, as usual! Hope you enjoy the HP book.

hexe - Yes, it's a cool idea to make something yourself that you can use afterwards.

Angie - I've seen, um, two of the movies, I think, and I'm only 2/3 of the way through the previous book. I mean, what's the rush? :-)

Yeah, camp is great when you're 11 but I don't know if I'd want to wait in line for a shower with 50 other campers at my age!

thimbleanna - Camping is really popular here and lots of people have a permanent campsite that they rent all year and put their RV on.

Schokimädchen - This one is pretty sparse, the ones I went to had way more stuff. It's not quite as remote as it looks, though - they have running water and a container with two toilets and a shower. The tap water in most places in Germany is fine to drink anyway so they don't have to bring anything with them.

At July 27, 2007 10:39 a.m., Blogger Runaway Rubber Duckie said...

The camping pics make me homesick! Although it's not the west coast, is it!

At July 29, 2007 5:23 p.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

how cool! Lovely pics of the camp. And yes I haven't read blogs to find out how the meet up went but I know it had to have been enjoyable!


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