Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Family Harvest Celebration

Last night, the camp hosted their annual Family Harvest Celebration, an "alternative Halloween event".  There's a puppet show, a Gospel magician, doughnuts, cider, hot chocolate, hay rides (or at least wagon rides), and "trick-or-treating".  Volunteer groups each decorate one of the cabins (where campers stay in the summer) and then the kids who come through go to each cabin, maybe play a game (depending on the cabin), and get some candy.

My family and I did one last year, but with it being our first year, we were hesitant to decorate the inside of the cabin, so we set up a lattice and a rake outside, draped my collection of plaid/flowered scarves/skirts over it, added a few flowers, and called it a "Garden Cabin".  We also had a little corn-hole game for the kids to try to win candy (and we just gave them candy anyway even if they lost or didn't want to play, because we're nice like that).  However, since we were standing outside the cabin, we were absolutely freezing - and we girls ended up wearing most of the decorations by the end of the night.  (That sparked a lot of questions: "What are you supposed to be?" "Well... I was a gardener... but then I got cold, so now I'm a gypsy... with a plaid shirt... and I garden.")  We decided that if we did this again, we'd be inside the cabin - and have a space heater!

This year, my dad and Jacob couldn't come, so it was just the girls.  I spent the afternoon first rearranging the  beds in the cabin to create a circular path through what would become "our garden".  Then I hung icicle lights from the rafters along the general area of the path and colored lights across the room in the middle.  You really can't go wrong with lights.  I draped my scarves/skirts around and added some blankets, but the real magic started when Mom and Chloe showed up.

We had enough blankets to cover all the metal bunk beds (hung from the sides, so you couldn't tell they were bunk beds) and draped flower and leaf garlands over those, along with some colorful skirts.  With the main light off and the twinkle lights on, it looked like a magical fairy land!  Of course, we were going for a somewhat garden theme, so we set up some big flowers and ficus trees and a rake and watering can.  We also had some baskets sitting around, because they're pretty.

For a game, Mom had brought an old piece of carpeting about the size of a hall runner.  We used duct tape to create a hopscotch on it and placed it in one part of the path.  Kids came through the door, went through the garden, hopscotched, got candy, and then back out.

Oh, did I mention we had TWO space heaters?  It was so nice in our cabin.  So many people commented on how cozy and beautiful it was.  And it was really nice!  I'm really proud of what a beautiful, magical space we created in a stinky boys' cabin!  And most of the kids loved the hopscotch - and so did many of their parents!

Best of all, clean-up only took about a half hour - including packing up the car and taking a load back to my apartment and then bringing the car back to load up Mom and Chloe's stuff.

However, when the night was over, my feet were killing me because I wore my rain boots, which, while quite suited to keeping my feet warm and dry, are not suited to supporting my arches.  Therefore, my feet, legs, and back were aching.  I was in bed by 9:30, and it was only that late because it took me so long to get ready for bed because I was so sore!  I'm still really sore this morning (I slept in until 8:45!), but still really proud of how beautiful our decorations were!

And one little girl came in with a full unicorn costume (you know, the ones that are like sleepers with a hood?) except she had the unicorn hood pushed back and had a monkey hood on instead.  Apparently she wanted to be a unicorn and a monkey - so she was both!

Love and Twinkle Lights,
Leah Joy

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