As a child, our family went to Callaway Gardens Summer Family Adventure in the summers. Several families from our church would also go, we would all stay in these cottages and participate in the camp-like activities program. We loved it. The kids all got arm-bands which helped distinguish age and participation. We would go to a morning activity: volleyball on the beach, swimming, water skiing, tennis or circus. Yes Circus – the FSU Circus was there throughout the summer and we got to walk the high wire, swing on the trapeze, mexican rope swing, all with college students demonstrating and manning the stations. We would have afternoons to our own devices – after 3 and we would go to the beach for ice cream and ride the paddle boats (a sucker deal if ever there was one – those things are tough and getting out wears you out…then you have to paddle back in?!?!), ride the train or participate in lessons of one kind or another. We would sit in the circus tents and watch our ‘friends’ the camp counselors perform amazing circus feats – truly made more exciting because 1) we knew them and 2) we had often tried the teeniest lowest level of those stunts and could appreciate the difficulty. Evenings were filled with group dinners or quick family dinners then bon fire on the beach, line dancing at the pavilion or game nights in our own area. Pretty wonderful.
Impossible to recreate, I try to create adventure in our own family life – sometimes in other places but most often right here in our own home and backyard. I love seeing their faces get excited by the little things…that is JOY. Walking through those memories our adventures pale yes, but also are simply very different…
For example: recently, we started putting a sprinkler on the trampoline and letting them play all kinds of games with it. So far it beats the slip-n-slide by a bit. Our trampoline is the center of a lot of our fun. I had a wind chime hanging from it for years – the strings finally rotted away. We play with chalk on it – drawing and playing games like it is a sidewalk – only better. After a rain is a wonderful time to chalk on it because the colors are so vibrant when they are wet. It reminds me a little of the Mary Poppins scene with the sidewalk art. We even get to jump onto the pictures to have adventures.
We go out of town for 4th of July often, but this year we did not. We participated in the neighborhood festivities and it was really good fun.
We are fortunate to have a lot of children in our neighborhood – when we moved in there were mostly older kids, but now we have many friends our children’s ages living walking or biking distance and it opens up a whole new kind of fun. It isn’t Callaway Gardens….but it is the Zolar Summer Family Adventure.