Civil War camp was such a hit for the boys they want to do the second, more involved, camp next summer. I could sign them up for the one this year that's coming up in 2 weeks, but really I don't want to do the commute to Manassas right away again. It's not that far really, but doing it 5 days in a row and not being able to come back between drop-off and pick-up was tiring. So, we hope we're here next year to round out the program.
On Monday, the boys were enlisted and built their shebangs. The camp was on the Ben Lomond Manor House grounds, a lovely area a few miles from the Manassas Battlefield, and was used as a Confederate hospital .
On Tuesday they worked on following orders and creating their team flags. Nicholas was on Red, Jonathon on Blue. Wednesday was about camp food. Apparently, it was pretty gross.
On Thursday they practiced some skirmishing and learned about the Civil War weapons. By Friday, their terms of service were up, as often Civil War soldiers signed on by week. Before their discharge they took a field trip to the Manassas National Battlefield Park. After walking the grounds the boys viewed the visitor's center video about First and Second Manassas.
The boys had such a great week they're ready to go back. That's a first for a PWC camp so far. Last year's Cheer camp, Volleyball camp and Day camps didn't quite meet expectations.
While the boys were over in Manassas, Katherine went off to the Prince William County Band Camp, in the opposite direction, at the exact same time. Ian, wonderful Ian, took the week off to shuttle her back and forth while I drove the boys and hung out with the younger girls. It couldn't have happened without him. Initially Katherine was perturbed that I'd signed her up. But, like marching band before (and yet to come), she had a great time and wants to do it again next summer. After only four days of camp 9-3, Friday they performed their concert. On Monday there were auditions to split the kids into either Cadet or Concert band and the kids ranged from elementary to high school so both groups were quite mixed in age. Each group of instruments did an ensemble piece, the flutes did "I Got a Feeling" (or "I Gotta Feelin' " or whatever), and the Concert Band had 7 pieces of their own. Truly, Katherine learned 8 new pieces in 4 days. Crazy.
Katherine played really well and had the only solo in the concert, a two-note ending to their ensemble piece. OK, so it's not huge, but at the same time still pretty darn cool.
The Band Camp made the Washington Post.
Since the younger kids and I were out with the boys' camp until noon, Katherine was in camp until 3 p.m. and Ian still did some work at home, after Civil War camp we spent some time bumming around Manassas. On Tuesday afternoon we did some mini-golfing.
The Magic Putting Place is in a parking lot on a little side road. Nothing impressive but the kids really enjoy it. With two courses of 18-holes each it's great on a cloudy day. My only issue didn't have anything to do with the course but with the busload of summer camp kids that descended on us. When we arrived we were the only group there. Another showed up maybe 20 minutes later, and then roughly 40 kids between 5 and 10 years old came on through like a tornado. They jumped from hole to hole both in front and behind us, tried to play holes we were still on, putted from starts and then pushed their balls into the holes (or some didn't even bother with that, just putted from the start then picked up their ball and moved on), picked up our balls and tried to walk off with them, rushed up behind us then told us to hurry up. All in all, annoying. It's like they hadn't been given any sort of guidelines for going into a public place and respecting the folks already there. Weird.
On Wednesday with no swim practice we went to Splashdown Waterpark only 2 miles down the road from Ben Lomond Manor House. It was a very very hot day, but at least Splashdown allows water, but no other outside food or drinks. I'm OK with that, really. Remember my whine about the Kastles match. A summer afternoon it was surprisingly not packed. I sat in a relatively shaded section and the kids played around, spending a lot of time in the Lazy River, but also taking on the water slides. Jacquelyn wasn't going to go on the slides, Rebecca bullied her into it. She had fun.
One of these things is not like the other. One of these things doesn't belong.
That would be Jonathon.
Thursday afternoon was finally Skate-n-Fun. The lighting was horrible and the kids wouldn't stop moving for two hours.
And of course, with all this going on there was still Frogs practice in the evening. The girls and I had long mornings of shopping at Manassas Mall and after our activities and their yard work it was a battle each evening to get them to practice.
And though he's not in the pool, you gotta love this:
One evening swim practice was cut short as the sky quickly darkened. Becca and boys practice from 6-7:30 and Katherine swims from 7:30-9. At 7:15 the sky looked like a V invasion...
And at 7:25 the sky looked much more ominous:
We packed up and by the time the doors on the van closed it was raining massive drops. No one was sad that practice was over. Going home early and getting some rest time was a treat this week.
Next week is looking a lot calmer. Maybe we'll go bowling.