This is the last post of our Summer Series! Thanks for joining us! Click here to catch up: Welcome to Camp Quarantine; your DIY Summer Camp at Home Guide!
~To be a childhood MAGIC-MAKER~
If you read my previous post, Of PRANKS, PUNKS, and PRACTICAL JOKES; Making Mischief at Camp Quarantine, then you will remember that I credited my dad as the most mischievous person I know . . . my “Mischief Muse.” But the role of “Magic Muse” most definitely belongs to my mom. I’m not talking about flashy magic tricks, or sparkly trips to Disney. My mom has always wielded a different kind of magic wand.
When you read the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, an odd paradox presents itself: the Ingalls family lived a very simple and humble life in the woods and on the prairie. In many ways they had so very little, but in other ways their simple, homespun life was rich. Mornings spent churning butter, afternoons spent stomping in the creek or running through the prairie grass, evenings spent listening to Pa play the fiddle by the fire.
I believe these simple, pure pleasures are often the most magical moments of life. And they require nothing other than time.
Above is the quilt my mom made for our son when he was born. This quilt speaks a thousand words, doesn’t it? My mom shows love through the creativity of her hands. She cooks, and writes, and sews, and plays the piano with a passion for life to be envied.
Growing up, we had almost nothing that was “standard” or “normal” . . . everything in our home was home-grown, home-spun, handmade. Creativity was something I just took for granted. While my friends’ birthday parties boasted Pokemon cakes from Safeway, Rugrats balloons from Walmart, and a game of Twister in the living room . . . my siblings and my birthday parties featured homemade, latticed fruit pies, hand-painted birthday banners, scrap-fabric bunting, and original games and scavenger hunts. The budget and basic intentions were the same, but the approach made all the difference. My mom invented DIY before Pinterest or Etsy were ever a thing.
The result was a childhood rich in creativity, rich in originality, rich in personality, rich in simplicity . . . the result was a childhood rich in magic.
MAKING MAGICAL MEMORIES
I’ve always known there is something magical about Summer Camp, but it wasn’t until just a few weeks ago that I fully grasped what it is that makes it so . . . at least in my mind.
I was interviewing my family members in preparation for this series, and one of my questions was: “what is your most magical camp memory?” I love anecdotes and was excited to hear everyone’s answers. What I didn’t anticipate was that all the responses would share several common characteristics that together reveal what I believe to be a profound truth about life’s most magical moments. Here are the anecdotes for you to get your Nancy Drew on and play Similarities Sleuth:
~Mom’s Soda Springs Memory~
“At the Tuolumne Camp, there was a ‘Soda Springs’ up on the mountain we would hike up to. There is a naturally fizzy mineral water that bubbles up at the springs, and your dad and the other ‘rangers’ built a wooden kiosk with red, copper-colored rocks all around it. My mom (the camp cook) would put a packet of powdered mix like Kool Aid and a Sierra Cup into our sack lunches before the hike. We would hike up in the morning and then eat our sack lunches at the springs where we would all fill our Sierra Cups with the mineral water and add the powdered mix. It made the most delicious, ice cold soda. It was so simple, but everyone who went to that camp still talks about the homemade soda at the Soda Springs fountain.”
~My Big Sister’s Watermelon Float~
“One day at lunch, me and a few of the girls from my cabin took an entire watermelon from the mess hall and carted it out to the lake at free time. There was an island out in the middle of “Frozen Lake,” which—true to it’s nickname— was a lake fed by the runoff of newly melted Sierra snow. My friends and I swam with the watermelon through the frozen water to the island in the middle of a lake, and then we bashed the watermelon open on a rock and ate it.”
~My Little Brother’s Canoe Camp Out~
“At the Catalina Camp, we went on an overnight adventure where we loaded up all the troops in twenty people canoes and rowed out through the ocean to an island that was miles out to sea. It was crazy . . . we were paddling over the waves and every few minutes another Boy Scout would be barfing over the side of the canoe. It took us the entire afternoon to get out to the island. When we got there, we set up camp, made dinner, sat around a campfire, and then slept under the stars. We had to be back for morning activities the next day, so we got up and rowed back at dawn.”
~Cousin April’s “Morning Watch”~
“I truly believe that the beauty of camp during “Morning Watch” created a nostalgia for my early morning Bible studies. Even now, when I sit down in my own backyard, I am transported back to that small rock . . . next to the big tree . . . near the lake —my favorite morning devotional rock.”
~Similarites Sleuth Answer Key~
What characteristics do my family’s “most magical camp memories” have in common?
1.) Out of the ordinary / unique / once in a lifetime experiences
2.) Took place in nature
3.) In celebration of simplicity
4.) In celebration of slow
5.) Sensory-rich experiences
My challenge for the last two weeks of summer:
Let’s harness these magical memory-making characteristics, and go grass-roots like my “Magic Muse”. . . my mom! (Check out some of her magical musings on her blog: Granny Hat)
How can we infuse our family’s summer with the simple, the original, the unique, the home-grown and the home-spun? Let’s practice sustainability and creativity in one go and use what we have on hand! Let’s get outside, awaken our senses, and welcome the elements—embracing humble, pure pleasures, and enjoying them together under the summer sun and under the summer stars.
The result will be nothing short of MAGICAL.
Thank you for joining us for Camp Quarantine! Stay tuned this week for the start of our new series: “Back to (Home)School, Fall 2020”!
Love, ~Our Holistic Homeschool~