Camping retreat

We spent this past weekend at Gifford Pinchot State Park in York County participating in our church’s annual family camping retreat. It was already dusk when we arrived on a drizzly Friday evening, but (with some help from our friends) we managed to set up our new, gigantic Coleman tent (bought at a truck sale for half price). That night was quite windy, but we were fairly comfortable.

Saturday was pretty relaxing. Delton had fun playing with the other kids, especially when it came to sharing their bins of toys. He and one three-year old girl seemed to be getting particularly close, often hugging and sitting next to each other. We borrowed a back carrier for Julia and joined some others for a scavenger hunt. Leish and I both managed to steal a couple of extra winks during the kids’ naps.

That evening our church’s interim pastor joined us for a potluck dinner and brief service around the campfire. She forgot the wine for communion, so we made do by dipping our bread in grape Kool-Aid. When it got dark, we broke out the marshmallows and hot dogs and shared unique facts about ourselves that we had written down and tossed in a box.

Saturday night we felt like doing more retreating than camping. We were not quite prepared for temps near 40˚ and lost a couple of hours of sleep trying to keep the kids and ourselves warm.

Despite having two layers of pajamas and two blankets, Julia awoke first. Her little fists and ears were frozen. Aleisha added a second fleece sleep sack and buttoned her up in a jacket with a hood. She woke up again around 5 and after nursing (brrr…), Leish made her a cocoon out of her carseat and some blankets.

For his part, Delton refused to stay in his sleeping bag and cried whenever we tried to cover him. But between the sobs he’d say, “I want to be warm.” He finally settled curling up between Leish and me, and I commandeered his kid-sized sleeping bag for my legs.

Everyone huddled around the communal fire Sunday morning. We packed up as quickly as possible to leave for my family reunion. Not wanting to spend another minute in the cold, we decided we would stop at Aleisha’s dad’s house for showers.

Had a good time at the reunion, which is held at Manbeck’s Church, with some folks meeting Julia for the first time. Chloe—who had spent the weekend with Chris and Jonna and their dog, Sandy—was happy to see us. Delton had a bit of a meltdown when he woke up from his nap in the car and remained a bit withdrawn until he got some meatballs in his belly.

As we were about to leave to visit Aleisha’s grandma, her aunt called to let us know she had been taken to the hospital earlier that morning. We decided to visit her before going home and were happy to see her in good spirits. She is OK, but is still in for observation.

We will post pictures when Aleisha is able to unchain herself from her laptop!


One thought on “Camping retreat

  1. Sounds like you made some great family memories…granted some cold ones, but memories none the less. You are both much braver then I am….never would have tented it with two kids. Glad you made it to your reunion as well. Sounds like you were quite busy!

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