Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bible Memory Camp 2015--Chapter 2

At Ben Swartzendruber’s suggestion, we went to Bandon for Bible Memory Camp, down on the southern Oregon Coast.

Paul and I hadn't been there since our honeymoon.

It’s a lovely area, a bit warmer than points north, I’m told, and while the miles of uninterrupted beach further north are lovely, the Bandon beach with its random massive rocks is beautiful as well.

The rocks are great places for kids to climb on, and for the boys to have a seaweed battle.

Ben brought his boat and we brought crab rings.  The kids took turns spending hours and hours out on the boat, crabbing.
We also did some crabbing and fishing from the dock.
Jadrien, Annika, Eunice, McKenzie

On the last day, we ate lots of crab.
Mrs. Smucker eating crab, daintily.

We had one injury that involved blood, when Weston grabbed a crab the wrong way and it pinched his finger.

We also had one hurt feeling, when one of the guys connived, Thelma-like, to have "Andrew" sweep out the yurt at the end of our stay.  I didn’t know about this until I was walking to the restroom and suddenly a voice came out of a tree above me, bird-like, and it was "Andrew," who had retreated there to regain his equilibrium and told me what had happened.  I sympathized and told him that God will bless him for serving, which probably didn’t help much.

I can’t remember if I talked to “Thelma” about it or not.

With this age, it’s always hard to know when you assume they can handle it and when you need to intervene.
The guys did a lot of grilling, drove boats and vans, and conversed.

We also had one scare.  They boys were playing hide-and-seek on the beach, darting around the big rocks and running far down that enormous beach where even a Smucker’s voice carries only a few hundred feet and then is lost in the wind and waves.

The sun was setting and it was time to go.  We stopped the game, started rounding up children, and took inventory. Tanner was missing.

Tanner is a slow-moving, slow-talking, slow-grinning sort of guy.  We looked behind logs and around rocks, up the beach and down the beach.  We called, but our voices didn’t reach far enough to rouse a well-hidden kid.

Where in the world was he?

The boys went scampering back down the beach where they’d been playing before, maybe half a mile away.  We saw them skittering and darting around, playing a new game, and finally one of us went down to fetch them, and there was Tanner.

Weston had remembered seeing Tanner crossing a dune, heading away from the beach, but hadn’t divulged this to us when we were all frantically looking.  So when the boys went back to where they had played before, Weston knew where to look.  But right about that time Tanner showed up.  So they started playing another game.

I asked Tanner later if he’d fallen asleep.  “Nooo, not quite,” he said.  “But just about.  I lay back in the grass for a long time and nobody found me.  But then I saw the sun was settin’ and I thought I’d better come back.”

Well, I guess he won the game, for sure.

 Riding in a van full of boys is exhausting even if you don't have to drive, or say or do anything.  Just the constant NOISE.
In our Reliable Old Van: Cody and Logan in back.
Tanner and Jadrien in front
Boys communicate with a lot of noises in between words.  I kept track for about 20 minutes.


But then I noticed that, depending on the subject, all these sounds and more would be uttered many times, at high volume, and with wild gestures, within about 2 minutes.  These subjects included:
1. A high-speed police/motorcycle chase through Brownsville and Harrisburg the day before
2. A chiropractor fixing someone's back
3. Dirt biking
One sand sculpture.
It was a wonderful camp.  Annika and Trevin won the verse contest.  People were fun and kind and helpful.  The weather was amazing.  A bunch of adolescent girls made me feel included.  And at night, in my top bunk, I could look out the skylight and see stars.

It doesn't get better than that.

Quote of the Day:
I forget who, talking about pets, I think: Their names are Flint and Weston.
Me: That's like guns!
Ashton: Uh, that's Smith and Wesson.
Me: Oh yeah...

Logan and Tyler on the jetty

Boys being boys.

Some of us went to a wild animal park.
This cat was about as cooperative as your average housecat.

Ashton, Brittney, Eunice in the "valley of dry bones" 

Girls, waiting.
These people will do a great job with camp in the coming years.
[Ruth: "And then he threw a frisbee and it hit me right here!"]
[just kidding]

The Bandon bayfront has all kinds of benches, sculptures, and fun things to do.
Loading up: why does it always take so much Stuff?
But we used it all.
Except we had too much food.

It's been a fun ride.

The beautiful Bandon beach.

The Campers, 2015
Goodbye, beach and Bandon and Bible Memory Camp.  It was good to be here.


  1. I've never been to Bandon but always wanted to go!

    My grandma, long gone now, would always do things like this with her "kids" in Crow. She's so famous there, seriously, ask anyone in Crow if they know Betty Riddle and they'll say yes. I wonder, if she blogged, would it have been something like this? Like the time she had to drive to St. Louis to get a new school bus so she decided she may as well take 13 kids with her for the educational value?

  2. Crystal--Your grandma needs a wheelbarrow to carry her crown in Heaven if she chose voluntarily to drive 13 kids to St. Louis!!