Generally speaking, I despise camping. And surrounding myself with a few hundred 5th graders isn’t always my idea of a good way to spend vacation days.
But I love going to BOA with my kids.
Somehow, I get over the discomfort of sleeping on a kindermat-quality mattress in a room with 8 other people all sharing 1 toilet and 1 shower. It is superseded by the privilege of photographing the uninhibited fun, contagious laughter, and unplugged camaraderie of these kids. It is absolute joy for me.
A few weeks ago I headed there with Lily and her fellow 5th graders (the Class of 2024). BOA stands for Boerne Outdoor Academy. It is a school sponsored and organized trip for kids in their last year of elementary to experience camping with their classmates, learn, and have tons of fun.
Every child in our town, regardless of which elementary school you attend, looks forward to this camp their entire elementary school years. They hear the stories told by older siblings from BOAs of the past and they yearn for their own adventure with a longing that never seems to disappoint.
I’ve been with X in 2014 and Adam 2015 and Ryan went with Lance, also in 2015 because 6th graders transitioned to the middle school so he went as the first group of 5th graders.
Lily’s cabin was called the Muscular Mermaids. (They struggled to find an “M” adjective and this is what they ended up with…what’s wrong with magnificent??)
The cabins moms are like professional 5th-grade-camp-mermaid-decorators. Oh my, they most certainly had the best decorations.
My Lily-bug doesn’t enjoy having her picture taken. Especially with other people around.
What an amazing 3 days.
What I loved the ABSOLUTE most is being 100% disconnected. There is ZERO cell service at this camp. Sure, there were a ton of things collecting in my head to share with Ryan. Things I would have normally text him if I had the ability. But being deep in a valley with zero outside connection is like a gift from God – for everyone! The kids were just kids – no pressure and anxiety of phones or devices – just uninhibited fun all the time.
As for me, I handed my camera over only twice (which was actually a sweet relief for my hand and arm – that thing is heavy!) This is myself and Lily’s awesome cabin moms at the end of the 2nd day. I was exhausted, and I look it. These 3 days are actually really hard work running around taking pictures for 14 hours of the day.
But I think I’ll do it again next year with E. He says he wants Ryan to be his cabin Dad but I have a feeling Ryan will gladly send me again.
**To the parents of Kendall BOA 2017, the final video is available for download on Vimeo. It is password protected so look for the email from the teachers or text/private message me**