Sunday, November 2, 2008

AWANA Campout

On an October weekend marked by distinctly chilly nights and mild, sunny days, the Diller family decided to join some other families for a semiannual AWANA campout. By "campout," of course, I refer to that activity that sounds entirely wholesome in the mind's ear beforehand -- snuggling in the tent! gazing at the stars! sipping hot chocolate by the campfire! -- but in the midst thereof, tends to also mean considerable physical discomfort, long walks to the nearest bathroom, and a yearning for a long, hot shower.

But anyway.

The Diller family arrived just after sunset, with their impeccable sense of timing. Immediately, six men and teenage boys converged upon their designated tent site to offer their assistance with fumbling in the dark to pitch the gi-normous two-room tent. While the gesture was appreciated, it also meant that the Dillers had no hope of hiding the embarrassing facts that 1) they don't have much practice pitching this tent, and 2) they don't even have the correct set of tent poles (long story involving trip with extended clan to Yosemite 9 years ago).

Never mind, though, because the fellow campers were all just so lovely and warm that the chance to make a good impression was not entirely squandered. Mr. Diller boosted his family's portfolio by joining the group of accompanying musicians for the weekend.

Young Ian, always doing his part to "KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD," experimented with a pogo stick, enjoying instruction from some Bigger Boys. Bigger Boys who were not too cool to sing "His Banner Over Me is Love" with all the hand motions up at the front during worship time.

After a full day of eating, singing, Bible-quizzing, hiking, biking, pogo-sticking, tree-climbing and the like, the families gathered 'round for Saturday night worship time, where the focus was on the life of Joseph in Genesis. The Diller stock plunged when, during the breakout time when each family was supposed to be chatting earnestly about forgiveness, the two older Diller children seized the opportunity to fight (loud, unkind voices! a tug of war!) over a flashlight. Because, truly, they are that family.

But all was well when the microphone was passed around and the previously fighting children each stepped up. Young Eliza, graciously providing what one might term a "non sequitur:" "Sometimes, we do things that make our Mom sad. Then we get a time out." How refreshing, how edifying for the other 77 campers to hear! Young Ian managed to share something that could actually be construed as relevant to the forgiveness topic. Stocks climbed once again.

It turns out that despite the lack of a hot shower and the presence of some very cold nights, the campout contained the right ingredients, from s'mores around the fire to chats with other homeschooling moms to Capture the Flag with flashlights. The Dillers, exhausted but well-sugared-up as they made their way home, concluded that they'd love to go again.

Just as soon as they get the smell of smoke out of their hair.


Jenny said...

I remember that tent! And the incorrect poles. LOL

Sounds like a good campout overall. Had to chuckle at some of your funny moments. ;)

emily f. said...

Awh... I *LOVED* AWANAs as a kid... but I don't remember having such cool camp outs... that sound like so much fun! :)