Goodness, the month has gotten away from me! We've been back from Fish Camp for two weeks and I'm just now getting around to attempt to put into words how awesome our four days at Lakeview were. To say that the kids were excited is basically the biggest understatement of all time...
They kind of understand the crazy that is Aggieland because they are growing up surrounded by Aggies. (Whoop to that) They wanted to go full out and dye their hair, but we settled on some purple hairspray instead. I think they asked me at least 2021 times when we were leaving for camp before we actually got in the car...
All the freshmen park at Reed Arena and then go inside for "send off". They are greeted by their counselors who are dressed as crazy as they can be, grouped by their camp colors, and learn their yells, while telling themselves that it's all going to be ok.
The co-chairs check each freshman in (and our camp was 260 freshmen strong) and then they go sit and, well, wait.
We were so ready to go "meet" them all!
After all the freshmen are checked in, the co-chairs, partners that lead each camp, are introduced along with namesakes. Needless to say, we made quite the entrance with this crew.
As the camps loaded busses, we grabbed lunch and made that 100 mile drive to Lakeview. I haven't been back since 2006 and as soon as we turned down that final stretch of road, I felt like I was going home... everything was so familiar, so nostalgic, just a full circle moment.
The kids LOVED the camp room - everything was purple and they clearly enjoyed the fact that our name was on those banners.
The kids had no problem making themselves at home...
and Ryan had no problem finding a place for a nap.
Also, if you give these girls a literal stage - they WILL perform.
The next few hours were filled with some instructions, skits, introductions and those awkward "do I act like this is awesome or play it off like this is no big deal" moments.
I'll let you guess which way these three played it...
It should be noted that these counselors not only went above and beyond to make the freshmen feel like home but they made my three kids feel like actual royalty. In now way were they obligated or did they need to include them, but they did. They let them in and totally made every single one of their dreams of being a big kid come true.
(Note: Landry wants to marry Mr. Justin as much as I wanted to marry Ralph Macchio).
Each freshman is put into smaller "discussion groups" so they aren't overwhelmed by the sheer size of the camp as a whole. The purple and red camps have the biggest rooms so they have the most freshmen (260 is a LOT of people y'all) so the DGs are an awesome way to get to know a group of people that you can call your own once you arrive to campus with 10K+ of your closest freshmen friends.
Radley stayed attached to Zach and Bayle's DG the entire four days.
He also experienced lots of Fish Camp right of passages like camp food and the fan favorite "blue drink". The Kings were big fans of both! Seriously, in four days, they didn't complain about one single meal. They just sat down and ate their food. Thank you, college kids, for setting an example.
We also experienced a first, in the 10 years that I went to FC, I never had to go to the infirmary, not even for advil... well within 4 hours of her arrival, Emersyn was bandaged up from a pesky scooter injury that is definitely going to leave a mark!
At the end of each day, the freshmen settle in the camp room to listen to some words of wisdom from a "campfire speaker" and yours truly was up first.
I did my best to relate to them, make them laugh and leave them with a meaningful message.
I talked about characteristics that I think all Aggies should have...
CROWN... because when you're in Camp King... you most definitely wear a crown.
I think they liked it.
Day 1 is full of twists and turns, getting everyone settled and staying on schedule. Conner and Elizabeth did a FANTASTIC job leading this crew and I'm just so thankful that they let me be part of camp and not just a name.
Doing something you love is awesome, but SHARING something you love with people that you love is really such a gift. I am so honored that I get to have this experience again simply because I got to share it with my four favorite people on the planet.
Day one was done...
and so were they!
As we were heading to out to leave for the night, we happened to run into these 5 Aggie celebrities... what a fun exclamation point on an already awesome day!
Oh, and then we went to Walmart, because you can't really go to Lakeview without at least one Walmart run!
Up next, day 2...