Jamie has returned from a month away at his happiest place on earth... Camp Kooch-i-ching in Northern Minnesota. He loves his camp more than I think anyone has ever loved camp and is already counting the days until he returns next summer.
Top three things that he loves the most about camp...
1)The people...they are awesome, all dudes, no parents involved.
2)The trip...eleven night canoe and camping trip in the north Minnesota woods is Jamie's perfect journey.
3)Trying out different stuff not generally done at home with your family...like riflery and archery and woodsmanship.
This makes me all very happy because our hope was that Jamie would enjoy camp by meeting new friends, trying out new activities and become more self sufficient while camping.
I mean how often does it work out that kids and parents agree on the same summer adventure?
And admittedly, I am sub par when it comes to target practice and woodsmanship, so Jamie is going to have to go off site from our homestead to gain those skills.
So, much like last summer, Karl happily traveled to pick him up. Karl enjoys camping also, and was looking froward to an excuse to travel to the the North Woods and the mission of collecting Jamie is his idea of a perfect weekend.
And because he is always up for a little bit of adventure, he asked the kind director at Camp Kooch if he could borrow the camp trees to set up a hammock for a couple of nights.
(Thank you J.R. Verkamp for your kindness and hospitality)
This is how Karl slept on the pick up trip...
In the trees,
in a hammock,
under a tarp,
wrapped in a bug net.
And nobody thought he was even a little bit odd.
In fact, Jamie's camper buddies thought it was a cool, instead of weird, set up.
While I was glad that Jamie and his buddies didn't think it was unusual to sleep in the trees, I was even happier that Karl's weekend vision did not include me suspended in the next tree over.
Although the birds eye view of Jamie's cabin was more than lovely.
Jamie is passionate about how much he loves his camp Kooch.
Which speaks volumes about the magic of the place because almost 13 year old guys don't often exude their passion of place.
But his own personal photographs don't exactly speak the same story...he brought home about 65 images of minor injuries and bug bites.
Jamie faithfully carried his camera on the big trip throughout the boundary waters between Minnesota and Canada, paddled through some of the most beautiful wilderness in the world, but from his photos we learned mostly of bloody toes and mosquito bites.
And even more bug bites... noted.
However, mixed in with all of the buggy body party, we did see this photo of a young moose that Jamie and his buddies came across. I will credit his counselor for telling Jamie to point his camera away from himself and in the direction of the amazing wildlife across the river.
When Jamie's trunk arrived home a couple of days after he did, a few mysteries were solved. We discovered his bottle of Deep Woods Off insect repellant still in it's original shrink wrap, as well as this bar of deodorant soap in pristine and unused condition.
Which explains why Jamie smelled a whole lot like a young moose himself when he got his dad out of the trees and left camp.
But smelly or not, even his sibs were happy to see him and we all had a little welcome homecoming on the front porch.
Thank you Camp Kooch-i-Ching for giving our Jamie such a wonderful camp experience that makes him eager to return year after year...truly a magical place for one of my most favorite guys!