Sunday, August 23, 2020

Bam! Cam is a Teenager - Week of Aug. 17th

"Listen to the mustn’ts, child. Listen to the don’ts. Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me … Anything can happen, child. Anything can be." ~Shel Silverstein

On August 17th, only 13 years ago, we welcomed Cameron Jackson into the world, 10 weeks early.  It may explain his innate desire to always be on time for appointments, or better yet, ahead of schedule.
When the birthday kid woke up on Monday, multiple tasks were ahead.
First up was opening presents...
After a few fun gifts of books, clothes and a portable neck fan, the biggest box of all was left.  As the contents were opened, Cam discovered he was the proud owner of a 3D printer!  If you're wondering what one produces with this type of apparatus, stay tuned for some future cool creations.

We bid farewell to Oma and Opa with a boatload of thanks, Ms. Amanda and Cam had some quality time to hang out while Jane began preparing and packing for their annual family camping adventure at Hungry Horse Campground.  We arrived late afternoon to a Happy Birthday greeting sign on our cabin from Auntie Karen!  For Cam's bday dinner, we feasted on steak, homemade potato salad, garlic bread and veggies.  A perfectly sized bday dessert complete with a "13" candle provided by Karen was literally icing on the cake to finish out a great day.

This is our fifth year year camping at Hungry Horse in Dorr, Michigan with Auntie Karen.  It has become an annual end of summer retreat for us all.  We have gotten to know the owners and even some of the seasonal folks that have permanent sites.  The campground is very special to us since Norm and Nancy, who run HH, paid for a metal ramp that was built for their newer cabin last year.  It is such a blessing to have an accessible place.

We experienced the best weather ever for our 4-night stay and walked over to the pool every day when it opened at 10am.  It seemed that others in the campground preferred afternoon swimming and we took advantage of being the only campers (for the most part) in the water for almost two hours.  Cam had the opportunity to practice swimming in the pool and relaxing his muscles.

Each morning or afternoon, our camper rode his bike to stretch out his legs and exercise.

Our nightly campfire dinner followed by tasty s'mores was definitely a highlight for Cam.  Even though some of our regular activities like the hayride were canceled this year, it gave way to perhaps more important actions, like meeting fellow campers.

Sitting by our fire at Auntie Karen's on the first night, we met Rachel and her dog, Moose.  Rachel chatted with us and Moose settled in, perfectly comfortable receiving an abundance of pets.  As we learned more about the teen and her dog, Rachel told Cam how much Moose really seemed to love him and Cam's response was "Moose loves us all."  Throughout our stay, we spent more time with Rachel and Moose, promising to see each other next year and looking forward to a reunion.

Hungry Horse brings greater independence for our son.  Whether it is driving to Auntie Karen's cabin every morning, testing out the bike track with his own ride, or racing his dad around the campground, every opportunity opens another window of confidence.

We said our goodbyes on Friday, thankful for our time with Auntie Karen, and reserved our cabin for the same week next year looking forward to more adventures.

Upon arrival back in Grand Rapids, we quickly unpacked and repacked, heading northward to meet our youngest cousin, Avery, for the first time.  Cam's little cousin, James, made an appearance as well and everyone enjoyed the warm Lake Michigan water.

It seemed that Cam's birthday lasted more than a week this year so we kept referring to it as "Camapalooza."  Our official teenager definitely encountered well beyond 13 awesome experiences this week.

Camology Quotes:
The birthday greetings were in abundance for Cam.  The Schulze fam sent an awesome video with everyone singing, Ms. Ann sent over a sweet tribute, Cousin David recorded a video birthday greeting this year and Uncle Jon and Aunt Betsy wrote a poem.  We think we need to commission David to turn this poem into a top hit!  
KABAM! KAZAM! It’s the Birthday of SUPER CAM! 
If you’re ever in a jam, call SUPER CAM
His smiles will make all your troubles scram 
When you feel as sad as a lamb, call SUPER CAM
He will make you laugh; he’s quite the ham 
Who’s that person with all the glam? Everybody knows, it’s SUPER CAM! 
When you are so hungry you could eat a raw clam, Just try SUPER CAM’s world’s best jam
Who is the person who can help Uncle Sam? There’s only one answer: “SUPER CAM I AM!” 
Who’s that person with all the glam? Everybody knows, it’s SUPER CAM! 

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