When You Encourage Your Children To Try Something New
They May Just Surprise You With What They Can Achieve
Not gonna lie, when I was invited to go to Muskoka Woods Camp for an overnight trip with my kids, I was way more excited about the adventure aspect than the camp stuff. My kids have never had an interest in any kind of camp–even day camp–which, let me tell ya, makes my summer work-from-home-life more than a little complicated.
A few days before we left I sat down with the boys and we watched videos of the Giant Swing and the High Ropes Course with Zipline. I can mostly convince Speed Skating Son to try new activities using the “Do you think you’ll regret it if you don’t try?” speech but Hockey Playing Son is a hard nut to crack so it surprised me to no end when he declared he was going to do all three.
What surprised me even more was that he was the first one to volunteer to do the Giant Swing.
Mom Note: It is one thing for me to be lifted 70 feet and release the lever to go swinging through the air, it is a whole other story watching my baby boy do it.
But he did–they both did–even though they were both afraid, they got harnessed in and pulled to the very top of the 70 foot pole where they then had to release themselves to start swinging.
Do you have any idea how hard it is to press that lever?
Yet, also super fun.
The next day was the High Ropes Course. This one scared the crap out of me. I am deathly afraid of heights and while getting pulled up on the Giant Swing sort of freaked me out, it was someone else doing the work–for the ropes course I would have to climb 35 feet by myself.
But first it was the boys’ turn. All I will say is they MADE IT LOOK EASY, which, I told them later, was false advertising. Speed Skating Son was like a spider monkey whipping up the cargo net. Hockey Skating Son had a moment of doubt midway up when he wanted to go back down but thanks to Austin, the instructor, telling him to only look up and keep climbing, he made it all the way to the top, then laughed and screamed as he ziplined down.
My climb was a wee bit slower and if it wasn’t for the 100 pushup challenge, I don’t think I would have made it. The vertigo I was experiencing wasn’t helping much either. I may have told my friend Alison to shut up when she was cheering me on although I managed to yell down a ‘Thanks, guys’ to Speed Skating Son and Hockey Playing Son as they stood below telling me I could do it.
Mom Note 2: Having my two kids cheer me on and encouraging me to keep going when I felt like I couldn’t was indescribably awesome. Speed Skating Son, who at first didn’t want me to speed skate at all, is now my biggest supporter and he will never truly know how much that means to me.
To zipline you had to stand on a small platform that was about 18 inches by 18 inches. My kids were yelling for me to look down but I just couldn’t because I was TOTALLY FREAKING OUT. So I stood there looking up at the clouds and waited for the countdown for us to jump.
It was spectacular.
I try to teach my children that it’s not about being the best, but trying your best. That you will never know if you are going to love something unless you get out there and give it a go. In order to do that, I need to walk the walk and not just talk the talk which is why I find myself on small platforms 35 feet in the air watching clouds. Over the course of 24-hours, we went canoeing, did the giant swing and ropes course, learned how to shoot a bow and arrow and skateboarded.
My boys tried it all. They weren’t necessarily good but they went out there and did it and I do believe my heart, like the Grinch’s, grew three sizes that day.
Because, OH MY GAWD, IT’S ACTUALLY GETTING THROUGH TO THEM AND I’M NOT DOING THIS ALL FOR NOTHING.
But I think what completely blew my mind was that my boys, the boys who don’t even like going to day camp, now want to go to camp at Muskoka Woods. This is partly because of the activities but mostly because of the fantastic counselors who were fun, positive, encouraging and helpful. At least five of us wanted to steal camp counselor Tippy and bring her home with us.
Not even kidding. We started to plan a way to fit her in our luggage but ran out of time. There may have also been bribing money involved.
Tippy! We love you and we miss you! *waves*
So after discussing it with my husband it looks like next year we may possibly be giving camp a test drive.
I’m a bit jealous they’ll get to do the ropes course again.