I got back from my Cal-Wood family camp yesterday. This year was the opposite of last year. Last year’s organizing portion wasn’t stressful at all because a ton of people signed up right off the bat, but once I was there it was more of a management issue for me.
We had almost 70 people attending with lots of activities and I spent most of my time going back and forth getting people organized for the next event. With that many people there was sleeping quarter drama and basic crowd control as I tried to walk the fine line of making sure everyone had fun and respecting the facility.
Easy before, exhausting during.
This year was different. Despite almost everyone raving about last one and saying they wanted to do it again, I had low turn-out and many of the attendees were totally last minute.
I’m not in it to make money – I never am – but you need critical mass to make something feel successful. And with kids, you need enough of them around that they get into some hard core playing.
Honestly, the idea of not having to cook for a weekend is enticement enough for me.
I was up at night stressing about not enough people coming and being left holding the bag. I’m not sure what was different this time. The weather was great, it was a long weekend, it was a known quantity.
Boulderites are hard to plan for because they are really mobile; their kids participate in lots of sports and have meets, three-day weekends mean ski trips and beach vacations and travel, and then there is just life getting in the way.
There is literally no way to know if a date will work or not even with three-month’s notice. Some people contacted me to let me know why they couldn’t make it, but many …
I know that everyone has legit reasons why plans don’t work out and no one has bad intentions, but but it was a lot of work and a simple, “I’m sorry, we can’t make it,” would have been nice.
The good news is that the weekend was perfect with the number that came. There were two distinct age groups among the kids: the littles and the tweens.
They played together (with laser tag) and apart, often it was the the little kids (AKA The Savage Diamonds – their name) against the Lookout Turtles (again, their name). There was plenty of room for each family to have privacy and quiet at night (we had our own cabins), the tweens opted to sleep in the lodge (woohoo!) and the general situation wasn’t so chaotic that parents spent their time keeping everything under control, we got to spend time together listening to music, talking and playing games.
For those who don’t know me well, I’m not good with board games, I’m usually too worried about the stuff I need to get done. The fact that I was able to relax enough to participate says a lot about my state of mind. It was good.
I didn’t turn into a stress case and as much as I like being the pied piper of getting people together to do fun stuff, I have a touch of the social anxiety and it’s easier for me to be around less people. Less being 25.
I say it over and over again, I’m done organizing events. Mostly because 1) success is contingent on other people cooperating and 2) I feel personally responsible for people having a good time, even if the event is on my own dime.
There’s not a whole lot in it for me except feeling popular, and I’m tired of working so hard for friendship, popularity is overrated.
What I got out of the weekend was good sleep, relaxation, great food, connection with people I wanted to know better, totally exhausted kids, and time in a beautiful nature setting. It was perfect.
Stressful before, relaxing during.
Will I do it again? I’m not sure. Probably not without rock solid (i.e. cash in hand) commitments. It was very much worth it and in pretty much everyone’s opinion better than last year because it was more intimate. It’s nice when hard lessons don’t hurt.
Scheissehund was so happy to see us when we got back, despite having only the best care from Stitch.
He couldn’t wait to get some of that familiar crotch.
My MIL did great with the caretaker (thank you Bri!) and now I only have two more nights until I can be reunited with my Chief.
With all the relationship stuff swirling in my life both in the personal and professional realm, I’ve never craved the simplicity of my sweet little Chief more than now.