Charlie probably had the best time of any of the Shumways this year at Bear Lake. He was so locked into his cousins that I barely even saw him all month. I kind of missed him. This group just clicked. Unlike some other groups (namely Hazel’s) there wasn’t any drama with these guys, just a lot of rough and tumble craziness, some serious fort building, some clever lizard catching, tons of digging in the sand and damning up the hose water, some mischievous exploring and pretty much non stop fun.I think Charlie’s expression in these pictures pretty much says it all. Aunt Shawni brought this awesome paper airplane book which pretty much won them all over. Camden was pretty much the “president” (as he called himself) of this group. He’s by far the oldest of the group, but still treats all those little guys with tons of respect which makes them feel so cool about themselves. He was such a benevolent leader, always getting them going on doing their chores, participating in the games and events, trying to make sure everyone was happy and obeying the rules. I love that kid. Don’t you love Camden's reading pose? I’ll say it again, I love that kid. And so does Charlie. This group also took their jobs SERIOUSLY. They won the badge contest (Aja awarded badges to groups for proactive good behavior). They were asking what they could do right and left, working their little tails off to fill up their flag with badges. Don’t you love how they did the dishes?I think these guys are also Grandfather’s biggest fans (which is saying a lot because he has quite a following). Check out that hair…..I think it’s time for a serious haircut, don’t you?
Charlie also had an awesome time with his uncles at the lake. I wish I had pictures of him with his other uncles. He looks up to those guys so much. He helped fix the boat with Uncle Jo and he went on all kinds of adventures with Uncle Tal. Oh, I love my brothers. I love it that they love my kids…..and I’m especially happy that my boys will always have these brothers of mine to look up to.
Other things Charlie loved at the lake this year:
- Grammy Camp. Every year my dear mother takes each grandkid group over the age of 5 up the the Lighthouse for a special overnight “camp” where they work and play and eat and learn all kinds of stuff. This was his group’s first year attending Grammy Camp. He watched Hazel go last year and has been looking forward to his turn nearly all year long. Even with his high expectations he was not one bit disappointed. He loved every minute of it. Click here to see my mom’s post about it, complete with pictures.
- all new people. Unlike Emmeline Charlie loved it when new people came to the lake. He’s just a super social guy and likes charming people over and making friends. We had a lot of new people coming in and out this year and Charlie was just fine with that.
- Trying waterskiing. Ok, he didn’t really love that…..in fact, he hated it. But I was so proud that he tried. The biggest problem is that he still doesn’t really know how to swim and he didn’t realize that the lifejacket really will keep him afloat. The boat pulled him up and over his skies and he just held on tight to the rope. I ran after him screaming for him to let go of the rope, but I think he thought that the rope (rather than the lifejacket) was what was keeping him afloat. Poor guy got a big helping of lake water.
- Riding the wave runner and riding in boats. This guys pretty much loves anything with a motor. Hm. Wonder where that came from!
- Digging in the sand. I didn’t really have to apply too much sunscreen to this guys body because he was nearly always covered from head to toe with sand from all the digging he did. He spent hours and hours each day building with sand and then running the hose over his creations to see what would happen. His curious brain is chewing hard on how things work and I love it.
- Swimming. After spending nearly the whole month in the sand Uncle Tal finally convinced Charlie to swim across Pirates Cove (the marina) with him. Once he mustered up the courage he loved it (he’s still wearing a life jacket, can’t swim on his own at all, but at least he was in the water).
- Playing Tennis. He got Grandfather and Tal and Noah to give him some tennis lessons and now he’s in love with the sport. I think it’s time to find some places to play tennis around here.
- Freedom. Oh, the glorious freedom at Bear Lake. Every 5 year old wants the freedom and unstructured time to run and explore and just be, and that’s pretty much what the Bear Lake experience is.
We’re hoping Charlie can survive the next 11 months till we can go and do it all over again.