Brandon Spring, you had me at "Hello"
I am back from Round two of Brandon Spring! It was just as awesome this time. A different group, but still a great adventure!! Look at all of those crawfish found in a very plain looking ordinary stream. It seemed like we would find nothing. As a child, I used to visit a stream with clean sparkling water like that, drink from it and pretend to be an Indian living in harmony with the land. So, stream strolling was an especially eye-opening experience for me.
The last picture was a beaver dam, at least the top of it. Of course we did not see any beaver. All wild life had cleared the entire area the moment our feet hit the beginning of the trail. We had fun though and the kids were very hypnotized and excited by the trail and everything Patrick had to share with us about both beavers and wildlife. Lindsey was our stream guide and she was great too. Great teachers, great times and the best part is, it totally counts as logged school hours. Home school flexibility, I love you.
The other moms and I also discovered that Brandon Spring has a fountain of youth. None of the employees look their age. We thought Patrick was early 20's, late 20's at the most. We asked him and he confessed, 33, dad of three boys. WOW! He is the male ranger in the group shot. One mom thought he was a student. Also, Lindsey (that I thought came right after high school dismissed) was a college graduate. I won't divulge her age, but she is older that 17. I should go back more often just to look younger.
Richard runs an awesome retreat center and has worked hard to find a staff that loves nature and loves kids (of all ages!). It really shows and our family has some mighty fine memories! Good times, good times. I surely hope my co-op will make Brandon a yearly event. I can't imagine not returning at least once a year!!
Now, true confession time-this was originally a girl scout trip. Our troop planned and voted on this activity as our grand finale. I just knew how they would love it. I looked forward to all the bonding they would do in the heart of nature. It ended up being a time of last minute scrambling getting friends and family to fill in the gaps that cancelling girl scouts left. IT was not an option to cancel the trip as staff had been hired, food had been purchased and we had given our word to be there. So, it was not at all the trip I thought it would be, but it was great fun anyway.
Also, it was my grand finale as a scout leader. I am happy that the scout chapter of my life is closed. It was a wonderful thing that enriched my life and the girls and I have made many wonderful friends. Girl Scouts, we bid you fond farewell. Live long and prosper. Keepers of the Faith, here we come.