Director's Corner: On Family Camping

Family Camping is all about sharing an experience with other Magnolia families, overcoming together the challenge of planning, packing, cooking, setting up, braving the lesser comfort of sleeping away from home, and reaping the benefits of seeing the kids busy, happy, excited by the different environment, tired at night, and of enjoying the company of various groups around campfires at night, all a powerful way to make lasting memories and build community. A sure sign that building community works was the presence, as always, of several “old” families, families whose children do not attend Magnolia anymore but still wish to join the school of these camping trips. Nineteen families were represented, for a total of 46 people, 26 children including three former Magnolia students and baby Dominic, and four teachers, a nice turnout!

To those of you who missed the trip altogether, consider joining us next time, will you? One of the campfire conversations had to do with how different this camping trip was from the last one at Reed Bingham State Park in March 2012. Instead of 4 inches of rain, violent thunderstorms and even tornado alerts a short distance to the south last time, we enjoyed this time gorgeous weather, if a bit on the cool side at night. Bicycles and scooters were in almost constant use, there was no flood, no overturned tent, and no need to huddle in a closed shelter on potluck night. But, believe it or not, even these more challenging memories are sweet and caused lots of giggles!

Another topic that came up were the dramatic events in Paris. Being safely together with all kinds of different people, experiencing sympathy and fraternity was the best therapy!