We arrived at Camp Lawroweld a few minutes past 7:00 on Friday evening. We had intended to arrive at 6:30, but didn’t get out of the house as soon as we had hoped to. Here’s the lodge.

The Lodge at Camp Lawroweld

The Lodge at Camp Lawroweld


After registering, we went into the Craft House which is where the Friday evening program was held. This was a talk given by a former U.S. Naval pilot. He had Beth’s attention for sure. At the end of that talk, they handed candles out to all the kids (which was mildly alarming, since they offered no safety instruction first). But as far as I know, there were no mishaps.
Beth letting her light shine

Beth letting her light shine

After that, it was time to go to bed. We went to our cabin and started getting settled in. Va went to a director’s meeting. While she was gone, I guess the rest of us killed two dozen mosquitoes. As it turns out, if a kid leaves the light on and the door open, mosquitoes come in by the swarm. I think we got them all though. We also found this little guy:

An Ichneumon perched on the ceiling of our cabin

An Ichneumon perched on the ceiling of our cabin


I guess I took a dozen pictures of him, but this one is by far the best of the bunch. Tonight I took a little time to figure out what he was – maybe a Short-tailed Ichneumon (Ophion spp). That’s the closest thing I could find in my field guide anyhow. These things lay their eggs in the neck of a caterpillar. That’s fatal for the caterpillar, but not until after it makes a nice cocoon for the ichneumon babies. Cool.

On Saturday morning we made our way to the Lodge. They had a 30′ replica of a ship in there, and Beth took the wheel. :

Beth at the Helm of Jonah's ship

Beth at the Helm of Jonah's ship


This was the stage for telling the story of Jonah, which they had broken into two or three parts. The theme of this Spring Escape was “Let Your Light Shine” (or something like that), and the emphasis was on missionary work (Jonah was an unwilling missionary). For the afternoon the kids divided into groups of about 15, and we went touring around the camp where they had booths set up representing various countries. Here’s the booth representing Mexico:

"Mexico"

The guy on the right was one of my Pathfinders. He and his wife were both working the weekend (She was in “India”). They are a great couple, and I was glad to see them this weekend. There were two really cool things about our Mexico. The first is the little shanty they had built. I am convinced that it is fairly authentic. The woman (on the left in the photo) has spent a lot of time working with the poor in Mexico, and she had a little (sterno operated) fireplace set up inside, upon which she cooked tortillas. They were good too! The other cool thing was that they gave out sombreros, which made Va especially happy. She loves little things like this, especially when they scream “I’m from a foreign country!”

La gatta in a sombrero

La gatta in a sombrero

Our next stop was Mongolia, where Beth got to try on some of their clothing:

Next stop, Mongolia

Next stop, Mongolia


This may have been my favorite presentation. The guy who did the talk had spent four years working with ADRA in Mongolia. The gown Beth is wearing belongs to his daughter, and they bought it while they were there. His catch phrase was “It’s all about the animals,” because pretty much everything they have, do, or eat is from animals. They have a pure meat & dairy diet (and a correspondingly low life expectancy). He also described how they make felt, which is a topic with which I was already familiar. I also learned that the Mongolians find the term yurt somewhat offensive when applied to their gers (rhymes with “bears”). Yurts are a Russian design which is far inferior to the Mongolian gers.

Next stop was Yemen:
"Yemen"
I didn’t hang out much for Yemen. Instead, I hung back in Mongolia and chatted with our host about the Tuvan throat singers. Yes, he had heard them, and yes, it was utterly bizarre. I would love to spend a week there, but that is not likely to ever happen.

After Yemen we stopped in at China, but the room was kinda small, and by then I was pretty tired. So I walked around outside a it instead of listening. (Bad me!) Mongolia, Yemen, and China were all housed in the horse stables, so when we finished with those, Beth wanted to go see the horses.
The "real" occupants of Mongolia, Yemen, and China
She’s a little bit horse crazy right now. I guess that’s not an uncommon affliction for a seven year-old girl. She petted their noses, fed them some grass, and begged me for a horse (which did not sway me BTW).

After that we had supper, listened to more of Jonah, and then went to bed. The kids slept a lot better the second night than the first. Actually, I did too. It rained all night (having started while we were in Belize, but raining hardest when we were in Mongolia). It was still rainy the next morning too, so the planned activities had to be moved indoors.

One of the games Sunday morning was one I will use in Pathfinders. Basically, a person is blindfolded and must guard a pile of sticks. Other people must quietly sneak up and take the sticks without getting tagged. The best way to avoid being tagged is by no being heard, or by having me guard the sticks. I am apparently about half deaf (I do know that I can’t hear anything higher than 14KHz). I didn’t get any pics of that though, since I had the camera and I was blindfolded. This game was played by the Native Americans. All of their games and amusements were designed to hone skills important to their survival. The guy who presented the game (and who presented the Abenaki Indians on Saturday) told us that a loud Indian was a hungry Indian.

Our last activity was back to Mexico, where we learned the Mexican Hat Dance. Here’s Beth trying it out.

Mexican Hat Dance

Mexican Hat Dance


After that, there was one more talk, and then we hit the road and went home. I fully expected Beth to nap in the car, but she was never quiet for more than a minute:
Tired, but apparently not sleepy

Tired, but apparently not sleepy

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