Cheers ran the 12th annual camp for Banksia Grove families last week, and it was another great boost for us all.
Lots of laughs and bonding around beaches, outings, sundowners and campfires.
Great crafts included using the mind on family history posters; dioramas of heart-felt times and relationships; shirts affected by bleach just as the soul has its profound effects on us; and messy printing about action. (The outline of the series can be seen in the right lower corner of the pic.)
After morning tea we played on the beach, with a tractor tube, kayaks and a boat, visited an eagle heritage park, held a barn owl, opp-shopped, bush-walked and played in rock-pools.
In the afternoons families were free to visit the many attractions from Busselton to Margaret River.
Then began a relaxed schedule of sundowner, games, dinner, a possum-hunt / movie / damper & nibbles, campfire, and deeper chats for the adults.
We also enjoyed a (Messianic) Passover feast together. This pic shows the kids’ “delight” at tasting the “marror.” heheh.
One thing I came to understand more clearly this year is the benefit of the conflicts that happen during family craft times.
Normally we don’t really live together, we live individually around each other. But when we do the craft activity in family groups, families have to actually work together. Everyone is invested in the same craft, and have to cooperate or the craft fails.
So communication and conflict skills are inevitably needed. And we quickly reach our limits in these skills and have to stretch to accommodate each other, yet also make ourselves known. On reflection, it is funny to hear ourselves angrily barking at each other, “We’re supposed to be bonding!!!”
But this struggle to communicate and cooperate against all of our own selfishness is a large part of the benefit of family camp. We find ourselves no longer avoiding each other, but actually encountering each other, and, after the storms, the net effect is greater real love for each other.
And to do this in a place where everyone is experiencing the same struggle, is to experience it with understanding, acceptance, and debrief it well.
Back home in Banksia Grove, may we also learn this lesson. May we not merely live individually around each other, but actually work together on projects on which we share common ground.