Monday, September 3, 2012

Rock Springs Family Camp - Vacation Days 2 - 4

For many consecutive years, my parents headed off to K-State Family Camp with my sister and me. We rent to Rock Springs. Both of us could swear we went for a week at a time, but no, my parents insist, we went from Friday evening through Sunday morning - always over 4th of July. That's important because my sister and I have a lot of great memories from this camp. It makes me feel good about taking Connor and Helen to Chincoteague each year. If they lay down memories like my sister and I did, they should have some great ones to draw on later in life.

When my mom discovered that Rock Springs was open for family camp the weekend before my family was heading to California, we quickly checked plane flights and decided it would be the perfect start to our long vacation. And so it was that we flew to Kansas on a Thursday night, drove West a couple of hours on Friday and set in to relive my youth. My sister and her family joined my crew and my parents.

To give you an idea of what Rock Springs is like - it is old school family camp in the Midwest, in every sense of the definition. Archery, horseback riding, rifle range, cafeteria food, swimming, and fishing with grandparents. And Ed reports those rifles are "real guns, way more powerful than what they have at Boy Scout camp, legitimate rifles".

Connor and Helen had a blast. So did I. I think my extended family did as well. And that's a tall order - grandparents, 40'ish folks, teens, and my two youngsters. Give Connor a well-stocked pond and a grandfather who doesn't mind unhooking and throwing back fish, and you get a happy kid.

Connor can't remember if the fish was this big...
or if it was this big. Does it matter?
The cousins fed fish - and if you care to know, they bite if you touch them. Just ask Helen. Or her dad who warned her this would happen.
The adults went on a trail ride, but the under 8 crowd rode around the stable area.
Look Mom, nobody is holding the reins - not even me!
Look Mom, I'm bossing Dad AND the horse around!
A word of advice, do not mess with my children. Or my brother-in-law. He can actually hit the target. Hands down, he was the family's finest representative when it came to this activity. He even asked questions about whether the gun was "trued" or shot straight, or something technical like that. No, is the answer, yet he still managed to tear up the target with ease.
Yes, I can shoot a gun.
He can't aim, but he loves to shoot! My brother-in-law, on the other hand, actually knows what he is doing.
My time to shine was the archery range. Bulls-eye, multiple times. Connor even suggested that perhaps we ought to move to a wooded area and become meat eaters. Let's just say, when the revolution comes, we will be ready.
Photo lifted from my brother-in-law's blog -

And yes, I spent the weekend at Rocks Springs rocking pigtails.
I'm pretty sure they are all admiring my mad archery skillz.
Ed is not to be messed with either.
Grandma gets in on the action,
as does Grandpa.
After the archery range, we headed across camp for some canoeing. We sent the cousins off on a tour of the circular pond. Apparently Connor gets credit for most motivated paddler.
Mush, mush, mush!

Ed's attempt to win son-in-law-of-the-year and my sister's attempt to win daughter-of-the-year.
We had loads of fun, spent a lot of time laughing, and I really do hope we repeat this trip someday. My sister and I both figure this is a true parenting win for my parents - that we remember something so fondly from our youth that we want to do it again with our own children.

When Connor went to school on Friday to meet his teacher, we stopped by the office. He immediately started regaling the principal with tales of Rock Springs, complete with how he "SHOT A REAL GUN! AND MY MOM GOT A BULLSEYE - EVERY TIME". The principal was laughing along with him. Perhaps she'll consider adding archery and rifle range to the P.E. curriculum.



  1. I'm glad you have happy memories of Family Camp as a youngster. It was a great trip down memory land. I think everyone had a good time.

  2. I SO want to go to a place like this. It sounds awesome.