A Weekend at YMCA Family Camp

 We spent our Memorial Day weekend at the Triangle Y Ranch family camp and had an amazing time.  Some good friends recommended it to us and although I was worried that the kids were too young, I thought we would give it a try.  We really had an amazing weekend and we're already talking about going again next year.

   Sky and Earth taking in the amazing view
The camp is in the foothills of the Catalina mountains with views of two other ranges and there was stunning southwestern scenery everywhere you looked.

We paid a little extra to stay in a lodge room, which meant that it would just be our family in the room (to make it easier to put kids to bed) and that we'd have a bathroom.  The room was small but just the right size for our family. 

 Earth slept in the closet!

In case you're wondering, the bathrooms were modern and clean:

After getting checked in and settled in, there was a short parent meeting and then we had lunch in the chow hall.  There were two activity sessions in the afternoon and the kids chose tie-dye for the first one and archery for the second.  Water and Earth played in the supervised kids area while D and took Fire and Sky to tie-dye (no pictures of that, it was all-hands-on-deck!).  It was really nice to have one-on-one time with the kids while we helped them make their shirts.  We need to find a way to make that happen more often at home too.

After tie-dying, we headed to the archery station

Sky and Fire loved shooting with the bow and arrow and spent almost an hour there.  Towards the end they were even hitting the target!

Earth was up by the time we finished at archery so we wrapped up the day with a trip to the pool

  Since it's never heated, the water was COLD!  Sky only made it about 10 minutes but the rest of the kids braved it a bit longer, especially since D was with us and could throw chase them in the water.

 So cold!

On Sunday morning we had a little time to fill before breakfast so we took pictures and played games in front of our lodge
I accidentally dressed the kids in green "I was here" shirts on the same day!
(Fire-Malaysia / Sky-Pohnpei / Water / Texas)

 Goofy pictures in Mama's hat:

We played Red Light/Green Light and I caught this picture of everyone just as they stopped.  D warned the kids to watch out because Mama had a camera trap at her stop light!  

We also found the guitars in the chow hall "family room".  Water cuddled in with Daddy and did a great job playing on his turn  

 After breakfast we headed down to the corral to see if we could meet the horses.  Sky and Fire were old enough to go on pony rides but since neither is comfortable around large animals, they both said they didn't want to go.  There was a very sweet and patient cowboy at the stable who let all the kids pet the horse and spend a little time with them.  It was worth it because after we left the stable, Fire said he did want to try a pony ride that afternoon.  Little victories!

On the way back from the corral, we stopped at Site 5, an abandoned bunk site on a ridge above the camp.  We took in the view and took some pictures

D and I

Our best group shot

 After a quick snack at the lodge, we headed down to the old chow hall for some floor ball (indoor hockey).  The kids took a little bit to warm up to it but eventually had a lot of fun running around with the counselors.

Water and Earth both fell fast asleep in the middle of lunch!  

While D took the little boys for naps, Sky, Fire and I headed back down to floor ball for a bit and then up to the rifle range.  They weren't old enough to use the guns but I gave it a try.

Four out of five on the the paper!  Not bad for someone who hasn't done target shooting in over 30 years!

Next we went back to the archery range and I tried that too

D met us there with the boys and showed us all how it was done

Then it was time to head to the stables for Fire's pony ride.  He found a helmet

(No pictures, Mom!)

And we watched him from the edge of the ring

D and I were so, so proud of Fire for trying something new and big like this!  Because Sky doesn't always try new experiences, he usually doesn't either but this time he went out of his comfort zone and did it!  He had a lot of fun and is already talking about doing it again next year.

We did a little tree climbing before dinner

And after dinner, we headed to the amphitheater to watch the camp talent show
Half of us are smiling, so that makes it a good family photo, right?

After the talent show, there was an ice cream sundae bar
Sky insisted that we eat outside and at first, I was annoyed about it, since it meant carrying everything that much farther but then I when I saw her watching the everyone else inside through the window I figured what was going on.  The counselors were playing a loud singing game with kids and families inside but it was too much noise and commotion for Sky.  She realized that if we sat outside, she could still watch  and listen to the games without being overwhelmed by them.
  The fact that Sky figured out something like that all on her own, while being someplace new and different is a really big deal.  Before this, she would have just had a catastrophic meltdown- too much noise, too many people, and ice cream, all in someplace unfamiliar.  It is so wonderful to see her learning to take control of situations like this calmly and while I know there will still be stumbling blocks, this is a big step in her learning to manage her sensory processing disorder for herself.

D was up early on Monday morning and captured this beautiful sunrise shot

Water was having nightmares so D wrapped him up in his blanket and they spent some time reading on the porch

I even got to have some coffee and read for a bit before everyone woke up- a great end to a great weekend!

We all loved the YMCA family camp and are already making plans to go again next year.  It was the perfect start to our summer and a great way to spend time as a family.  Dealing with the kids at meal times was a little stressful but at least I didn't have to cook or clean up, which freed me up to really spend time with the family.  I loved that we didn't have to plan any of the activities- you just showed up and someone else ran them and you left when they were done.  Since D and I weren't in charge of the activities, the kids didn't have to do something they didn't want to do and D and I didn't get frustrated because of a lack of interest in something we'd put effort into organizing.
I'm really looking forward to making this one of our traditions and seeing the kids grow into doing more and more activities.  Now that we know what to expect, we can pack and plan a little better and really make the most of family camp.

Have you ever been to a family camp?  How did it go for you?

See where I'm linking up here


  1. Looks like you all had a great time. Thanks for stopping by the Home Matters Linky party.

  2. Wow, so many fun activities! Glad you had a fun time!


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