Monday, August 6, 2012

Days 6 & 7 - Camping and Host Family Dinners

Camping went off without a hitch.  We have host parent Dan Grieser (Nao, Shuto, Hiroto) and his Scout Venture Crew to thank for this incredible event.  Camp Tahosa is a boy scout camp about one hour from home.  It is called a "high adventure camp".  Kids come from all over the country to backpack, camp, boat and train at 9000ft (2750m) above sea level.  They even camp in the winter!

For us, the summer weather was PERFECT.  We had 70F (21C) in the daytime and 50F (10C) at night.  Upon arriving at camp, we had some free time as the crew put together lunch.  After lunch we pitched tents and passed out sleeping bags and ground pads.  The Sanvino boys worked with a venture crew member to get the job done.  We even ended up with one extra tent!

Because the weather cooperated (low winds, no rain), we were able to get everyone out on the lake. All boaters (and anyone near the lake or on the dock) had to listen to a safety talk and then be fitted for a personal flotation device (PFD).   There were three kinds of boats that we launched:  rowboats that were the safety boats, canoes which carried three, and kayaks (both two and one man).  Each boat carried one experienced person at all times.  Once we all launched, there were 26 boats on the lake. The activity was a big hit.

After boating there was some free time.  Not long after came the cries of "HUNGRY".  When dinner was announced, Sanvino devoured hamburgers, sausages, salad, macaroni & cheese, and fruit galore.  Then host mom Laurie Dieter (Mona, Mirei, Ikegami-san) organized a game of baseball.  What fun!  The game only ended because it getting dark and was time to start the campfire.  Everyone gathered around the fire for singing, skits and s'mores (typical campfire food of graham crackers with roasted marshmallows and chocolate inside).  In preparation for cold night air, the Trebol girls handed out knit caps in Sanvino colors.  Both kids and parents donned their caps to keeps warm.  As a few Sanvino players fell asleep in their chairs, the evening came to an end (mostly).  We could hear raucous laughter and joy coming from the Sanvino players for quite awhile longer.  We were so happy they were enjoying the trip.

The morning started early as the first Sanvino tent came alive not long after 6am.  We were starting to serve breakfast before 7am.  We had omelets boiled in a bag.  Each diner took a ziploc bag and wrote their name on it (in Romaji). Then they cracked two eggs into the bag and added milk.  After mixing the eggs, the diner could choose to add ham, bacon, onions, mushrooms, green and yellow peppers, and cheese.  The bags were then boiled.   While waiting for the eggs to cook, they ate yogurt with granola, dried cranberries and raisins, and fresh strawberries.  Then, within 10 minutes, the omelet was ready.  It could be eaten with a fork or put into a tortilla for a breakfast burrito.  Many had orange juice and hot cocoa.

After breakfast, we broke camp (rolled up sleeping bags and pads & took down tents).  Then the entire group (55 campers in all) took a hike around the lake.  We posed for some pictures along the way, too.  By the time we got back to camp there were cries again for food, so the lunch preparations got under way.  For lunch, the fare was chili cheese dogs, ramen noodles, fruit and lemonade.  After final cleanup we headed back to Boulder.  Luckily we learned from a pickup driver that a main road had been closed due to a rock slide.  We took an alternative route and all ended up safely at home.

Tonight, we'll report on host family dinners and fill in with some pictures.  Check back soon!

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