On day 5 of Camp Nin on the farm, we took field trip number 2: to the park in town. Lunch on picnic tables, lots of running and squealing and a gigantic playground set made for a whole pile of campers asking, "Is it time for a nap yet?"
Music to their mother's ears.
After naps, we headed outside to play -- what else -- with tractors and semis, plastic horses and miniature combines.
Then, to round out the week, I played my best card yet: horses!
While I technically had nothing to do with the fact that three women on horses and a black lab named Jack were randomly walking down our gravel road, I totally conned the children into thinking that I'd ordered them up for a special afternoon surprise.
It worked . . . until I had to walk out on the road and ask the ladies if they'd stop and let the kids take a picture with the horses.
And because they're country folk, they, of course, obliged.
Following the horse escapade, the children headed indoors to dress up for the evening's entertainment: a special awards supper and banquet.
Chris taught the young men how to ask a lady to supper and then escort her to the dinner table and help her be seated . . . although I'm pretty sure he didn't recommend giving your date a fishy face if you want to go out with you again.
He poured the campers' drinks while my sister -- who really does cater weddings and other big events -- served the kids their supper just like they were at a restaurant.
There was a LOT of giggling.
It didn't matter that it was lasagna, Caesar salad and bread sticks. It was something different, and they made it fun, even while eating off of paper plates.
Then it was the moment of truth. The campers adjourned to the living room for the award ceremony where Chris presented them with Camp Nin 2015 awards like "Chief Chicken Chaser" and "Calf Hut Bedder Extraordinaire."
Even the little guy got an award . . . for Happiest Little Camper, of course!
His award speech left a little to be desired, but we'll take a few coos and drooling over a Kanye-Imma-let-you-finish situation any day.
Each of the campers also had to stand up in front of the group and make a brief presentation, outlining what they learned at camp and what their favorite part was.
And they did it with style!
As in, and I quote, "My favorite thing about camp is that we learned about our reading and learning about our camp. And I favorite love Neena and Uncle Chris."
If they don't frame these and put them on a wall somewhere, they're missing out. I mean, it's not just any day that you get a Camp Nin award, people.
After the awards were given out, the children invited us out to the old milk barn where they had made a makeshift stage out of cement forms (thanks to Grandma's innovation).
There they treated us to several musical selections as well a comedy routine or two and ended the evening with a rousing rendition of "You're a Grand Old Flag" that practically made us want to stand up and salute.
And then, because it's not camp without roasting marshmallows, Chris started a fire, which moved via the fire pit into the barn because it started to rain . . . again.
All those little campers sat around and chatted, sweated and ate, got their fingers licked by Blackjack and got their bare feet dirty and yawned . . . just like you're supposed to on the farm.
And when it was all over, their moms washed off their feet and put them in their jammies and tucked them into bed while they asked questions like, "Is camp over already?" and "Can we do this again next year?"
Kids, as your camp directors, we have just one thing to say: We'd love to.
Click here to see what we did on day 1 of camp.
Click here to see what we did on day 2 of camp.
Click here to see what we did on day 3 of camp.
Click here to see what we did on day 4 of camp.