We had six teen-agers, aged 12-16, stay with us over the weekend – 3 grandkids, 3 friends, 2 parents. And one large active dog, a bernedoodle. Believe it or not, we had a delightful time.
How do we explain this?
· The kids were very well-behaved, which I attribute to good parenting (and grandparenting?).
· The parents chipped in mightily, preparing meals, buying food (I include vodka in the food category), blowing up beach toys, helping me haul the kayak and fishing boat down to the beach, and tidying up the debris as occasions demanded. There is probably more that we don’t even know about.
· Kim. Even with all the help above, Kim was still the hostess, taking care of details, working with everyone to make sure things ran smoothly and happily.
· The lake: fishing, kayaking, gigantic blow-up plastic pizza raft, sunny and 80 degrees
· Two clocks. The youngsters were using a different clock, one that defined “bedtime” as about 2 a.m., which gave Kim and me a nice peaceful morning, especially when I checked out at 10 p.m. the night before.
· We had a scavenger hunt that pretty much focused energy for a day and a half. Below is the handout we used to explain the game [with my notes and comments in these brackets].
First Annual Bark House Scavenger Hunt
June 28-30, 2019
There are four teams. Each team should come up with a name. The object of the game is to earn points by finding things or, in some cases, doing things. Competition begins Friday evening and ends Sunday morning, when prizes will be awarded. Grandma and Grampa are the judges.
Here’s how you score points:
· the coolest team name (1 point)
· Petoskey Stone (1 point) [All the teams found at least one, some of which looked a lot like the ones in Kim’s collection.]
· feather (1 point)
· shell (1 point)
· deer track (2 points) [A faun was seen on our neighbor’s newly seeded lawn, which made this one fairly easy.]
· red dinosaur (5 points) [This was a small plastic toy that we found while digging a hole to plant bushes. We “hid” it in too obvious a place – the red color made it easy to spot.]
· the most skips in a skipping stone competition (2 points)
· best job of bed-making (2 points)
· making 3 baskets in a row (1 point) [We recently installed a hoop.]
· correctly identifying 3 birds (2 points) [Tougher than we thought, though hints from one of the judges were very helpful.]
· correctly identifying 2 flowers (1 point) [Some controversy here, as one of the contestants used an app on her phone and could only come up with a Latin name for the wrong plant.]
· correctly identifying 2 trees (1 point)
· photograph of a butterfly (3 points + 1 point if you identify it) [More controversy here, as one team downloaded a photo of a butterfly only found, we learned, in Europe. We turned this into a lesson about lying.]
· photo with a chipmunk (2 points) [We feed them by hand, but the kids had difficulties sitting still long enough for this to happen. One photo was digitally manipulated on the cell phone, leading to a one point deduction.]
· playing a complete board game (2 points) [Battleship]
· finding and walking the path in our woods (1 point)
· sittting on a boulder and writing down 10 things you see (2 points) [I stated this wrong. We wanted them to sit on a boulder for 10 minutes – a challenge in itself – and write down what they notice – not including things on their cell phones.]
· preparing a meal for the group (5 points) [Two of the teams helped, one with a breakfast, one with a dinner.]
The kids got into the game, their competitive juices flowing.
The weekend concluded with clean-up after everyone had left – sheets to wash, sand to vacuum, articles of clothing to store, wet towels to locate (one is still missing), and three loads of towels to wash.