Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Camp Flickawanna 2011

As kids, Nick and I never went to overnight camp, but were always slightly jealous of our friends who did.  So last year Nick decided to start a tradition for my birthday and created our very own Camp Flickawanna. 

If you are a child of the 80s, you may remember Salute Your Shorts, the Nickelodeon show about kids away at Camp Anawanna.  I recall watching Budnick, Donkey Lips, and Sponge for years on end, but they were actually only on the air for two seasons.  It’s funny how childhood memory works.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I apologize.  Salute Your Shorts had a pretty epic theme song, which I’m pretty sure anyone my age can still sing from memory.  I know I can, and did, during Camp Flickawanna (it’s tradition).  The entire first episode is available here and the theme song starts at 1:59.  You won’t regret it.

The day starts with, what else, a bugle call.  Nick just switched the alarm on his phone to the bugle call.  Phones certainly do come in handy these days.  I was greeted with this wonderful artwork on the chalkboard in our kitchen.

Camp Flickawanna chalkboard

Then we proceeded to say good morning to the camp counselors: Owl, Bunny, Merlin, and Flick, the camp’s namesake. 

Camp Counselor OwlCamp Counselor BunnyCamp Counselor MerlinCamp Counselor Flick

Afterward, Nick gave me the day’s schedule while he made breakfast, which this year consisted of bagels, a smoothie (strawberry, banana, and orange juice), and coffee (for me).

Flick then led the first activity of the day: bird watching from our sliding glass door.  This activity wasn’t scheduled, but since he was so interested in the birds that were perching on our deck, we decided to add it in.  This picture would have been awesome if I didn't have to shoot it through our screen door!

Birds on our patio

Nick and I taught Flick how to bark at them, which he has been doing for the last few days and is hilarious. 

Flick barking at the birds

I’m pretty sure the birds know Flick lives in our house and perch by the windows to taunt him.  Yesterday there were 4 birds lined up by our bedroom window, and Flick was barking away at them at 5:00am.  It’s pretty hilarious.

Every good camp has a great t-shirt, and Nick didn’t disappoint when designing this year’s (green) and last year’s (purple) shirts.  I forgot to get a picture of me wearing both of them during the day, so here they are drying after being washed.  Having them on during the day’s activities made the whole thing feel official.

Camp Flickawanna Shirts

After sufficiently covering ourselves in bug spray, the next activity was riding our bikes over to Tyler Park.   When we were locking up our bikes, I saw this awesome nest.

Nest in Tyler State Park

Nest in Tyler State Park

Once everything was locked up, we set forth for some geocaching.  If you’re not familiar with geocaching, the basic idea is that people hide an object, the geocache, and post the coordinates of the object.  Then, using a GPS device, people find the geocache.  The geocache holds a log book for you to sign, and usually people leave a trinket and take a trinket. 

Last year we went geocaching during Camp Flickawanna and we saw this amazing note in the log book.

We set out on a path that took us along one of the corn fields in Tyler.  It looks like we’re in the middle of nowhere, which I love.

Corn fields in Tyler State Park

Mmmm yummy!

Growing corn in Tyler State Park

Apparently this is what the bottom of a corn stalk looks like. Kinda looks like fingers reaching down into the earth!

Bottom of corn stalk

When we were near where I thought the geocache was hidden, I checked our coordinates again, but the geocache app would no longer bring up the cache we were looking for.  So we decided to “do it live” (NOT a child friendly video, btw) and find the geocache by memory.  Nick eventually came across scraps of the tags that are usually on the geocache, and upon a further Google search, we found out the geocache we had been looking for was deactivated.  I’m not sure if the app pulled it into the search results by accident or if the person deactivated it while we were en route, which would have been nuts.  Either way I’m really proud of Nick for spotting those two scraps, especially since they blended in so nicely with the surrounding area.

Geocache label

Do you see the scraps in this picture? They're in there!

Hidden scraps of geocache label

We considered finding the geocache a success, and made our way to an almost-dry creek bed that I like to hike.  We took one of our usual running paths and then picked up a horseback riding path, which I thought would cut us through to the creek bed.  Turns out I was wrong and we walked about a mile out of the way.  Oh well!  We eventually made our way back to the creek bed but only stayed there for a few minutes because the bugs were attacking us.

Creek bed in Tyler State Park

By the time we got back to the boathouse where we started, we were famished.  Our local pizza place delivered us a delicious lunch of chicken cheesesteaks, fries, and two cups of ice for the Coke that we brought with us.  How good is an ice cold Coke after a hike?  So refreshing!

Newtown Pizza lunch in Tyler State Park

We feasted while we watched a bride and groom get their pictures taken by the bridge and creek.  They were accompanied by the manager of one of our favorite lunch spots in town, the State Street Kitchen.  They make THE BEST grilled cheese.  What a small world!  He's in the pink shirt below.
Bride and groom in Tyler State Park

After we were finished feasting, we rode our bikes back home, slopped sunscreen on, and made our way down to the neighborhood pool for some swimming.  The pool was a bit more crowded than it usually is, so we only stayed for a short bit before returning home to shower and then take a nap.  I was exhausted!  We limited our nap to a hour so as to not waste precious Camp Flickawanna time.  Once the bugle sounded, we were up and ready for some arts and crafts.

I chose to do some prep work for a project that I will be working on while we’re on our Great Western Adventure.  I’ll share more details closer to our trip, but for now, here is a sneak peak. 

Secret crafting

Soon we were hungry for dinner.  Nick prepared my favorite summertime grilled item, cheddarwurst, and tater tots.  Seriously delicious.  It was dusk by the time dinner was ready so we ate by candle/lantern light.  My feasted-upon legs can attest that the citronella candle in the middle did absolutely nothing.  The two lanterns on the ends are from Ikea and the other two are tin lanterns that I made for Nick for Christmas.  They are supposed to be of a star and a bird, but they’re a little hard to make out, even if they were simple to make. 

Eating by lantern light

Just fill a soup can with water, freeze it, trace a pattern on the outside of the can, use a nail and a mallet to poke holes into the can (the frozen water helps the can to keep its shape), let the water thaw, and then use the mallet to reshape the can if it got misshapen (the bottoms on mine popped out when they froze).

Star tin lantern

See the bird? The beak is on the upper left side. It's ok if you don't see it.

Bird tin lantern

After our feast, we returned to arts and crafts and I worked on Ms. Kitty for a little bit.  She is almost finished!  Then, since it was finally completely dark, we embarked on our night walk.  Being afraid of the dark, I insisted that we stay on the streetlight-lit sidewalks.  Our development is quite peaceful at night, even if it was only 10:00pm. 

Our development at night

I love how the light was hitting the leaves in this tree, making it look like there were a bunch of different shaded leaves. 

Street lamp in tree

When we got back to the house it was s'mores time!  We toasted marshmallows on our gas grill and then squished them into a sandwich of graham cracker and Hershey’s chocolate.  Delicious.


Our final activity of the day was scary story time.  What else to read during scary story time than Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark?  I picked up the Scary Stories Treasury from the bargain books pile at Borders a couple of years ago, so we had many scary stories to choose from.  Nick insisted that we turn out all of the lights and use a flashlight to read the stories. 
Image Source

Then it was time for lights out, which I was happy for since I was exhausted from the day’s activities (even with a nap)!  It was fun pretending that we were at camp, even if it was only for one day.  I’m pretty sure our camp was a lot more fun than regular camp would have been, since we got to choose our activities.  Plus our day was drama free thanks to us not being pre-teens.  There are positives to getting older!


  1. Can I just say how impressed I am with Nick’s attention to detail for special events? The Harry Potter thing sounded awesome, and this camp day totally dreamy. You lucky lady!

  2. Eek, how fun!! I used to go to a summer church camp for a week each year (I'm pretty sure my folks looked forward to this week of peace and quiet all year long!) and I miss those times! Canoeing, swimming, arts and crafts, campfires-- what's more fun than that?!?! Looks like Camp Flickawanna was as fun (and as mosquito-y!) as Camp Walnut Hills was for me! Glad you guys had such a nice day! Oh, and I totally made a tin can lantern when I was a kid, but mine was much uglier than your cute birdie version!

  3. Thanks Andrea and Ginger! Nick pretty much planned our whole western roadtrip that we're taking in a couple of weeks. I can't wait to share what we do and see!

  4. I hope you guys have a great time!!


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