Our Camping Trip

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Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848
Our Camping Trip

We got home from our camping trip in the Tennessee Mountains last night and we are exhausted! lol It has become a family tradition to go tent camping for about a week there in the Summer but this happened to be an incredibly hot summer! The girls had a blast though and it was great family time (we share a campsite with my parents). Some of their favorite activities were sliding down rock slides and jumping off small cliffs into the swimming hole, playing softball at night with other kids, hiking, and killing flies with a fly swatter, lol.

I expected Alana to have issues with her allergies/asthma being around a campfire and outdoors for such a long period of time but she did really well. She only had one stomach episode and she didn't start sneezing until our last day. Thank goodness for good health! And Madi is doing absolutely fine being medicine free and I'm thankful for that too!

We really enjoy camping but don't go often enough. We've decided to make a commitment to go camping somewhere local this Fall when it cools off a bit. Can't wait for the next trip!

I'd love to hear about some of the things you guys are doing this Summer!

betsy0040's picture
Joined: 03/28/08
Posts: 121

Where did you go? We'll be going to Gatlinburg in October, not camping though. We've already been on a beach trip this summer. It has been brutal here the last few days so we've been staying indoors. Glad you had a good trip!

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

We go to Fall Creek Falls State Park where my Stepdad's family has been going for years. He knows the park like the back of his hand which is VERY helpful on hikes.

Joined: 05/05/04
Posts: 435

We went to Cape Cod a couple of weeks ago. We still have a trip to Philly planned for my nephew's birthday but other than that we're staying busy here - story hour, swim lessons, and gymnastics Lol My sister's getting married next month so I'm excited about that! It's a small wedding (just 14 guests and that includes the 4 of us). I'm making the cupcakes so I did a trial run yesterday Smile

That's awesome that your girls did so well. It was hotter than Hades up here last week - definitely not a great time to go tent camping. I have friends with a camper with AC so they went camping and were more comfortable there than at home, where they don't have AC. Lol

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

Speaking of gymnastics....Alana is showing some interest in gymnastics so we're thinking of letting her try classes for a few months. She's committed to dance for another season already, but when that season is up next July I'd like to give her the option of doing gym instead. I figure she can't really make an informed decision unless she tries gymnastics and knows what all it includes. Does Sam compete on a team? I know Alana wouldn't be happy with gym unless she could compete (after competing in dance for so long). I was hoping you could give me some info about gymnastics because we really don't know anyone that participates in it. Like what kind of time/financial commitment should we expect? And what should I look for when choosing a gym? And any other great info/advice you may have would be helpful too!

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

I'm so glad to hear that the girls are doing well and that that the camping trip was a success! That makes a real holiday!

Joined: 05/05/04
Posts: 435

Hmmm. I picked a gym that's close to my house and that my friend's husband works at. But since then, I've seen more things about other gyms and had a couple transfers from area gyms and they're happy with how much their girls are learning.

My gym competes level 3s. Not everyone does. Sam is starting her 3rd year of competing as a 3. At our gym they sort of start them early so then when they do have the skills down the competition thing is old hat and they aren't scared out there. This year I think she's going to do really well. She's made a lot of progress in the past few months.

We pay $100/month for 2 days a week. In the school year it's a total of 2 hours, in the summer it's a total of 3 hours. Her competition leo last year was a 2-year leo that cost $108. The year before that was a one-year leo and it was only $45 (much less fancy though). So this year I don't have to buy her a competition leo because last year's still fits. These ones are stretchy Smile

Each competition costs us about $100 to $150 between registration, coaches fees, and then admission. The ones that are further normally involve gas and probably a burger from Burger King or something to feed her right before we turn her over. She did 6 last year and it was a bit much so we will probably cut one this year. We never drive more than an hour or so. A few people went to a meet in Buffalo but that was too far for me to go for a 6-year-old Lol

Other than the competition leo you need something to practice in. Most of the girls at our gym wear a lot of the GK leos, which aren't exactly cheap. Sam's favorite is her jilly bean one though, and that was only $16. So when I buy her more I'm buying those. They stretch a lot and are softer without weird seams. The foil ones are normally itchy to her.

The rules for gymnastics are different than dance. No makeup, no nail polish, bangs above eyebrows, hair back from face.

I really like where Sam is with it though. Are you my facebook friend? Sometimes I post videos of her doing things like the monkey bars. She's REALLY strong. Her good friend is the PE teacher's daughter and that girl asked Sam "how do you do that?" one day. Sam replied, with attitude, "I'm a GYMNAST." Pretty awesome. Well worth the money to have her be that confident and proud of herself. Biggrin

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

There's 3 gyms that I'm looking at right now. One is only 5 minutes from our house but I've heard negative things about the coach. Is it pretty common for coaches to yell a lot in the gym? Alana's instructors are tough on her but in a very loving way. I'm not really looking for someone to start screaming orders at my kid and knocking down her self-esteem when she doesn't get something right away. The other two gyms are about 25 minutes away and I'm worried about the distance with Madi still being at the dance studio. Most gyms allow you to try a class for free so I think we'll try each gym to see what we think.

As far as cost, seems like it will be similar to dance or possibly less. I pay $85/month for both girls to take rec classes (Alana takes acro & ballet, Madi takes acro) and $265/month for comp dances (Alana will do a solo & group dance, Madi will do a group dance). That covers costumes & entry fees but not shoes, hair, tights, or make-up. Sometimes we have to pay for props too. Dance can get expensive!

Alana loves dance (minus the make-up) but acro is definitely her favorite part. I know she'd do well with the tumbling aspect of gymnastics but have no idea how she'd feel about the equipment. I think I'll contact the gyms in October when our schedule settles in a bit. I'd love to have your FB info and I know Alana would love to see pics/videos of Sam doing her thing. She drives me crazy wanting to search for gymnastics videos on YouTube, lol. She just learned how to do a press handstand by watching YouTube, lol.

Joined: 05/05/04
Posts: 435

One thing I should mention is we had a girl quit this year because of the chalk dust - it gets pretty horrible in there from time to time.

Other than that, Sam doesn't like the beam at all. She LOVES floor and vault and is getting much more confident at the bars.

Her coaches don't yell at the little girls, although I've heard that they do to the big girls sometimes. They say things like "where is your xxx? That's wimpy!" but I've never heard them be REALLY hard on them. I think that they are at the right level or sometimes slightly too easy because I can see Sam slacking at times and they don't catch it, but obviously I know her better than they do Smile

I've thought that if Sam ever quits gymnastics I might put her in an acro dance class because that's her favorite part too. We bought a mat on amazon for $80 that they get out and use to practice things. Tom just does forward rolls but Sam practices her whole floor routine back and forth across it.

Joined: 11/28/06
Posts: 848

I need to look into one of those mats for Alana because right now she's using a Yoga mat which isn't much protection. Not sure where we'd store it when not in use though. We don't have a ton of extra space.

Not sure if the chalk would bother Alana or not. She did so well on the camping trip and I really thought the smoke from the campfire would affect her.

Alana's teachers do get onto her, mostly about not pointing her feet. They sometimes have to yell for her to hear them over the music (during class) but they always praise her after a performance. It definitely isn't anything like that new show Dance Moms! lol