Last year was Rudy’s first year of camp, but the world was still fresh out of COVID, so a lot of things that make the camp experience special for both the campers and their families were cancelled. So we missed out on seeing his cabin, touring the grounds, the end-of-session plaque ceremony, and the family breakfast the last morning. This year, however, it was all back on and we were pumped! The camp asked parents and guests to show up around 5:30 to join the kids in a little jaunt up the hill to sit for songs, skits, and the presentation of the “plaques” to the campers by their cabin leaders. Since Bonnie and Phil were visiting Durango, we invited them to partake in the evening’s activities. But 5:30 meant we had to keep ourselves busy for the day. I “suppose” we would just HAVE to have some serious fun!

See…serious, right? It’s amazing what a couple of White Claws can bring out of a man.

So serious. I mean, we certainly took our jobs of having the best time we possibly could, VERY seriously!

There was a little Mexican restaurant (Gazpacho) right by our hotel that Bonnie and Phil had had the pleasure of getting really familiar with during the days when we were blogging or getting ready for shows. But today, we got to experience it with them…as part of our serious commitment to fun!

But no amount of training could have prepared us for the serious fun we would encounter and witness when we came to celebrate Rudy at Colvig Silver Camps! 

Upon arriving, we found Rudy and his buddies strolling up the dirt road, dragging packs and towels, dripping dry, and singing some ridiculous tune. They were coming back from lake swimming. Seeing him so immersed in his summer fun and friendships was EVERYTHING to me. Last year he was new to the camp experience and still a bit sad the majority of the time he was gone. This time, he admitted to a few nights of tears, but the most tears actually came when we had to take him away. Just look at these faces!

Rudy could not contain his excitement, nor could he stop telling us about the past couple weeks long enough to actually change his clothes, so he narrated through the small cabin door window!

Rudy’s absolute new “best friend”, a counselor named “Griffin”. He said they had so much in common and had the best time! (Of COURSE his new bestie is an eighteen-year-old teenager!)

His other new bestie was this darling, yet totally mosquito devoured, little girl named Shauna. They exchanged addresses to do some pen palling throughout the year.

The kids and counselors singing “Colorado Stars”

The leader of the camp, Clay.

Rudy’s head counselor JD with his boys, CY, Leo, Charlie, and Rudy

You know these guys.

Literally seconds away from wetting my pants trying to keep up with all the lyrics and motions to “One Little Fat Hen”.

Rudy, trying to hold it together while his counselor, JD, speaks about all the beautiful things that Rudy brought to camp, including, but not limited to, being a calm presence, encouraging others, being a wise and mature person to talk to, and never being afraid to try things. Of course we were all in tears, but the darling young lady in the back of the picture (with braids) did not stop crying the whole time. Poor thing was even crying the next morning as she was holding all the kids a little extra and saying goodbye to them. The counselors were really all so amazing and tender with the children. They were all genuinely invested in them and their interests, their successes and their needs. It was so incredible to be able to be in the middle of it all with Rudy and see what he got to be surrounded by for the past two weeks. He is excited to do the full month next summer…but can we handle that?

All hugs all the time. This little love angel hugged so many people. My favorite part was that no one rolled their eyes or said, “You already hugged me.” They all just kept taking his love offerings. Even though I knew Jared and I were coming back the next morning to bring him home, I was sad to drive away, down the dirt road that night without my Little Lamb. One of the women on the administrative staff, “Peaches”, said, “I love how Rudy is so tender and still loves to hug and kiss you. My boy is a teenager and STILL lets me hug and kiss him, even in front of his friends. Some young men don’t mind. I see that in Rudy too…” Man, I sure hope so.

After Rudy received his plaque, we all did the “Rudy Wave”, bid him “good bye”, and promised to return the next morning for breakfast, and maybe even to take him home…hahaha!

Ps. We ate dinner that night after camp. This is what I got. 

“I never added the little restaurant that couldn’t get Jared’s drink correct. No pictures from it, no recollection of the name of it. Loved the cheese.”(Good yelp review??) 😂 

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