Thursday, 20 October 2011

Our trip to New South Wales

My Sister on the pony
On the 6th of September I woke up with excitement bubbling up in my chest. We were heading off to NSW! The past two weeks had been spent on packing, and it was all loaded up in the bus.
We headed to Mildura on Tuesday (a 4 - 5 hour drive) and stayed with one of my uncles. We also picked up my 18 year old sister. We stayed there overnight - having quite a good time with our cousins.
The next day we drove around 8 1/2 hours up to Bathurst and stayed with another auntie and uncle. (well, half of us stayed with them- the other half stayed in a hotel, including me). And that was really fun.
The next day we drove another 8 - 9 hours (ish) and arrived at the B's house.
On Friday we went out to a sports thing and held a book display (for my parents' homeschooling company, Adnil Press ). That went great aswell :)
We road one of the B's - my first time on one!
On Saturday, we went to a pet porpoise pool - which was really fun! We saw penguins, got kissed by a dolphin and a seal, pet the dolphins, and we also fed fish. After we finished - we went to a park and beach that was right next-door. We had lunch and went for a walk along the beach, and, seemingly very soon, it was time to go back to the B's house.
The next day was, basically, church, and packing for camp.
Me getting kissed by a dolphin

Kite flying
On Monday September 12th we started a 2 - 3 hour drive from The B's house to Lennox Head. We arrived at nearly 10 in the morning. It turned out we were slightly too early to even enter the camp site as it hadn't been completely cleaned from the previous camp, so we spent a while on the beach. When we entered the camp site - we started by unpacking all of our stuff. Last year we stayed in one big cabin with a little kitchen added on, but this year, as we were paying for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (last year it was just lunch and dinner) we stayed in 2 smaller cabins - the teenagers had one and Mum Dad and the two youngest had another. As we were finishing up unpacking, the R family rocketed up and we moved as fast as we could so we could go out and say hi. We helped unpack all of their food and cooking stuff - taking it to the kitchen/dining area. Then we set up the tables and chairs for meal times - we had to set up enough spots for 90 people, but Dad easily figured out a plan :) . We just set three rows of tables with 15 chairs on each side - so that means 30 chairs in a row, making 90 chairs. While we were doing this, more and more people arrived. Soon everyone had arrived - and the day was spent talking and having a good time with friends we hadn't seen in a whole year. We also went down to the beach, but it was pretty cold so I didn't go swimming - which I found out was a smart thing when people started coming out of the water and were basically frozen :P While we were on the beach we did some kite flying, my Dad got our kite up the highest, though one of the B's got his up pretty close. At 5:00 we had Mass - in Latin so I got lost a couple of times, and then at 5:30 we had tea. Later, at 7, we did the Rosary + Benediction. After this, I had a choir practice for Mass the next day - it went pretty well :) . Right after the practice we had some 'Ice-breaker' games. We all sat down at the 3 rows of tables in our appropriate teams (Mackillop Green, Bosco Red, or Assisi Blue) - I was in Bosco Red this year :) We did some 'beating of beats' on the tables, our laps, and also by clapping our hands and clicking our fingers. One of the games we played was for everybody to have a balloon (not blown up) and they had to blow it up and put it at the end of the table - the team who finished it first was the victor! Another game we played was we took the balloons, tied them to our ankles, and then we had to try to pop peoples balloons while keeping our balloons inflated. If our balloon popped, we were out! My balloon popped straight away :P Afterwards, we  decided to play Chinese Whispers. We also played a game which was you had to make a statement and then the next person along made a statement - and it was all supposed to end up as a story. The teams were slightly mixed up for this one.  Then the games were over - and the younger kids went to bed while the teenagers stayed up, playing ninja. I was one of the best players that night.. but then again... none of the other families at camp had ever played it before... so that may have had something to do with it :P Later everyone went to bed except for me, my Dad, and 2 of the other teenagers - and stayed up late (after midnight) talking. Eventually Dad said 'all right, bed time' and so we all went to bed to get rested up for day 2!

The Choir!
Tuesday dawned with me awaking rather cold.. my sleeping bag had been in our other cabin so I had spent the night with out it... yeah, it was pretty cold. I arose to get ready for church - early, because I had to have another choir practice before Mass. The practice went rather well, and when we had finished (apart from singing Panis Angelicus) we all went outside to await the start of Mass. Soon it was about to begin and we went inside so we could sing the entrance hymn. The mass progressed, and the people recieving the sacraments of first communion went up, and the people to receive confirmation were confirmed - and, seemingly very soon, the Mass was over and it was time to head back to camp. The day progressed, we had a little party for the first communicants and the kids who were confirmed. We went down to the beach again, and I went for a walk along the beach. Before Dinner at 5:30, the teens went for a talk, then dinner, then Rosary + Benediction. At 8, we all sat down for our appropriate teams again in the dining hall for a quiz night. It was really fun :) There was mainly movie quotes and stuff like that. After that, I once again stayed up pretty late and (at around 12-ish this time) I went to bed.

Dancing the 'Heel and Toe Polka'
On Wednesday, I got up, and got ready for Mass at 9AM. Then, we all prepared to go visit some rock pools, which was pretty cool :) we saw a couple of sea urchins, and some fish. And it was fun to walk along the rocks and in the pools getting our feet wet... aaaaaahhhhh... it felt nice. We returned home for lunch, and had another talk. Then we had Free time - this time, I meant to go down to the beach, but I started looking after some of the little kids, and I enjoyed it a lot so I stayed at the camp site. Then Dinner, Rosary, and then that night, we did dancing. We did some Line/Bush Dancing, Swing Dancing, and even a bit of Rock 'n Roll. It was fun. We started out with the chicken dance, and then one of the girls (Elyse) taught us how to Swing dance, I picked it up after a few tries of attempting to figure it out - it was fun. We stayed up till around 11 dancing, then we had to pack up because we didn't want to wake up the younger kids. After a little bit of talking, we went to bed.

At The Rock Pools

Concert Night
Thursday came, the last full day of camp. We got up for Latin Mass at 9 again, and then we moved in for... sports day. We did a 100m sprint, and then a 1.2km long-distance run. I walked this last one :P. Afterwards, we went to do Javelin, Shot-Put, and Discus. I did ok at these, better than last year for sure! :) After sports day, we went up for Lunch, had a 3rd Talk, and then went for Dinner. After Rosary, we had a Sports Day Presentation and a Concert. Bosco Red didn't win this year, in fact, we actually came 3rd out of, well, 3. I'm not exactly sure how this happened, but it did. At the concert, I performed on my clarinet 2 pieces out of my Concert Band Folder, and 2 more with Mum - it was pretty good :). Some of the older teens got up and sung a few beer songs, it was really good and pretty funny. After the Concert, there was the bonfire - the teenagers went down to the beach for a bonfire there, and we had a great time talking, eating chips and marshmallows, and singing songs. After a while, we went back up to the camp site, and into the dining room area. We were having an all nighter since it was the last night of camp. We played cards for a while, and then, at around 2am-ish, the lollies and chocolate came out. I can say that we went a bit hyper (well, 2 guys ate a heap of lollies - probably at least half of them, and they went really hyper). All in all, it was fun :)
At the beginning of the all nighter...

...and at the end

The supporters at the soccer match
My parents in the dune buggy
On Frday at around 5:30am, we started to clean up our mess before other campers started getting up. After we were all cleaned up, we sat down (and nearly fell asleep) while we waited for when it was time for Mass. After Mass, we had breakfast, and started packing. We were pretty organized, and soon(ish) we were all packed and ready to go. After we said our goodbyes, we left, heading to the H's house, where we would be staying for a week. That night, we went out to our friend's, Legolas', soccer grand finale game - we and 2 other families filled up a whole entire stand, and we were all supporting him and his team - a total of 36 supporters. Unfortunately, his team lost 7-0, but it was still good fun calling out support. That night, some of the people fell sick, and the next night, even more were sick. By the third day, nearly everyone was over it and we went out and drove around in their Dune Buggy. It was fun, I learnt to drive, and I didn't crash it! :P One day, we went out to one of another family from camp (the R's) house. One of the children were having her 13th birthday party, and so we had a great time there :) . There, we started with a game where one person shovelled jelly in your mouth, then you ran across a little obstacle course, with the jelly still in your mouth, and spat it out into a container. My team lost - just! Afterwards, we chucked jelly at each other. Then we had a water fight, yay! We enjoyed chucking water balloons at one another. Another game we played was a game which was a 3-legged race, and then we also had a balloon between our legs, and an egg-and spoon race, it was quite interesting. Another game we played was where one person lay down under a chair, and another stood on top. The person under the chair had an ice-cream cone in his/her mouth, and the person on top of the chair had to drop ice cream into the cone - and then poured topping on top, and then sprinkles on top of that - we got pretty messy haha. When we finished our games, we had a bonfire and dinner, and later, we had the cake. It was great. After the party, we went back to the H house for a nice... long..... sleep.
Most nights, there was us, the H family, and the R family, and so there was a total of 28 people at dinner time - it did seem a little crowded. :)
Dinner Time!
One day we went down to the river, and I learnt how to skim stones - my record was 3 skips.
Another night we had a movie night, we watched (over 2 nights) Shrek 4, The Green Hornet, I am Number Four, and The Phantom. It was great :)
Movie Night

Although it was great, all good things must come to an end. So we said goodbye to our friends, and started our long trip home - arriving home 2 days later. We had an awesome time in NSW.
Friends :)