Village School

Camping Trip Reflections

Reflection on Our First Village Camping Trip

By Julie, Village School Parent 

I was hesitant to commit to going on the camping trip. In new environments I tend to like to hang back and observe for a while before jumping in. Being a parent has been a binge-watch mini series of pushing myself to go beyond my comfort zone. I knew it would be a good experience for my son, so I decided to “take one for the team.”

When we arrived on Saturday morning we were welcomed by my son's teacher, Gretchen, and the friendly faces at the registration table. Seeing the love that my child holds for his teacher and his excitement connecting with friends set the tone for the rest of our camping trip. We had such a relaxing time hanging at the pool with new friends, ambling around the KOA site, jumping on the giant pillow, and enjoying the playground. It turned out to be a wonderful opportunity to get to know some of the other kindergarten families better. We had the very good fortune of being offered a cabin by some new friends who decided to only stay for the day on Saturday.

As I’m trying to help my kindergartener acclimate to a new school and a new environment, I realize we are learning together about taking calculated risks. Going beyond my comfort zone can have really big payoffs. Wanting to feel a sense of belonging and connection to a new community means challenging myself to jump in.

I’m so grateful to be part of a school that goes to such great lengths to create a sense of community. Thank you to the amazing team that put so much care into creating the camping weekend. We are looking forward to next year’s camping trip and to more opportunities to jump in.

A Graduating Family Reflects on Their Village Camping Trips

By Mike and Lisa, Village School Parents 

The camping trip this year was our 9th and final Village School Camping Trip. Our first trip was to Thousand Trails in Morgan Hill, when our oldest son (now an 8th grader) was a kinder in Ms. Elizabeth’s class, and our youngest daughter (now a 5th grader) was a feisty 2-year-old toddler. It was so… HOT and dusty… a real challenge to wrangle our over-excited, sleep-deprived, sweaty kids. But we also made some of our best family friends during those early camping trips. We still laugh about how an outgoing little kinder girl ran right up to our quiet son  on the play structure and asked him to play. The two were best friends for the rest of kindergarten, and though their family graduated last year, our families are still great friends.

Subsequent camping trips were spent hanging out with friends, missing families who had graduated, making new friends, and marveling at how much “smaller” the kinders got each year. We spent time at campfires swapping stories, cuddling kids, roasting marshmallows, tending scraped knees, cutting loose at dance parties, and most recently, joining wandering Adventure Guide dads with growlers in hands!

We look back and laugh about our times at Thousand Trails Campground, especially the first few years. It always seemed to be 100F (115F in the tent), dusty (were any of the roads paved?), and the only thing to do during the day was go to the very crowded pool. Over the years, our family upgraded from our “cozy” tent to an RV trailer (with air conditioning!), and the camping trip moved to the KOA on the beach. As our kids aged (and somewhat matured?), our family migrated from parents chasing after kids to keep them in sight, to kids checking in via walkie talkies as they roamed on bikes, to parents hoping kids returned in time for bedtime. We knew they were with some pack of kids, snacking on delights at other campfires, and we also knew that a caring adult was always closeby if they ever needed help.

So after nine wonderful camping trips, and many fond memories, we say thanks to the Village Community (and the various camping committees), for bringing us together, allowing us to share time with other families during these precious years of our children’s youth. Thank You Village School!