Sunday, August 9, 2009

Family Camp: the first 24 hours

welcome sign

After months of anticipation, we've finally arrived at UCSB Family Vacation Center (FVC). This is our second year here, and we couldn't be happier about it. FVC's tagline is “Your best vacation since becoming parents,” and they've got that right. FVC is a week of activities geared at family fun, but also at recognizing parents need a break.

There is a perfect combination of family time and separate time, where parents can chose from activities like tennis, yoga, wine tasting, and surfing while the kids are in groups by age (Anna is one of 7 kids in the 4-year-old group). The counselors are mostly UC students, and they clearly love what they're doing.

The camp is located on the UCSB campus, so families stay in dorm suites and eat in the dining hall. While this may sound less than glamourous, it's actually really perfect. Access to pools, the UCSB Rec Center, the beach, volleyball and tennis courts, etc. are the selling points. Oh, and the fact that the counselors are happy to babysit at night while parents participate in any of a number of included activities (karaoke, more wine tasting, a night out in Santa Barbara).

FVC is a well-oiled machine. They've been doing family camp here for decades now, and they've got it down to a science. Almost everything is included in a flat weekly rate per-person, and everyone here is helpful and friendly. Each week is an exact repeat of the previous week (there are 9 in all), so by now (week 7) they've worked out any potential kinks and all we parents have to do is show up.

I'll be posting photos and updates throughout the week. And just in case you're wondering, I'm not associated with FVC in any way, nor am I receiving anything for posting this. It's just something I'm sharing because we enjoy it here and maybe you will too. :-)

These photos are from our first 24 hours here this week:

pool time
A dip in the pool before the action begins.

Welcome show
The welcome show. Have I mentioned that the counselors are particularly enthusiastic?

BBQ lunch
As always, Anna has already fallen in love with her counselor for the week (and I think it's mutual!).

Family carnival
Anna chose to be on the pink team for the family carnival.

Family Carnival
Let's just say this was preceded by a cookie and followed by ice cream!

Family carnival
Um, refer back to the comment about the enthusiastic counselors!

Family carnival
Lots of happy faces.

Welcome mixer
And later that evening, bringing happy faces to the parents as well!

Haven't seen enough? You can see all the photos David took with his fancy-schmancy camera here.

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