So, now back to the conference itself! We got to the location a day early, and I'm really glad we had that extra time to settle in and be rested for the start of things on Wednesday.
We got our registration stuff, lanyards with name tags (smiley face stickers could be added to yours if this was your first time at a L&L conference), meal plan wristbands, the tote bag, our t-shirts, etc.
We had lunch in the Blue Ridge Center (BRC) and also had a chance to learn a little about geocaching, which was one of the activities we could participate in if we chose to. Emily signed up to be a Fairy God Parent and then also get picked by someone to be the Fairy God Child. That was a fun thing for her, and the people running the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly said they really enjoyed seeing all the nice notes people left for their Fairy God Child, and the balloons taped to windows, and the candy and gifts placed strategically around the BRC.
Next up was to go and tie-dye our new shirts. That was really fun, and the people who were running that "funshop" did a fantastic job. They made it really easy for everyone to come over and start tying, then soak the shirts in something to make the dye take better (I think that's what that was for!), then go to the tables set up with squeeze bottles of different dye colors and get creative. We got to leave our t-shirts with them, and they washed and dried them for everyone (I don't know the number of t-shirts, but there were over 500 people in attendance!) and brought them the next evening to the BRC, the main building on the YMCA campus.
We all got Indian mendi (henna) done, as well, and mine is still faintly visible more than a week later. Dinner was at 6pm each evening, and after the first dinner, many families headed to the lake for a campfire sing-a-long. There were some really talented musicians in the group. We stayed for the s'mores as well.
However, Thomas had a slight incident with a marshmallow. He pulled off the roasted part to give me, but I didn't want it (I'd just finished another marshmallow), so I suggested he toss it into the fire and not on the ground where someone might step on it. He went to the fire and I guess while trying to flick it off his fingers, it landed on his cheek and stuck there. He came back over to where we were sitting and I couldn't tell it was there; I thought he just had some in his hair. And he wasn't in obvious pain, just upset. Then I realized it was on his cheek, and apparently quite hot still. I got it off and rinsed his face with water. After a little while, he wanted to go back, so Eddie walked back up to our room with him. Eddie radioed me from the room to ask where the first aid stuff was that I'd packed. What? Why? I told him where it was and didn't hear more from him.
When Emily and I returned a while later, Thomas had already left to play WoW. But Eddie told me he had small blisters on his cheek from the marshmallow. Geez! We didn't have burn cream, and really the best thing would probably have been cool water right away. But Thomas was happy to leave and was acting fine. So for the rest of the conference he had scabs on his face from where he'd picked the blisters. They're gone now and he doesn't seem to have any scarring. That was the only "bad" incident we had the whole trip.
ZUMBA - Gail Higgins So You Think You Can Zumba? You Can!
No dance experience needed and fun for all ages!! Zumba is a fusion of Latin and International dance and music. It utilizes fitness interval training but feels like a dance party.
After that she had her "Cloth Doll Decoration" funshop to go to:When we were done there, we went swimming for a short while, then went back to the room to get ready for dinner. The kids ate almost every meal with a group of other kids they were hanging out with. Eddie and I got the opportunity to meet some really nice people at meal time--sometimes the same people, sometimes new people. There was a second talent show that night, equally, if not more, entertaining than the first one. I believe that was the night the group that had done the tribal belly dance funshop went on stage.
Ok, here's another good place for me to stop!