SUUSI…I’m not even sure where to begin. The four of us (Kel, Paula, Chris, and I) know so many people for whom SUUSI is a no-brainer. They go, and have gone for years, even decades, and it is a summer highlight for them. We all certainly had extremely high hopes for UU Family Camp, as we called it, and it met those expectations in many ways, but it was not a run-away success for any of us.
The other adults can offer up their own stories as they choose, but SUUSI was probably most popular with me out of our family. A “Women and Writing” class was the seminar highlight of the week for me. I loved the chance to write in a loving, supportive atmosphere, and met fantastic women and learned some of their life stories. In addition, I visited with lots of people and heard life-changing stories from many of them.
More importantly, we got to spend hours with K, P, and the girls, and I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. When two adult women are crying with laughter, you know things are good. The fact that we were laughing at a floofer joke is irrelevant. It was summer camp, after all.
Sharing stories and ideas over coffee and guffaws and tears, what’s not to love about that?
The children spent from 9-noon, and from 2-4 in their age groups each day. Buster and Monkey both had 1/2 day nature trips with their groups, and enjoyed those. Buster didn’t want to go, but kept a good spirit about it.
When he got home from the trip, he had one of the winning comments of the week:
“Mom, they say you can’t buy friends, but I know that isn’t true. Want to know what you can use to buy friends?”
We sent cheetos with him for the trip home from his nature excursion, and while the other children were suffering on apple juice and granola bars, he was passing out cheetos with abandon.
Of course, this is also the child who said to me, “How can I say this so I don’t sound negative about myself…I don’t make friends, I make acquaintances.”
And truly, this doesn’t seem to bother him. He had K there, who is one of his top favorite friends in the world, although he spends so much time in his own head she still had to fend for herself much of the time.
Monkey connected with a friend in her age group, and a couple of her new friends came down and watched Minecraft videos and sang songs with her one evening, which I found charming. Monkey also enjoyed a great deal of freedom, walking back and forth from class and meals on her own, or sometimes with the Buster for company. They enjoyed that aspect of the week.
Buds took a coffee class and a class on reading topographic maps. Do with that information what you will as a way of interpreting his personality.
Yessa showed the split in her personality during this week. She never wanted to go to class, but always did great when she was there, and loved being with B, one of her bestest friends.
Seeing and visiting with lots of other UUCF’ers was another highlight of the week.
In addition, seeing and hearing about the experiences of the teens at SUUSI was also fantastic for me. I love the idea of our children having this week of being surrounded by people who share our values. That means a great deal.
I’m not sure if SUUSI will be in our regular plans. If we go again, I’ll plan to submit some presentations, and we’ll all have a better idea of the things we can do to get more fulfillment out of the week.
The one thing I know is that having Kelly and Paula and the girls across the hall was the best part of living back in the dorms. Oh, and Mango-rita is my new favorite cheap alcoholic beverage. And laughing until your stomach hurts is one of life’s best gifts.
Kelly’s comment below made me want to add a couple more pictures, borrowed from Paula’s FB page:
We still got our butts handed to us by Buds and Kel.
Thanks for the extra pics, P.