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I am running on EMPTY! – Father Son Campout Oakbrook Valley

Monday morning has arrived and I can tell you that I am honestly exhausted. This weekend wore me out.  Starting Friday evening at 5:00pm it was non-stop until Sunday night at 1o:00pm when I crashed in my bed.  Yesterday involved getting home, showering, and then heading out to the Kokomo Bridal Gala for the afternoon.  So then my wife had a great idea after I got back from the show!  Let’s go run!  So needless to say I ended up running about 3.5 miles last evening to really empty out the tank.  So I am really running on EMPTY!  But the funny part in all of this is that I also feel energized from the experience.  This definitely took me out of my comfort zone.

Cole and I attended our first father-son campout at Oakbrook Valley this weekend.  It was a really good experience for both of us.  Unfortunately the weather was not the greatest, but all things considered it wasn’t too bad.  We had some rain showers pop up here and there and it did get pretty cold at night with the temps in the mid 40s at night.  We slept in our sleeping bags in our tent, so no air mattress…no electric blanket…no heater… Don’t get me wrong we were offered an air mattress at least two times from gracious friends who felt our (my) pain. :)  But when I asked Cole he basically said that there is no way that Bear from “Man vs. Wild” would camp with an air mattress.  So no air mattress for us.

I want to thank a lot of people for their time and effort in putting this together.  Oakbrook Church, Jason Braun and Doug Mygrant were a huge part of the weekend.  The speakers and the volunteers that helped with the meals, the canoes, the paintball, and all the other activities were appreciated.

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The highlights of the weekend for Cole included the canoe trip and the paintball guns.  We canoed down the Wildcat Creek for a couple of miles.  Cole had never been in a canoe before, so he was pretty excited about that.  My last canoe experience was with my wife at Turkey Run State Park.  The water was down, so I remember a lot of times getting out and carrying the canoe.  So I was glad that we had a lot of water and did not have to get out this time.  The paintball guns were set up with targets, so he fired off about 50 paintballs in about a minute.  He is now asking if we can get a paintball gun for Christmas this year.  We also had a running game of TAG that pretty much lasted all weekend.  I found myself being “it” at a moment’s notice and then trying to get enough energy to chase him down.

Friday night was a lot of fun for the dads as they started off with some night dodgeball, tug of war, sack races, and relay races.  If you ever want to see a group of guys get very serious, very quickly, all you need to do is say dodgeball and watch them transform into a 90mph foam ball throwing machines.  However, those machines quickly turned into sore, stiff, complaining old guys the next day after paddling a canoe for a couple of miles.

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Friday night ended with a firework display…These are hand held with an old Canon 20D and a 24-105 lens.  I would have loved to have had my Canon 5D2 and the 50 f1.2 for some of the awesome low light shots that I could have grabbed by the camp fires and during  the nights events of gorilla wars.  But the 20D setup seemed a safe bet with all the possibilities of rain…

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Here is a shot of the members of TEAM YELLOW…Austin, Payton, Ray, and Cole…These were a great group of boys…definitely something that their dads (Doug, Bart, and Ryan) are all very proud! 🙂

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Cole and I as we were wrapping up the weekend together…LOVE YOU BUDDY! 🙂

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