Every year at the end of Camp Retz, I think "this was the best year yet!" As the boys (and their friends) get older, it just gets more active and adventurous. Sometimes it's physically harder keeping up with them, but it's so amazing to be able to talk to them as big kids, rather than little kids. They're at that age where you don't have to watch their every move, afraid of what might happen if they mis-step or stumble. When they get hurt, which all of us do during this very active week, they might yell "OUCH" but they don't go running to mommy or daddy. They actually shake it off and 5 seconds later are back at it again, just as 'rough' as they were before.
Danny is the youngest brother. He's not at the crazy wild, danger-seeking level as his older brothers are yet, but he's certainly brave enough to jump off rocks that most of us adults wouldn't consider. Both his parents are thrill seekers and athletic, so if he sees his dad do it, he's not too far behind. Yet he's still young enough to have that cautious apprehension when the rocks are too high or the speed is too fast. Jimmy described his thrill-seeking as binary - it's either over the edge fun or scary as hell. No middle ground - go fast fast fast then STOP NO MORE!
Jakee is the middle child and keeps up with his big brother. They are always side by side. Nothing is too fast or too high or too scary. He takes just a little more time than his older brother to analyze the situation and make sure where he's going will be safe.
Reggie's the oldest at 11. He's strong, fast and it seems like he instinctively knows the safest route even though what he's doing is dangerous. I have some video of him and he's constantly paying attention to his surroundings, knowing which way to lean or where to jump or where his footing should go. Since he's the oldest, he's the biggest helper, the responsible one. The 1st name you call when you need help.
Joining us were Steve's (my BIL) friend's family from college. They had 10 in their group, which included 3 boys and 2 girls, I think all of them were 13 years old. They have their own cabin nearby, but they joined us on the 'fast' lake one day and on the 'slow' lake another.
The 7 older kids all went out with Jimmy to take turns tubing.
It was Jimmy's job to try to make them fall off.
Danny usually makes a great spotter, telling the driver when someone's fallen off so he can go back and pick him up.
But this time he was happy to stay ashore and jump off rocks with his daddy.
Most nights we didn't leave the lake till after 7. You can imagine how hungry and tired everyone was when we got back to the cabin. Everyone slept very hard every night. We needed to so we could do it again the next day!