Two birthdays in one week, which meant two birthday parties within a week. Samuel turned 8 and Joel, 6. Hard to believe, I know.
We are blessed to live in place with so many good friends who share a common vision of missions, and family. These kids are up for it too! Ready to survive anything. All of these kids have at least one thing in common: they have all been all over the world, in much harder places, yet always manage to have fun while doing it!
For their parties, each chose a “theme”. While in Australia the boys got hooked on “Man Vs Wild”, with Bear Grylls. So Samuel’s party was “Boys Vs Wild”, and Joel’s was “Boys Vs Water”.
Samuel’s Boys Vs Wild…
A quick recap of the events. I (Jeremy) took 7 boys into the woods near my in-laws house, and after setting the scene for an imaginary, “Oh no, the car has broken down in the wilderness! How will we survive?”, we all boldly approached our fates. Apparently the word had got out among the lads earlier in the week of some of the hardships we might face in the rugged Lakeside ‘backyard’ wilderness. “I’m not drinking my own pee!” was one participant’s plea (destined to perish if I didn’t do something about that life-killing-attitude!). Another was crying at our outset for the same fear. When all were reassured that no one would have to do anything they didn’t want to (if they didn’t care about living or dying, that is), we set off a merry bunch. Kids + knives + fire + gross stuff = fun, every time.
Each had a pocketknife (of course, for whittling, and random cutting and slashing and such), their clothes, and that’s it. I had my knife, machete, and some emergency matches (settle down now, they’re 7-8 years old for Pete’s sake and the temperature was about 35F/2C!). We followed a deer trail, learned how to tell direction, where and how to build a fire, and some other general tips for surviving and ensuring rescue. Some serious, and some …made up (e.g., doing this about 60 yards from Grammy’s house).
We ate (this is what I told them, anyway) freshly killed “squirrel”, some “deer poop”, and yes, drank our own “urine”. After all of this we were rescued just in time for cheeseburgers, cake, marshmallows and games! A Miracle! (See photos below).
Joel’s Boys Vs Water
For the younger crew we all parachuted into the local indoor swimming pool. 6 boys, two pools, way too much chlorine. I won’t go into as much detail here except to say that all boys braved and bested pool sharks, deep water, infants, other kids taking our toys, life guards in red outfits aged about 13, and of course a toxic level chlorine environment. Amazingly enough again, we were rescued just in time for a birthday dinner of hotdogs, cake, games, punch, roasted marshmallows and presents! (See photos below)
Oh, if anyone is interested, the parents and Grammy barely survived. The search party is still out for Papa…