As a summary, camp changed my life, I met my husband Josh and some of my best friends in the entire world at Make Promises Happen, and it’s Josh and I’s favorite place to be on earth.
To keep up to date with all the goings on at camp check out the camp Facebook page here
2014 was a brand new year for MPH. This was the year we decided to add a trip to Costa Rica. A former counselor ( who am I kidding, you can never be a former counselor, once you’re a counselor at MPH you’ll always be one, but it’s a good way to say, a counselor who’s awesome and old school) Erica Hogan decided with her husband Matt to start a sustainable tree house community named Finca Bella Vista, in Costa Rica. Not only was she crazy enough to do that, but she was also crazy enough to invite a crew of leaders, counselors, and campers from MPH! I heard her say a few times on the trip referencing to herself and the original founders of Make Promises Happen ” I learned crazy from the best of them!” and would point to all of us.
I can’t thank everyone who donated to our fundraising it was a life changing trip. Honestly.
I’ve finally recouped enough and slightly gathered my thoughts to put together this blog, I’m going to describe each day of our trip, and then show photos from it! Hope you can keep up!
Here is the highlight video! : )
Day 1 :
Today was travel day. We all were SUPER excited to finally be starting this adventure that our airport photos make us look like wild animals full of excitement! I was so excited to see our group on a plane together, there was no doubt that we were a little bit distracting to the unsuspecting passengers. I like to believe it brightened their travels though ; ) After flying from OKC to Atlanta, then Atlanta to San Jose Costa Rica and making a poor Costa Rican man haul all of our huge backpacks through the airport ( don’t worry we tipped him) we finally made it. We were actually in another country, worn out and eating dinner together : )
^John LOVES diet coke^
^James and Elisha filling out ALLLL the customs forms^
Day 2 : This was one of my favorite days, we woke up and ate a delicious breakfast, but our plan for the day was to start the drive to the coast and take it down to Finca. We had 3 SUV’s packed down and loaded and started our adventure. We were out of the box, for sure. I was in the car with Jay and Jordan, Jay kept repeating how much he was loving the trip, and Jordan never put his camera down. We made it to our first stop and got there just in time to see the sunset on the beach and take these super cute photos!
^They have pretty much all their carbonated drinks in glass bottles and I LOVE IT^
Day 3 : This is the day with the least amount of photos because I may or may not have been attacked by a rouge wave in the Ocean and separated my collar bone from my shoulder and visited a Costa Rican hospital…. BUT fun was still had by all! Beach, parasailing, and banana boat riding, and it was a beautiful day! The sunset alone made my whole trip.
Day 4 : On day 4 we went to an really great place called Kids Saving the Rainforest we got to see so many monkeys SUPER close up, it was great! We also traveled by a school yard where everything was bright colors and outdoors, again, I was wowed, and then FINALLY we drove and made it to Finca Bella Vista. We had all been warned that we had some hiking ahead of us, and all the campers had to carry their own back packs ( this was the only time my injury did NOT hurt so bad… as I watched James and Josh carry my 25 lb bags up a huge rocky steep hill ) I keep thinking about this part of the trip as a HUGE team building exercise, some people said it even reminded them of The Biggest Looser T.V. show. It was intense, everyone was pushed to their limit as the hauled all of their belongings up to their tree houses, but that was the amazing part about it. We ALL did it. The campers, DID IT. I was so proud, so so proud of them that I was almost in tears thinking about what they had accomplished. So often individuals with special needs get thrown into a TV room, handed a book, or given another task to occupy their time. What people don’t understand is that their need for adventure, new things, challenges, and fun experiences is just as great as yours or mine. This is why we do what we do. This is why the counselors and staff at Make Promises Happen work so hard at building trust, friendships, and family like bonds during camp. So when that day comes when someone says, ” Hey, wanna hike to a waterfall, zip line, or sleep in a tree house with us?” They don’t even hesitate to trust us and say ” Let’s do it” . Day 4 was a great day.
^Look at these troopers^
Day 5 : We split up into groups, one group went zip lining, the other group hung out and dug a hole to roast a pig in, and I hiked all day and took photos of zip liners and the super crazy cool garden that Finca has.
^ this seem familiar?? that’s because if you watch Tree House Masters on animal planet you’ve seen this tree house every time they open their show!
Day 6 : 2nd day of zip lining, and a BIG hike to the waterfall! I didn’t bring big camera to the water fall, so I’ll have to wait to post photos from down under, but it was super great. another team building activity of hiking with an awesome reward of a beautiful waterfall : )
Day 6: today was leave Finca day : ( in just a few days we became so close to Erica and her staff, they were all so good to us and took us into their community with open arms. A few of our campers got a little emotional about leaving. We really set the standard of a good time here people. It’s our last day and we are in a rush, so what do I do? DUH! MINI PORTRAIT SESSIONS!!!! Below are the 6 campers who adventured into the jungle with us : ) Darien, Sandra, Jordan, John, Christina, and Jay. We just thought we were close to them before this trip. We are bonded like blood brothers and sisters after this adventure!!
Our last day was travel travel travel and everyone was super tired, we still managed to get laughs out though!!
Rugged and worn out.. we are still a group of crazies.
I can’t thank everyone enough for helping Josh and I fund this trip, and for inviting us. I’m SO proud to be a part of the community of people. : ) Hope you enjoy the post, that was A LOT to throw into one post!!
Love to you all : )
oh…. and guess what…..
there is a video to come