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Monday, August 20, 2012

Aspen Grove 2012

After Lake Powell we were home for one week of swimming lessons.  The next week, June 23-29, we attended Brigham Young University's Aspen Grove family camp in Provo Canyon.  It is located just above Sundance, snuggled behind Mount Timpanogos.  BYU has operated the camp for nearly 50 years and coming here is a part of David's family tradition.  It's a fun-filled week packed with activities for the entire family.

The camp maintains a large register where guests can sign their names each year. We found Marty & Susan names as well as Marty & Dana (both wives have now passed away).  There is something special about touching the names of those special ladies in our lives.  

This picture represents three generations of Rasmussens at Aspen Grove: 
 Marty & Susan (names in print on the page),
 Elizabeth & David, and 
Sarah & Nataleigh. 
Seeing their names gave us a great sense of heritage.

 The first thing we do after a quick orientation, is find the kids' assigned age group.   Each group has two camp leaders: one male and one female.  Theses young adult leaders really make the camp.  The groups are named by age; the Rompers, Stompers, Trompers, Kitten, Wildcats, Cubs, Cougars, Bobcats, teens, and young adults.  Jacob was a Kitten.  Nataleigh and Austin were Wildcats and Ethan and Nathan were Cougars.  (Nataleigh was especially fond of her leaders.)  Each age group creates their own cheer , and by the end of the week they have it polished pretty well.

Nataleigh and her group doing their cheer.

 It was hilarious to watch Jacob do his cheer.  He was so excited!

They even have child care for tiny babies.  Oliver did very well in the baby class.  That freed up David and I to go to the adult classes, take a hike, swim, or just sit and talk.  It's like having a date every day!

Sunday we have church at camp.  It's pretty cool to look out and marvel at God's creations during Sacrament meeting, Sunday school, Priesthood, and Relief Society.

The week is full of amazing activities: badminton, volleyball, basketball, miniature golf, shuffle board, rifle shooting, ropes course, arts & crafts, swimming, fishing, table tennis, hiking, board games, dance nation, etc.  There are a ton of things to do.

They even have competitions and tournaments for the adults.  David and Scott signed up for a paintball war.
David told me how Scott used his finely-honed shooting skills to keep the other team at bay while he used is agility and quick thinking to capture the opposing team's flag. That's my man :)

 There is also an extensive ropes course.  Lots of groups come to Aspen Grove and use the ropes course for team building activities. Nathan and Ethan decided to brave the ropes course.  Ethan was very nervous to scale the large tree and then the climbing wall.  (Can you see his scared face below?) He made it up the wall, however, and was glad he made the effort.

 One another day the boys had fun racing down a huge water slide.

With over 150 families attending camp, it wasn't surprising to find someone you knew. Catherine Packard Rich went to high school with David and Elizabeth and was also at Aspen Grove the same week we were.   Actually, she and her family had a room across the hall from us. We all had children about the same age and we ended up doing a lot with the Rich family.  Included joining forces with them for Aspen Follies.

 Each night the camp organized activities for families.  The first night was Aspen Follies where. the Neilson and Rasmussen families joined with the Rich family to form a team.  The group competed in over a dozen challenges.

Another family night activity featured a slew of  "Minute to Win It" games.

There there was an evening of Water Follies; fun games and relays in the swimming pool.

However, the favorite family activity night was Frontier Night.

Jacob loved shooting the nerf guns at the shooting range.
He would get so excited and flap his hands like crazy.

Ethan and Nathan were in the dunking booth.  Can you see the dirty water pouring all over them?!

The boys lassoed wood cows and used their whips to pop balloons.

The cousins mined for gold and David perfected his ax throwing.

Frontier Night was definitely one of their favorite nights.

Beyond the activities, one of the other positive aspects of Aspen Grove is that the meals are all inclusive in the cost. This makes it a vacation for the whole family--because Mom doesn't have to cook or do the dishes!

As I mentioned before, you can't beat the picturesque surroundings.  One morning Ethan and David woke up really early and climbed towards Mount Timpanogos peak with Brother Rich.  They saw the sun rise and said the views were breathtaking!

On the final night of camp there is a family talent show.  I wish I had a picture of the terrific skit that Elizabeth arranged.  She did a great job of choreographing actions to a cleaver song about peanut butter and jelly.  It was one of the best skits of the night.  (Okay, I know I'm biased).  

 Another highlight for me was watching the skits from each age group.  This year they were all based on an Olympic theme and the groups danced to songs from a variety of countries.

Jacob's group danced the Kookaburra song from Australia.

It was so fun to watch Jacob on stage.  He knew the actions and was all smiles.  The cutest thing was watching these little people shake their hips side to side.  Darling!

If you have a second, here's the video.  At the beginning, watch the male leader trying to get Jacob to step forward.  Jacob chooses to stay in the back row but still has a great time. 

Nataleigh and Austin had fun with their Hawaiian dance.

Ethan and Nathan danced to Shakira's Waka Waka This Time for Africa.

After the talent show there was a family dance.

Nataleigh loves to "fly" with the her Dad who hoist her up in the air while she stays straight as a board. 

It was a week packed with activities and memories.
(left to right: Rich Family, Nielsons, Rasmussens)

 We had a great time and have already signed up to go again next year.


  1. This looks like such a blast and you got the picture thing figured out. :)

  2. Looks fun Meg. Good job posting. It must have taken a long time.