August 10, 2012

Boji Bunch: 25th Year

There's something so heartwarming about friends and family you haven't seen in months, years even, coming together like you just saw each other yesterday. The huge hugs, the "I've missed ya's," the passing around of babies, laughing and telling stories of years past, every injury that has taken place (my cousin, Megan and I take the cake for most ever), the embarrassing moments, and new things we want to try. Every thing all just comes back at once, and it's one of those things that makes you feel so content with life.

My dads side of the family gets together every year in Okoboji Iowa, one of my very favorite places. I've been going every summer since I was 4 months old. This was our 25th year and the first year without our Grandpa Sam. He was definitely missed! Although we don't get to see each other as often as we'd all like, I love that when we get together, we definitely get together.
This little guy beat me out last year as youngest baby in our family to come to Boji!
I held the title for 21 years, he's lucky he's cute!

We're the loudest people on the campsite. There hasn't been a year where we haven't gotten in trouble for "quiet hours." We have MANY family members that have some of the loudest laughs and voices I've ever encountered (one of these being me...) When we get together we all talk over each other, our laughs turn into cackles, and lots of things come to the surface like peacock calls and gazelle walking (to mention a few from this year). This almost always includes some kind of new creation on the fire like Pot O' Smores, using different kinds of candy bars, and midnight ham and cheese sandwiches, and grilled PB & J.

We start up games, we hand out food, we make friends, and invite people over to our site for fires and races and competitions. We go down hills on scooters, bikes, roller blades and almost always end these adventures with some type of wipeout. We start up volleyball games right there in the road that random people join and it's very common to hear everyone yell, "CAR!" all at once.

Did I mention that we're all a little bit competitive? The new tradition this year was a game called Disc Dunk. Which turned into a huge family tournament complete with the drawing of teams, an entire cardboard box bracket, and very creative team names. This game is so much fun. If you haven't played it, go out and buy it. Me loving it so much probably has a lot to do with the fact that The Beast and The Beast (my team) came back from the losers bracket and won the entire thing. Next year, we will be defending our title.

The hundreds of pictures we have of us playing this game make it look like we're all dancing. Which is hilarious, duh.

 This was right after I got nailed in the back of the head after celebrating!

 More dancing!

 Celebration after an awesome win by The Beast and The Beast!

Another thing that has become a tradition and somewhat of an initiation for newbies is our slip n slide fun in the lake. Being the classy people we are, we drag a picnic table into the water and jump off of it onto multiple air mattresses. This turns into sliding on stomachs, flips, somersaults, and trying to run across the whole thing without falling off. Other people watch us like we're crazy, but we know they're just jealous.

Oh, rained. It hasn't rained all summer. But put my family on a campground and you get a storm! For hours. With crazy winds that made us all jump up at once, fold up chairs, put out the fire, roll up canopies and tents, round up kids, and sit around waiting for the rain.

Whoever I spend my life with has to be okay with this vacation. Because if you know me at all, you know I am a girl of tradition. I love routines and rituals. I love doing the same kinds of things.

But at the same time, I love doing new things and coming up with new traditions that can be repeated for years to come. Okoboji always brings lots of new ones! Every year something awesome is started and continues on into future years. Hence..."The Spirit Stick."

My brother was the winner this year and it was quoted that he wins The Spirit Stick because, "He's always quick to help with anything...give up a chair, hand over a plate, or run after a ball. And he doesn't even have to say anything while doing it."

I will be coming to this place forever. It's definitely a tradition I'm never giving up.

There's tons of pictures from this trip. You can see some more here.

And the video is really just for my family, but if you really want to, you can sit through 24 minutes of hilariousness (Yeah, it's a word...) 

Boji Bunch 2012 from Tristan Schlegel on Vimeo.

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