Category Archives: Camp OBX

Martin THE Graduate

West Springfield HS graduation at George Mason University June 4, 2019

Grandson Martin leads in many ways. Oldest cousin to a dozen younger. Older brother to sister Lydia. And possessor of eighteen years worth of fun and growth under his belt, much of it earning a Taekwondo 2nd degree blackbelt.

It takes awhile for our kids to get started on the grandchildren track and we’re not pushing. Parenting is a full time job and anyone jumping into that pond needs to be as ready as is possible.

Martin diploma
The diploma
Martin cap and gown
Martin Downing Desjardins

But when Emily & Marty make their announcement we are elated. They live in Louisville and we burn up Priceline auctions after Martin’s arrival getting as many family members as possible west to met the leader of the next generation.

Marty is then in sound design and the job market limited for sustainable work. Still when an opportunity presents itself I suggest that being closer would be sweet and they make it happen!

Moving is a challenge. Marty drives the van. Emily, Martin & I follow as we weave our way east. By Winchester VA baby Martin is done. He will gladly live there. Nothing soothes him. We’re so close. It’s nighttime and stopping will only make things worse, so we keep going. Finally we arrive, exhausted, our sanity hanging by a thread. But now the new family is geographically closer to both families.

And the fun begins. Playing at the National Zoo and all of the museums in Washington. Summer beach visits. And it is through that portal that CampOBX evolves along with a plethora of quotable quotes from Martin.

“My MOTHER is killing me!” shrieks three year old Martin as Emily vainly tries to remove a splinter from his foot.

“I can’t move. I have no bones,” yet another classic from the youngster not wanting to do the task at hand, probably bath before bed.

“NOW we’ll have some fun!” is his mantra as time for CampOBX gets close.

“NOOOO!! How would YOU feel if you had not been to camp in forever,” is the plaintive wail when Emily suggests a side trip to Jamestown on one journey to CampOBX from NoVA.

Sister Lydia joins the family to begin CampOBX in earnest. A few years down the camp path nephew Jake, seeing how much fun Martin & Lydia are having, worms his way into camp time, too, and year after year with little to no advance planning the three manage to circumvent other summer obligations to make camp together happen. Early on they create an only an insider will get it joke list. When I find the list cleaning up, I think it preservation worthy and hang it on a clip. The next year they discover that I have kept the list and they begin an annual tradition of last day add on jokes. Camp cannot officially end until the joke list, still on that same sheet of paper, is updated.

Ashville Drive turtle boil August 2011

Through the years campers have seen a daytime random turtle boil, played at the beach, climbed on Jockey’s Ridge, eaten Cookie Monster Sundaes and more at Kill Devil’s, played at the beach, bounced their way through three camp trampolines, scored a hole-in-one while playing mini-golf, played at the beach, bought countless stuffed toys from the aquarium, evacuated camp early because of an approaching hurricane, played at the beach, been to the tip top of the Wright Brothers Monument (that part is now never open to the public), opened First Flight Adventure Park, played at the beach, pulled all-nighters, walked the mile length of now gone Shelly Island, played at the beach, gotten chased out of H2OBX Water Park by an enormous thunderstorm, discovered a cub while on a bear hunt, played at the beach, encountered Nags Head police at Kitty Hawk Kites past midnight, viewed the prettiest sunsets anywhere right from the camp porch while always, always having FUN!

Of course, Martin’s well balanced life reaches far beyond CampOBX but, Second Christmas aside, it is the pivotal point for our time with him. We do our best to get to birthday celebrations, as well as school and extracurricular events because, as Martin declares, “Grandpa comes to shows,” during one family discussion about whether we will attend or not.

awesome 80s prom
Martin is Louis Fensterspock, one of several amazing leading men, in the Awesome 80s Prom WSHS 2017. I was voted Best Dressed Girl.
monster under the bed
Lydia designed the Dad Monster costume that Martin occupied throughout the show. Martin’s voice alone carried the character.

As he enters high school and discovers his love of acting, Martin’s shows become truly things of amazing talents and wonder. Martin owns each role he is cast in with confidence and ability. He has the makings of a great career in theater. And he has already proven his merit in that field with acceptance into the Bachelor of Fine Arts program in theater at George Mason University.

We love you Martin, awesome leader of the pack!

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Camp OBX 2015

posing

Mimicking the pose of three first flight witnesses. Jake (16 year old Johnny Moore), Martin (lumber merchant Cephus Brinkley) and me (surfman Will Dough) Senior Camp 2015. Photo credit Lydia.

In 2006 Emily & Marty need summer help with then six year old Martin & three year old Lydia. Being more fun to call it camp than anything else it quickly it became officially Camp OBX envied by many but attended by a very select few.

Not far from the beginning, Donny’s nephew Jake and his family, plus even more of Donny’s family, were visiting and after Jake got back home to Richmond he decided that camp time was needed. Taking the bull by the horns he told, not asked, his parents that he wanted to attend, applied and was accepted. He’s now in his sixth year and the only non-grand to be a full rights camper. He always tries to schedule his camp time with Martin and Lydia but occasionally he’s been the only camper in residence.

ghosty

Beach time with the teens brought this no zoom needed friend to my towel side.

Three years ago the younger crop of grands began getting their own special camp time. As much as all of our campers love and cherish their parents, and while family camp time is unique and awesome, as seven year old Edward, now a three year camp veteran, states, “It’s not camp when you’re here, Mom.”

Campers have learned to read, swim, surf, and ride a horse all at camp. Campers have seen turtles hatch, the inside of the Wright Brothers Monument, and almost seen the moon rise at the top of Bodie Island lighthouse (got halfway up to be thwarted by lightning in the area). Campers have made their first mini-golf hole-in-one and one lucky camper even got just the right one to win a free game (Professor Hackers ftw), gotten their first hourly paying job (thanks Val and My Little Sunshine) and mastered the art of wearing flip flops while at camp. Campers have camped out under the stars, seen shooting stars, and watched babies become Virginia Dare stars at the Lost Colony. Those are only some highlights. The list is pretty much endless. And FUN is always the operative word.

We got our first official t-shirt this season, thanks to the Desjardins family, Marty specifically who came up with the idea. It reads “Grandma Sandy What Can We Do That’s FUN?” This now much repeated phrase was started by grand Sebastian trying to get me to play Portal without actually coming out and saying it, since he has limited screen time. His clever reasoning being that if the idea comes from Grandma Sandy allowances are made. It took me longer than the rest of the family to figure out his coded message.

2015 marks our first pretty much non-stop camping the entire traditional school break summer and it really was, as Jake told his parents, the best year yet!

martin camperlydia camperjake campersea bass camper

 

edward camper benji camper zach camper marie camperpj rising camper

The Nifty Nine. Martin 14, Lydia 12, Jake 17, Sebastian 6, Edward 7, Benji 7, Zach 5, Marie 3, PJ 2. Martin & Lydia belong to daughter Emily & Marty. Sebastian belongs to son Donald & Terri. Edward & Marie belong to son Stephen & Sarah. Benji, Zach & PJ belong to son Andrew & Jenn. Jakes belongs to Donny’s brother Robert & Diane.

 

 

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Filed under Beach Life, Camp OBX, family