Reunion Opening

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Reunion Opening
by Chris Wilbeck
July 2010


On the July 4th weekend, we hosted a Wilbeck cousin reunion to kick-off the opening of Camp Coyote.  The camp was officially "open for business" on July 9th, but we needed to give it one last trial run before opening the doors to the public.  Cousins - grandchildren of Fred & Gertrude Wilbeck of Nebraska - came from Nebraska, Wisconsin and Iowa to re-connect and have some fun.  They brought their children, for a total count of 25 in attendance who ate, played and slept on the grounds of Farmhouse Life. 

We had a tentative schedule for meals, playtime and a family photo, but that went out-the-window when Mother Nature decided to send us rain all day on Sunday.  But, as Kris (Wilbeck) Roecker said later, "a little water didn't stop us from finding something to do!"  The kids had a blast getting soaked riding their bikes in the rain.  They also swam in The Pool Bin and soaked all the adults watching.  We brought lunch into the barn and played a few board games.  A soccer game followed.  Then, a talent show.  When there was a break between rain showers, we managed to take a cousin photo, although we all looked a bit soggy. 

The rain finally stopped and we were rewarded with a brilliant rainbow that looked like it stretched from the Dawson bridge to a neighbor's farm just south of Rippey.  We ended the evening with a movie in the barn.  The next morning, we ate breakfast, cleaned up the camp and all were on their way.

So how did the trial run go?  Pretty good!  The only casualties:  We lost about 60 gallons of water from the pool (from all that splashing fun), 3 bean bags from the tic-tac-toe yard game, 1 horse shoe (it's out there somewhere???) and Lobster, our pool float (R.I.P. 7-4-10).  Nothing that couldn't be replaced or repaired.  Other than that, the camp held up to the rowdy behavior of the Wilbeck clan!

We thought it was a fun way to open Camp Coyote.  We think the camp is ideal for family gatherings of all sorts and sizes - especially gatherings for groups like the Wilbecks from Nebraska, Wisconsin and Iowa.  As Grandma Gertrude would say, "The Wilbecks are good people."  And, we always enjoy having "good people" come for a visit - even when they aren't relatives! 

P.S.  To all my McDermott relatives, we know that ... "The McDermotts are good people too!" 

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Welcome!  Cousins Christian Wilbeck, Kris Roecker, Kim Shively, Kira Ahart and Jon Wilbeck chat before dinner.


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Carole, Jon and Cadie Wilbeck get situated in their Platform Tent.


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Julie Wilbeck gets out some juice for Everett.


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Jacob plays some ball with just-met cousins Everett and Owen.


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Tanner Wilbeck gives his brother, Grant, a "swing.


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Jen Wilbeck and her boys on the porch of The Bunkhouse.  Bikes are never far away.


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Hey, what happened to all those bike riders?


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In The Pool Bin, of course!


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Or dashing off to their next adventure! 
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Finally, it's time to eat!  Cadie Wilbeck, Ava Shively and Bailey Roecker plan their next move.


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Seconds waiting for takers in The Shelter House.

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Nighttime comes and out come the flashlights.


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Time for a fireside chat.  Jan Wilbeck, Kira Ahart and Kim Shively swap news.


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Cadie gets cozy and a little sleepy by the fire.


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The next day - rain, rain, rain!  Soaking wet but happy-as-a-clam Jacob stands for a moment under an umbrella.


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Tanner Wilbeck gives his ride in the rain a "thumbs-up".


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Later, soccer in the barn.  Three-year old Owen joins in and performs his victory dance.


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Who knew that Kira and Tom Ahart's soccer-playing dog, Waylan, could make it even more fun?

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Can't have a Wilbeck gathering without some kind of talent show!


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Ava Shively with talent show organizers Ella Shively and Brooke Roecker sing for their supper.


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Cadie Wilbeck plays a tune on her violin and takes a bow.


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Ava assists.


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Jacob sings along to an old David Cassidy/Partridge Family song, "I think I love you."


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Wilbeck brothers Tanner and Trey end the show with a dance while brother Grant watches from behind.

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The Sunday night rainbow that stretched from Rippey to Dawson was beautiful.  It's brilliance was impossible to capture on film.


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The soggy Wilbeck clan. 


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