Early arrival at Marriott Ranch in Hume VA. Youth registered and found out who's family they were to join. There were 10 signs posted in the ground with the family names. Youth were to gather their stuff and place them behind the appropriate sign.
Us Mas and Pas took time to go around and introduce ourselves to our new children.
Once we were all present, each family found a place to gather and played a getting-to-know-you game. We also made up our family cheer and a new name if we wanted it. Our kids made us laugh because they decided we'd go with the most generic name, the Smiths. It was like our own little joke. They knew if we yelled for the Smiths that we were talking to them, but they also responded to Hambrick.
Our cheer was simple yet effective. One of our quietest family members, Zhane was our cheerleader. This is how it went:
Zhane: "When I yell HAM you yell BRICK! HAM"
and then we all cheered
After our little family council we headed back to our stuff and began to build our handcart. Already I was impressed by the boys' willingness to help their Pa. The girls were a great support and held tools and bolts until they were needed.
Jake and I were also to go through each of the kids' buckets to make sure they didn't bring anything that was prohibited. I was very impressed with them because there wasn't a single thing that needed to be confiscated. They all followed the rules. I think the fact that Jake and I were upfront with them and they knew we weren't going to let things slide was good too. We didn't have any problems the whole weekend of anyone wanting to break the rules at all.
We were so blessed with some awesome kids!