Port St. Joe: Day 4, Beach Day & Pirate Night

leukemia patient

Today was our day to take the families to a beach at Cape San Blas.  We had pretty clear weather in the morning for our morning volunteer meeting.  Everyone left the condos and met at the beach at 10:00 AM.   The kids had a great time playing in the waves and building sand castles.  This picture is of one of the girls who has Leukemia.  She is a fun little girl who loves to smile and talk!

Beach day! 

visiting and playing

Let heaven and earth praise Him, The seas and everything that moves in them.  Psalm 69:34  It is awesome to be at the beach and see God's glory and majesty as we look out on the waves and know He created that.  The families all had a good time visiting and chatting. We served 250 pieces of fried chicken, veggies, chips & brownies for lunch under the pavilion during a rain storm.  Then we were able to get back out there to the beach and play a game called the Biscuit Game.  The game involves water guns and huge bags of flour as our 4 survivor teams play a modified version of freeze tag and try to keep their flags dry.  Needless to say, we were all covered with flour and water when it was over and the flags were definitely NOT dry!  The kids love this game and its a highlight of the week.   If I get access to a pic of the whole group with their "flour attire," I will post it. For now, here are some pics of everyone visiting on the beach.

fast friends --L to R: Kimberly (volunteer), Hannah (volunteer) and Kaitlin (sibling of cancer patient)

One of the important things that Blue Skies does is treat the siblings and the cancer patients as just normal kids.  For months the siblings may have felt left out and passed off to caregivers while the parents have dealt with the child with medical issues.  At Blue Skies, we help the siblings feel special and loved again.  Here's a pic of some of the teenage girls on our trip who've become friends and helped a sibling feel "normal".

We had another rain storm hit so we left the beach and headed back.  By the time we arrived back at the condos, the sun was out. Many folks were able to get some pool time in, which was a nice change since it rained all afternoon yesterday.  In the evening, each volunteer family went to the guest family's room to babysit the kids for Parents' Night Out.  The parents left and had dinner in an elegant Southern Living style home.  The dinner was cooked and serve by a team from a local church.  While they were lingering over the meal and making friends with other parents who deal with pediatric cancer, the volunteers were having a fun Pirate Night with the kids.  We fed them pizza, gave out pirate-y face painting & eye patches and had a guest dressed up as a pirate.  After that, we split into our 4 teams again and had a treasure hunt.  We searched for clues all over the property and after about the 4th one, we dug up the treasure box on the beach which was filled with fun prizes.  There were a few kids who could not participate in the walking/running to find the clues, so they were given golf cart rides along with their team.   Then we played the game where you stomp on balloons tied to ankles until there is one kid left with a balloon that is not popped.   It was a very exciting finish when we got down to the last 2-3 kids.  Finally, we gave the kids ice cream sundaes and waited for their parents to return.  All in all, it was a beautiful day.

Digging up the treasure box