Monster Jam 2017

On August 6th, 2017, over 60 members of the Great Sun Nation got out of the blistering heat to the air conditioned BB&T arena to take part in Monster Jam 2017.  As part of the experience, we were all given pit passes to see the trucks up close and meet the drivers.   The kids were amazed at the size of the trucks and the dad’s wished they could drive these on I-95.  Once we were seated and earplugs in place, everybody enjoyed 90 minutes of car crushing, deafening thunder and acrobatic stunts put on by the drivers.  Grave Digger and Zombie seemed to be the kids favorite trucks.  This was the first time we did this as a nation and everybody was excited to come back and see it again.

Boca Raton Holiday Parade

On December 6, 2017, The City of Boca Raton held their 46th annual Holiday Parade and the “Great Sun Nation” showed up BIG!!! Over 60 member of our Nation united to participate in the march down US-1 to show their Holiday Cheer!!! The Cities theme this year was “Light Up Boca”, and The Great Sun Nation did just that….!!!! Our Holiday float had over 1,000 icicle lights on it, Holiday dancing lights projected all over, a real gas burning fire pit and our fearless leader “Flaming Owl” was leading the tribe with the “Spirit Stick” shooting flames 10 feet into the night sky… Additionally, most of the tribe was adorned in lighted necklaces or glow jewelry. The float was led by our kids holding the GSN banner while other kids handed out candy and flyers to the thousands of patrons lining the streets. Dads looked great too in their GSN vests and some wore their tribal headdresses all the time keeping an eye on the kids and keeping them safe. We were greeted by applause, ooohs and aaahs as we marched down the Federal Highway. Everyone had a great time and look forward to next year’s parade.

Peace River 2017

Spring Training Baseball Game

On March 26 over 40 members of the Great Sun Nation descended upon the brand new Ball Park of the Palm Beaches to watch the Nationals take on the Astros.   The ballpark was a fantastic site and the facilities top notch.   We have beautiful weather with a cooling breeze and $6 craftbrews!    We sat on the right field berm.    The younger kids were much more fascinated with rolling down the hill then the actual baseball game.    Lenny made the best catch of the game – pushing away a couple of kids to catch the t-shirt being thrown by the mascot.     A great time was had by all.   Next year we should have 100 people out to the game.

Caloosahatchee Campout

Caloosahatchee River Park, Alva, FL, February 10-12, 2017, 
 
Bicycle paradise!  If you like bikes, this was the campout for you.   As Friday afternoon led into the cooler evening, the GSN tribes had a chance to settle into their sites for dinner, dessert, campfires and a rare astronomical triple play of full moon, lunar eclipse and comet – along with Chief Chupacabra and his Spirit Stick!   
 
Everyone was up early on Saturday to start a full day of activities.   With 768 acres of pine flatwoods, scrub oak, cypress swamps and oak hammocks, the options were open.  Some of the Dorados started with the hiking trails.    The Chesapeakes started with the bike trails.  Despite being only 5-10 years old, their kids took on the intermediate trails and took down all 3.6 miles of trails, hills, jumps and stunts.   Their parents are so proud.    Later in the day, the Catawbas tackled the advanced trails with ease!  
 
Events for Saturday afternoon and evening were represented well by all tribes.   At 4 o’clock we had a critter race, with a spider and a butterfly racing to win.   7pm was the GSN Lighted Bike Parade.  The kids bikes were all decorated with glow sticks, Christmas lights, magic wands and the like.  After meeting at the Caloosahatchee Boulder, the dozens of GSN kids proudly paraded their bikes throughout the entire park, getting much applause.   The Arawaks were very well represented, as Becca took one prize, along with Sam of the Chesapeakes for best decorated bikes.  
 
Just as it was time to start settling down, the Dorados and Chesapeakes put on movie night, with The Secret Life of Pets entertaining the kids (and dads).  With the kids tucked into bed, the dads huddled around the campfires for another gorgeous full moon night.   Unfortunately, on Sunday the weekend was over and it was time to go home.   After driving through the sites for final inspection, not a single piece of litter could be found – the GSN was well represented.   

Circle F 2017

On January 13-15 over 250 members of the Great Sun Nation descended on Circle F Dude Ranch in Lake Wales, FL for our biggest campout.    On Friday when everyone arrived, they were greeted by their new flags with their tribe name on it.    No question which cabin you were at.    Friday nights’ main activity was a talent show.    The kids really showed us what they had and we might even have a few stars in the making.    Saturday was filled with activities.   The Arawaks set the pace winning the Egg Toss competition, and not to be out done, the Chesapeakes won the Chili cook off.   There were many activities ranging from tug-o-war, saxophone fill, trinkets in the hay, rock wall and zip line, and the ever popular BB Gun and Archery range.    The evening was capped of with the Bear Claw ceremony for all our first time children and their fathers, followed up by a fire ceremony and firework extravaganza put on the Walla Wallas.     The weather was perfect and everyone had a great time.

Boca Raton Holiday Parade

On Dec 7th, over 30 members of the Great Sun Nation participated in the 45th annual Boca Raton Holiday Parade.   We had an incredible float with a tee-pee, tent, fire, and of course Chief Chupacabra and the Spirit Stick.    The float was led by our children holding our banner while other the other kids were handing out candy and flyers.  The dads looked good in their headdresses and kept the kids safe.  We were greeted with applause up and down Federal Highway.    A BIG HOW goes out to Lenny for building the float and driving it along the parade.

Disney’s Fort Wilderness 2016 Camp out

HOW HOW MIGHTY GREAT SUN NATION !!!!

This is a short recap of what was one Great family outing. With over 250 people things went perfectly. The weather was cooperating with warm days and cool nights. This was the first time we used an RV camping loop! From the feedback I have received, everyone enjoyed accessing electricity, water and cable TV! Parking was such a pleasure!

By 6 p.m. Friday we had all campers checked in and fires were burning . I saw quite a few members watching fireworks at the beach followed by a movie and s’mores at Camp Arapahoe.

Saturday morning our loop was stirring with a buzz of activity! The Shoshones set up a rope line and built special teepees out of Spanish Moss in the field with the Arapahoes. Now, that’s what I call teamwork! Plenty of kids played tether ball and soccer games before breakfast!!

As the day got warmer, it was certainly time to head to the pool.  Pool time with the GSN was over the top with the largest dodge ball game that the staff had seen in years. When Disney staff shouted out to the guests “ Where are you all from?” It was clear that GSN was in the house. What was meant to be a 30 minute game went on for an hour and a half. As the sun started to go down and the air cooled off it was time to get ready for a fun night. The Arapahoes were treated to a group bus ride to Disney Springs. We ate at Bongos on the water with almost 40 kids and adults! We were blessed with dancers who took the kids on a congo line through the restaurant to give the parents time to eat and relax. After dinner, it was time for a walk and we ended up at the Lego store where the kids built race cars and had a bunch of fun. Now with a quick call to Disney, a bus was brought to a special spot that took us directly back to our camp site. Saturday night was wonderful with groups of tribes walking the loop and hanging with each other and we all found a common bond. We had a great turn out for the new Star Trek movie with lots of great snacks.

Sunday was our final day and most of our group was packed up and on their way but a few hung out till 1pm . I was pleased to walk the grounds with the Disney Management Team after everyone left. The place looked almost as good as the way we found it and we have been asked to come back next year. Good news -after my meeting with Disney Management, we have been offered a full loop next to the pool!! We can block this off to have it totally to ourselves. We look forward to seeing you all soon! And thank you, for being part of such a great group and making everything ‘just right’!