Hello Courageous Travels! We’ve had a great day at the GREAT JONES COUNTY FAIR!
Our Travel Team and volunteers started out early today with Melissa and Sonya leaving to go pick up travelers while Kody, Charlotte, and Treva headed to the fairgrounds to lay out some tarps to save our spot for tonight’s concert!
The first traveler check-in was in Davenport where Melissa and Sonya picked up traveler Cindy. The next stop was Coralville where we met travelers Josh, Lynn, Janene, Phillip, Andrew, Tessa, Sara and Joyce. The third pickup was in Marion where we met travelers Terry, Beth, Maggie, Lori and Melissa. The final check in was in Monticello where they met up with Charlotte and Kody. We also met up with volunteers Mia, Diane, and Treva. The last two travelers, Jayme and Gary also met up with us in Monticello.
Everyone filed onto one bus and we headed over to the Jones County Fair! We started out as one big group when we ate lunch at the Lions Club pavilion. We saw some familiar faces working in the kitchen there as the Lions Club is involved with camp. The travelers were even given a surprise treat of ice cream!
After lunch, we split up into three groups to explore all the different parts of the fair. There was the Berndes Center, where there were so many booths set up and our travelers were very intrigued with the assortment of items available for free and purchase. Andrew found a pair of pretty cool sunglasses because he thought it might get sunny later, turns out he was right. Right next to the Berndes Center, there was a chainsaw carving tent and an arts and crafts tent. The chainsaw carvers were making such cool designs out of trees like the Hawkeyes and Cyclones mascots. In the arts and crafts tent, many of our travelers made interesting pieces out of clay or out of glue and colorful sand.
Another section of the fair had all the livestock. Our travelers were able to feel like they were on the barnyard with all the animals that were there. They had so many chickens, geese and ducks in the first barn, and they even had a few sheep that were craving some attention. Terry said that he enjoyed seeing the chickens the most! There were two more barns full of pigs and cows that the travelers enjoyed looking at.
There were so many different rides and games to choose to enjoy! Gary had an enormous smile on his face during bumper cars! Andrew was excitedly yelling from the top of the Ferris wheel. Melissa, Maggie, and Lorie all took a spin on the tilt-a-whirl. The fair had many awesome games to play to try and win prizes. Janene, Joyce, and Beth all had multiple prizes by the end of the day like blow up bats and swords. Gary was amazing at the basketball shooting game and won a pikachu. Lorie got a sweet parrot, Melissa won a Scooby-Doo, and Maggie won a minion.
There were some other entertainment opportunities throughout the day. Some of our travelers listened to a two-man band. One guy had drums on his back and was playing a harmonica and guitar. While the other guy was playing a tubulum, an instrument made out of 240 feet of pvc pipes. Immediately after we were treated to a dirt bike and regular bike stunt show. Andrew and Terry kept hooting and hollering at how awesome they thought all the tricks were and even went to meet the athletes afterwards. The other groups were able to watch some entertainment themselves at the free stage and they listened to some concerts.
We saw some familiar faces throughout the day. We saw some current Camp Courageous employees; Sharon, Stephen, Jeff, Jeremiah, Kaite, Dalton, and Jaylynn. We also were able to see some fellow travelers and campers; Susie and Ronny. It was so great to see so many smiling faces at the fair! We all met up again as a group for some delicious fair food for dinner.
After dinner we made our way down to our tarps to get ready for the concert. A few of our travelers bought some Luke Bryan t-shirts to wear for the concert and were showing them off with joy. Cindy was the biggest Luke fan in the group and she was getting excited because she saw his trailer in the distance. Morgan Wallen was the opening act and he sang a lot of catchy upbeat songs like his hit “Up Down” and Josh was singing along to all of them. There was a short break and then the star of the main event came on stage, Luke Bryan! Travelers were singing along, standing and dancing, and just genuinely having a good time while he was singing. After the show ended, he came back out for an encore which ended in a great big fireworks display! When asked if he had a good time Phillip said it was “the bomb”.
Once we were all loaded back onto the bus, we braved the traffic and made our way across town to the traveler pick-up location at the edge of Monticello. We said goodbye to many travelers here like Beth, Andrew, Gary, Terry, Maggie, Melissa, Phillip, Lynn, Janene, Tessa, Joyce, Lorie, and Jayme. We also said goodbye to some pretty amazing volunteers like Diane and Treva. We took the last three travelers back to camp where they spent the night and were picked up the next morning.
Thank you to all the volunteers for helping make this such a great day and to all the travelers for having such great spirits!
– Travel Team
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