Family camping? Well, we'll give it a try. Here are the lessons we learned from camping in Texas.
We started our last 12-week term just after Easter and I intentionally refocused my priorities, trying to concentrating on schooling my kids. Blogging was sadly one of those things that got laid aside. But after a one-month break, I'm hopping back into the fray — not committing to anything, but I'm hoping to slowly return to sharing my thoughts on a semi-regular basis.
This last month has seen several changes in our family. One of those changes is that Jaden, Jerah, and Joely have all started getting involved in scouting programs—the girls with American Heritage Girls and Jaden with Boy Scouts. Of course with Boy Scouts comes camping, which is one thing that my husband had never done…not even once in his life.
But he was willing to give camping a try if it meant getting Jaden involved with scouting. So he and Jaden planned to attend a scouting family camp a couple weeks ago (I could not attend since my students' piano recital was the same weekend). They got all their supplies together, most of them borrowed, but then the day of the trip, due to severe thunderstorms, they decided not to go. It turned out to be a good choice as the weather turned nasty. It would not have been a good introduction to the camping experience.
But we still wanted to give camping a try, so we made plans to head out the following weekend to our local state park for an overnight camping trip as a family. I'm happy to report that the trip was successful, and we have unanimously agreed that camping is something we'd like to do on a regular basis as a family.
Since this was our very first camping trip, and since I haven't camped since I was a kid, we used this trip as a learning experience. So here are just a few things we learned this weekend.
1. When pitching a tent, level not only means an even surface, but also not sloping. It might have helped to look around a little harder for a more "level" place to pitch the tent.
2. Thirty-seven-year-old fathers with high blood pressure should not mow the lawn in 90 degree weather hours prior to a camping trip and then proceed to pound stakes into the ground while bending over at the waist. This may (and did) result in loss of vision, dizziness, ringing of the ears, and near loss of consciousness.
3. It's important to leave the tent doors zipped closed as much as possible. Otherwise, you might get lots of bugs in the tent which are difficult to remove. You might even get a wasp in the tent which you'll be unable to kill or remove and then have to sleep with all night, all the time hoping the kids won't notice it and freak out.
5. Jerah learned that when roasting hot dogs, the roasting stick cannot be held vertically in the flames or the food will fall in the ashes…and then her mom will have to wipe it off, cook it for her, and make her eat it anyway.
6. Thirty-four-year-old mothers of three should never, ever sleep on the hard ground. Next time, we'll all be bringing air mattresses. (I suggested this air-mattress-option when we planned the trip, but I was overruled. A certain unnamed individual wanted to try out sleeping on the ground with camp pads.)
7. When camping in Texas, flip flops and sandals are not appropriate footwear. I was reminded of this fact as we were sitting around the fire roasting marshmallows and a scorpion came crawling around the fire pit. No one was stung, but I immediate swapped out my sandals for my tennis shoes (and the scorpion was quickly dispatched by Jaden).
I'm sure others have lessons they have learned while camping. Care to share?
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