Experiences, anecdotes, tips, how-tos, hiking, nature, motherhood, memories.

Adventures in Camping with Kids

Camping with kids is like pitching a tent upside down. Both are bound to fill with laughter and raindrops.

--Victoria Marie

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Family Togetherness

Sometimes I need to be reminded why we camp with the family. Please allow me to step back and reflect...

You need to go camping in 110 degree weather in a tiny camper with seven people and no air conditioner to truly appreciate "family togetherness." Why we put ourselves through this each year, I'll never know. Why did we buy such a tiny 23-foot pop-up tent trailer and how in the world do we cram seven people plus supplies in it?

The thrill of adventure? Each day is an adventure camping with our family. I find myself saying the same things year after year.

"First we set up the trailer; then we go swimming."
"What shall we have for dinner?"
"I only have three burners!"
"Whose turn is it to clean up?"
"Why can't you work with your sister?"
"Put the dirty clothes in the laundry bag!"
"I slept on the dinette bed last night."
"Where are the Cheerios and peanut butter?"
"She sat in the middle last time."
"I'm not sitting next to him!"

Family togetherness? All we want to do is to show the children the beautiful world God made. It's not supposed to be this difficult. Every year we plan a three-week camping trip, away from telephones, televisions, and computers. To explore nature and enjoy the family. To work together as a team. Share stories, hopes, dreams.

We roast hot dogs and toast marshmallows by the campfire. Play charades. Climb playgrounds, rock formations, and mountains. Cross rocks in crystal clear streams; wade into icy mountain lakes. Tube down swift, sparkling rapids. Ride horseback into national parks. Observe wildlife, when the children are silent long enough to allow us a view. Echo our voices from the mountain peaks and canyons. Watch the stars pop out at night, vivid and bright.

Adventure? Family togetherness? Now I remember why we cram into this little tent trailer in the heat of the summer. To experience the thrills and joys of family life amid nature.