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

Friday, June 14, 2013

Connecting with Family: Leaving the World Behind to Camp with Family

Thinking of charade behind the bed curtain
Why do you go on a family vacation?  For us, it’s a chance to place the world on hold and totally enjoy being with the family.  To learn from each other; to listen to each other. 

            With no television, computers, or cell phone use most times, we become our own entertainment when camping.  Aside from campfires, read my story here, and storytelling, read here, we played charades in the camper at night, adding just one rule.  The charade must deal with our present camping trip or a previous trip.  This could get quite comical, with the children on one wavelength and we parents on another.

            The six of us crowded around the larger dinette table in the cooled-by-a-fan pop-up trailer to watch our son, whose turn it was to be first according to our charades schedule, pace back and forth in the tiny space in front of the smaller pull-out bunk.  Sometimes the children use the bunk to perform on their knees the actions necessary for us to “understand” the clues and guess the charade.   
  
Suddenly our son stopped pacing.  He grabbed his throat, hopping up into the bunk, and thrashed about in the bed.  Then he lay very still.
 
My husband and I stared at each other in disbelief.  How could this have something to do with our family camping trips?

The night was warm.  A cacophony of insect noises could be heard from outside.  The fan hummed, oscillating inside the camper.
 
The girls looked at each other for only a moment and then shouted in unison, “Peanut butter and jelly sandwich!”
 
The boy sprang from the bed and pointed at them.  “That’s right!”
 
My husband and I exchanged glances.  Okay, so maybe the children were a bit tired of eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the trail, but they were healthy and the only things the children would eat.  They didn’t like granola bars or trail mix or nuts and they needed energy to hike.  We sighed and tried to brainstorm a different healthy, mid-day meal.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated by the troops. 

We try to leave all work and outside "connections" at home when we camp with the family.  It’s important to leave the rush-rush of daily life behind when vacationing, even if it's only for a few days.   On “Good Nature” the blog about natural habitat adventures, Candice Gaukel Andrews questions the need for internet service at National Parks.   How important is it for you to stay connected during your vacation?