Saturday, July 7, 2012

Family Camping Trip

Lake Winfield Scott
It started with Patrick proclaiming that Toby needed a tin can (canteen) for Father's Day when the kids and I were walking down the camping isle at Target. We were there to get new headlamps but left with the idea to surprise Toby with a weekend of camping. Patrick and Madelyn were both so excited to keep our secret from Daddy until the big day. The kids helped me make a list of everything we would need for our little adventure. They listed the usual- sleeping bags, tent, hiking shoes, etc. But, they also had some creative ideas like bringing a snake to scare off all the other snakes, unless they are good snakes, then they can sleep in the tent with us (Patrick). And we needed to bring an avocado, because Daddy loves avocados and he might get hungry (Madelyn).

I explained to Patrick that we may be going to a place in the woods that didn't have bathrooms and what we would do if that was the case. I wasn't sure how he would react. He didn't hesitate in his response, telling me with wide eyes that he'd better start practicing right away. We ended up opting for a campground that did have facilities since this was our first time camping (not including in front of the cabin-if that counts) with the kids. So we blocked off our only free weekend in June and the kids counted down the days until we left.

Little did we know that our camping weekend would be one of the hottest of the summer, record highs were expected in Georgia. We weren't sure how the trip would go with the heat- how would the kids nap in 105+ degree weather, outside, in a tent...hmmm. Would they be comfortable enough to sleep through the night in the sticky, summer humidity? Hiking was out for certain but at least there was the lake... With many thoughts and some concerns we decided to do what parents do when they want to try something new with kids but just aren't sure of the outcome: go for it and hope for the best.

And, it ended up being the best. The weather was about 20 degrees cooler than in Woodstock which made for comfy sleeping, especially since our tent was in the shade for the last part of the day. The kids enjoyed every part of the trip; "pinching" the tent, cooking meals over the fire, walking through the woods to the bathrooms, showering with Daddy Longlegs after swimming in the lake (Patrick was sure the spiders followed him in because he was an animal rescuer and Maddy couldn't stop saying how cute they were), skipping rocks, fishing, catching beetles, millipedes, butterflies and every other little creature they could get their hands on; and, the most fun thing of all - sleeping in the tent.

It took us awhile to settle them down Saturday night, even after a jammed packed day full of outdoor activities. We read stories, sang songs then turned off the lanterns. Then Maddy rolls over on top of me, her face inches away from mine, and whispers, "I love you Mommy. (pause) It's wake up time!" I melt from her sweet words and try not to laugh then say, "It's sleep time, sweet girl. Lay down and close your eyes." She obeys, for a few minutes, then sits straight up and shouts, "I like to move it, move it!" wiggling her little body, dancing to the rhythm in her head. We all burst out laughing for several minutes then Toby says,
Cheering for Daddy while he skips rocks on the water
"Ok, time to go to sleep." They both lay still. Then the giggling starts. Patrick would laugh and say, "I hope she doesn't say "move it move it again..." To which Madelyn would pop right up and, of course, yell "I like to move it move it!" Then Patrick responded with "You better "move it move it" to your dreams! It's sleep time!" Which gave Madelyn a case of the giggles and started the whole thing over again. It must have gone on for 30 minutes straight, the two of them, cracking each other up over and over, Toby and I laughing right along with them. And I know this is what they'll remember most from the trip. Lake Winfield Scott was a beautiful place to camp. We can't wait to go back. Although next time we'll wait until early fall, just to be safe ;-)

Early morning fishing
Excited to use the jig poles we made

My best girl

Checking out a Rhino Beetle

Plenty more pictures in the slideshow (and here's the link to the gallery)...


Aunt Anna said...

How cute! Looks like you guys had a GREAT time!! :)

Meme said...

Wonderful camping memories so glad you all enjoy the Great Great Great Margaret & Detlaf Stuck Family Camping Tradtion that they started in the late 1800s in WIsconsin. Ahhh to be a fly on the wall of that tent!!! Thanks for sharing. Love, Meme