I grew up in a non-camping family. (Yes, mom, I remember that one time.) My parents love the outdoors and are big gardeners, but prefer to sleep in their own bed. Perhaps growing up without indoor plumbing made camping seem less than exciting for my dad?
When I was 12, and joined our church’s youth program, I became a yearly girls’ camper. Guess what? I loved camping! I loved the camaraderie, loved sleeping in a tent (sometimes we were in cabins), loved campfires, loved hiking, loved the smell of our lovely Oregon woods. I was a lifelong camper, for sure.
Then I grew up and started having babies. I figured out immediately the main reasons my parents were never campers. Camping with small children means dirty, dirty kids, a potentially dangerous fire, and trying to get everyone to go to sleep in a tent (also known as mission impossible). Not to mention a ton of work to get ready, and a huge mess when you get home.
So here’s an admission. Our youngest two children have never been camping. We haven’t been camping together as a family, well, ever. The last time I can remember really doing it, Sam was a baby.
Until this weekend, that is. Our cub scout pack has a family campout every fall, and I sent Matt with the three older boys last year, but now that Thomas is three I realized we could probably take everyone. We had bought a used tent from another family who was leaving a year or so ago, so I rounded up seven sleeping bags and off we went.
I love camping.
I loved waking up in a tent (turned out to be a great tent for our family — a roomy 8-man, and easy to set up and take down) with all of my kids around me. Thomas was a little slow to settle in, because, after all, sleeping in a tent is pretty exciting. And Sam talks in his sleep (sometimes in Spanish!). But Matt and I had an air mattress, and didn’t sleep too badly.
We were in a lovely campground, and really did feel away from it all.Even though it’s two days later and I’m still trying to catch up on laundry and finish cleaning out the van, I think we should do it again sometime soon. (PS can you tell I didn’t take enough pictures as usual? Someone help me — how do I remember to get the camera out more?)