Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Most Expensive First Camping Trip

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While the final bill has yet to be determined for our first family camping trip, I will start out by saying that despite getting off to a literal bang-up of a start, things did get better…eventually.

We decided to camp about 20 minutes away from our house ~ that way if we needed to make a trip home, it wasn’t a big ordeal. :) Lesson #1 that we learned:

Visit the campground ahead of time and check out the sites if possible.

There was a rather large and deep crevice right down the center of the site…meaning there would be a nice hole/ditch for someone to keep stepping in if the tent was set up over it. We decided to head back to the office and ask for another site.

That’s when we learned Lesson #2:

When you are camping in the woods, there are trees. A van with a bike rack on the back of it does not appreciate being backed up into a tree. The tree will always win.

IMG_7317 edited

On the bright side, it wasn’t me who wrecked the van. This time. On the down side, we hadn’t even set up the tent yet, so the frustration had pretty well peaked at this point. We soon discovered that not only did the van have a few issues, our {new} bike rack is going to require some major manipulation and both of the girls bikes need to be replaced {sigh}.

Eventually the big ol’ tent was up and sleeping bags were in place, and all without major problems. All of the tent pieces were present and accounted for and all was good!


The kids then enjoyed a little mini-golf {aka: to help soothe the girls with the unridable bikes}.

mini golf mini golf

The boys thoroughly enjoyed helping build the fire. Keeping them away from it later proved to be difficult. Kaleb is going through a bit of a clumsy walking stage and I can’t tell you how many moments of panic I had when he would trip and fall right near the fire.

A mother’s heart can only take so much.


And of course there were s’mores. And marshmallows on fire…

smores smores

And because I am a super-cool mom, I pulled out glow bracelets for the kids to enjoy {and for us to keep track of them}.

glow bracelets

Which brings me to Lesson #3:

The connectors to the glow bracelets are MUCH easier to find during the light of day. It would be better to have them in a special place before dark hits…and all the connectors fall on the ground in the pitch black of night.

That night as we were all laying/lying/resting…whatever…in our beds and it was completely quiet both outside and in our tent, Zachary summed up the evening very well:

That campfire was awesome!!

Just makes me smile and want to go again.

Minus the tree incident, of course.

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  1. I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who learned a few lessons on camping trips. :) That is why we are saving for a trailer.

  2. Jolanthe - that is great! I took my kids camping for the 1st time in June and we are going again in two weeks! They love it and so do I. The hubby stays home with the 15 month old. I hear you about the campfire and your heart skipping a beat or two! Looks like a good time was had by all and the truck is fixable! Enjoy the day!


  3. Looks like you all went to Hburg KOA...we've been there and they didn't do any better a job of assigning us a site either. They must have a bad site that they try to pass off on the next tenter coming in. Oh well. Looks like the kids had fun. These are the things great stories are made from.

  4. What a fun time!! We had the same problem with connectors when we went camping last month.

  5. It looks like ya'll made the best out of what could have been a horrible trip

  6. booo on the car, bikes, bike rack! Yay for a great trip otherwise. The trip at the end of this month is going to be amazing!!

  7. That post pretty much sums up why I hate camping. Um, the s'mores sound good. ;-) Sorry about your van and the girls' bikes.

  8. Sounds like a lot of fun!

    Minus the tree part, of course. ;)

  9. I'm not one to laught at others misfortunes at all - but LOL! you are so cute and funny! HA! You actually made camping look a tad bit inviting to this Mom who likes the comfort of her own bed!

    Love you!
    PS Sorry about the car and bikes!

  10. You really made a potentially bad situation sound so funny. Good for you! :)

  11. Great memories were made I'm sure! We really enjoy camping as a family!

  12. Well...I guess that explains where the boys get their "destructive tendencies"'s genetic :)

    Other than the initial misfortunes, it looks like a good time.

  13. Just think, after all this, next summer's camping trips will be a cinch! :)

  14. Wow, not only do I love your blogs about homeschooling, I see your a new camper too! My family went caming for the first time this summer. We did ok, however a BIG rain storm hit one afternoon, tent poles broke, soooo LOTS of water in the tent. All our clothes for the week were soaked. It took 2 days for them to dry. Despite feeling like we lived in a laundry mat for 2 days, the kids, hubby, and I had a blast. What a great way to give kids lasting memories!
    Thanks for all you do with your blogs.
    Kathy Schmidt

  15. Oh my gosh! What a start! You and Rick are troopers to hang in there after that start. So, have the girls gotten new bikes yet--have to ask.

    Well, if with all of that you still want to go, and obviously the kids did have fun--it was a success!

  16. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You ~Ron

  17. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You ~Ron

  18. Great memories were made I'm sure! We really enjoy camping as a family!


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