In Family Support, Parents Recommend

We, a local mom and I, were talking about the romance of camping out in the wilderness, which led to the concept of camping out with children. She shared her perspective on camping out as a young bride and later as a parent of three.

“My first experience rather dampened any romantic adjectives I associated with camping. Nevertheless…”

“The first time I ever camped out in a state park in a small tent, in the boonies, it began raining cats and dogs at midnight. Before long water was pooling in our tent. Home was 200 miles away. Sleeping in our small volkswagen bug wasn’t an option. Who goes to a motel at 1am or could even find one?

This was not cozy like sleeping on a mattress on a cot in a sturdy girl scout tent with a wood foundation and well-waterproofed canvas! As early as possible we headed for a laundromat, where we met a bunch of equally soggy, tired campers.

That experience rather dampened any romantic adjectives I associated with camping.

camping-readingNevertheless the images of a tent and a campfire fire hung out there, so when the children were young, the idea of backyard camping seemed like fun. We started with daytime kid camping, a fun place to play in the tent, favorite books and board games, kitchen and snacks nearby, cowboy dinners and back to the house to sleep.

Next came a family camping night with a cookout, s’mores, stories, teddy bears, flashlights, a family size tent, cowboy dinner and cowboy breakfast (plus indoor plumbing!). That went well.

giant-raccoonThen the children, now ages 6-9, wanted to camp out at night by themselves. We planned to take turns dozing on a cot by the sliding glass door, close enough to be there for them. About 10pm all was quiet. Not bad! I dozed off.

Suddenly screaming children were at the screen door. “Giant raccoons!” they yelled. We retreated to indoor beds!”

If you dare… Be sure to google Camping Out in Back Yards. You will find a ton of fun ideas.

Here are a few:

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