Came back from our first overnight camping trip in one piece!
We joined the Mass Audubon Family Campout on Saturday, which included a canoe trip on the Ipswich river, a WHOLE LOT of s’mores and more wildlife than we could shake sticks at. It was also the first time I had taken Alex and Jen camping. They had a great time! – hurray – and didn’t want to leave. It was a really good trial camping actually, because Angela and Cheri from Mass Audubon had plenty of activities.
I suspect that’s the secret to a good camping trip with preschoolers
Also, no cooking was required. I’m a bit nervous about breaking out the old hiking stove and actually cooking a dinner when we go for a longer trip. Anyway, no cooking, just snacks and Angela and Cheri put on a nice breakfast with several pots of coffee – bliss.
So we set up our tent and played with the roughly 3 bazillion dragonflies before heading down the path to the Ipswich River. Jen got the cutest little life jacket, and both Jen’s and Alex’ Elmos got to help with the paddling by holding onto the paddle. Next time we apparently have to bring lifejackets for the Elmos. Angela did most of the work in the canoe, and since she was the front leader, we got see see a lot of wildlife (before we scared it away for the others). White birds, blue birds, geese, ducks, logs, cardinal flowers – and I didn’t bring my camera because I don’t have a water-proof bag.
Alex “Mama, this is the most beautiful place on the WHOLE earth. I love all the birds and dragonflies and beaver lodges.”
Alex (two minutes later): “Mama, I’m bored. Can we go back?”
We got back to land just as the sun set and I carried Jen all the way up the hill to the farm buildings, Alex bravely ran through the bugs. And I have to say that those big black flies that take big chunks out of your skin really HURT! I used a whole bottle of mosquito repellent on us during the night – the mosquitoes were definitely out in force.
But so were the marshmallows.
Jen passed out mid-sentence sprawled across the tent at about 11pm. Alex finally put down his tremendously fascinating glow-stick about midnight. And then both woke up screaming about 5:30am. Sorry camping neighbors! That’s how my kids deal :-S Angela and Cheri put on that aforementioned excellent breakfast, we stayed and played on the grass until about 9am. At 9:03am both children were passed out in the car on the way home.