camping - spruce woods

This weekend I took my kids (the husband showed up a day later) and met with my larger, extended family for a weekend camping trip. It was actually our first camping trip this year (I know, weird. Normally it would have been our 3rd or 4th by  now), and I was ready to camp it up.

As with any camping trip with young kids (probably older kids too I'm sure, I'm probably kidding myself by thinking that my kids' ridiculousness will end with a little age), there were highlights and lowlights. Lowlights? Lesslights? Almost burnedoutlights? Cringe-worthy moments?

Anyway, let me break it down. Let's start with the good. Because honestly, we love camping, and now that I've gone once I'm kind of mourning the fact that we didn't go sooner.


(way better ring than "lowlights," admit it)

  • Jordan managed to sleep in the tent from dusk until dawn one whole time on our camping trip! I know! After the first two nights we were beginning to have our doubts. 
  • Tennyson learned to ride his bike with no hands. Not like I'd do it, a split-second "quick, look! I've let go!" before grabbing back onto the handlebars and careening into a tree. No! He'd ride his bike to the top of the hill we were camping on, and then coast down it, with a little pedaling, and no hands - because Daddy told him it would be easier if he went faster. Over the course of the weekend he spent a lot of time on his bike, hands-free, and not always on hills.
  • Smores
  • Suntans
  • Tiny frogs
  • Bike rides to awesome look-outs
  • Kids who are willing to do anything and try anything, and love all of it
  • Moms who can plan for and pull off packing and departing for a camping trip all while her husband is at work - including loading the bike rack. Note: ten year olds are not the best at helping to line up the trailer hitch with the trailer. "There! Good!" she says, while the hitch is six inches to the left of the trailer. Her heart was in the right place, and we eventually did it!
  • A husband who was dragged into summers of camping years ago, and has come to enjoy them as much as I do. 
  • Did I mention smores?
  • Spending time with family we don't see nearly often enough.
  • My grandparents and their coffee maker, up and ready for the day before I am!


  • Elliot was riding as fast as she could from the family use area of the campground, all the way down the path to the park center, when she hit a rut, lost control of her bike, and slid to a stop in the gravel. She managed to get rid of the pesky skin on one side of her face, as well as her elbow, her knee, her side, etc. In the words of the kids - "she was bleeding everywhere!" I thought the top of her foot was bleeding too, but it wasn't. It was just the blood dripping off her face. It was a little traumatic, and I'll admit, I was glad I didn't see it. Of course, this was the hill that we had told the kids repeatedly to ride down with their brakes on, not to pedal as fast as she could to get maximum speed. Saddest little thing ever. Oh wait, Mitchell's story is coming. It's equally as sad.
  • Tennyson  managed to wipe out the day before at the bottom of this hill, just before heading up, and launch himself on top of his handlebars, digging one into his groin area. He assures me that nothing important was hit, but still. It hurts. 
  • Tennyson walked over a point in a wooden platformed path that led from the spirit sands down to the river. He had followed closely behind his older sister and cousin, who had likely only roused the hidden nest of bees from their slumber, and when Tennyson went down the steps over top of them they were up and ready to go. Luckily, he was only stung once. But still, it hurt a lot, and there was much crying and trauma. 
  • Mitchell was behind Tennyson. By now the bees were awake, and he came screaming back up the path with no less than six bee stings in him. He was holding tightly to his arm and screaming unintelligibly, and I thought at first that he had fallen down the stairs and broken or hurt his arm. Eventually we made out: "I walked through a flock of bees and they stung me all over my body!" Happily, Tennyson and the two girls were at the bottom of the path, and the rest of us were at the top, separated only by a bazillion angry bees, which were buzzing around a dropped hat, which Steven  managed to run in and grab, getting stung only a couple of times, before leading the three older kids off to the side and up the hill through the bush, where they met back up with the rest of us. Also happily, miles from the trail head, in a cellular dead zone, we found that our kids were indeed not allergic to bee stings. 
  • Jordan spent her first three camping nights in a tent. Except that she got scared and showed back up in the camper halfway through the first two nights. The first night she crawled in with me, the second night - Elliot. 
But despite the few camping mishaps, the family time outweighs the bumps and bruises. And once the tears are dried and the scrapes stop bleeding, those are the stories they can't wait to tell anyway.

My kids love going. They bring books and colouring stuff and bikes and outdoor things, and leave the electronics at home, and they love it! They definitely have more energy than me and Steven, and it's all we can do to keep up sometimes, but it's awesome. I can't wait for the next trip.


Neodad said…
Should have gone to Rushing River. No bees there.
Tiffany said…
We will be there soon enough (5 sleeps!). Can't wait!
Tiffany said…
Um, there WERE bees at Rushing River!! I got the first bee sting OF MY LIFE at Rushing River this summer! Seemed to be summer of the bees for us.

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