Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Thirty-five unschooling families gathered at a campground in Plymouth, MA this past weekend, and we were lucky enough to be one of them. Three nights and four days of the outdoors, fun, and friends old and new. We had an amazing time and next years camp-out cannot come soon enough!
For once I was up every morning before the kids. I guess no naps, late nights, and days full of non-stop play with friends will get them to sleep in. Of course, I was up around 5am each morning so maybe it had more to do with me getting up extra early than my kids sleeping in longer. In any case, I cooked breadsticks over an early morning campfire, enjoyed my iced coffee (brewed before the trip and chilling in my cooler), and sat by the fire to practice with my drop spindle.
I really enjoyed cooking outdoors during this trip and it was fun to put my dutch oven to work over the fire. I over-extended myself a little with the meal planning, so I was glad that I packed plenty of extras (including easy hot dogs and burgers) so that I didn't have to cook every meal I had planned. I highly recommend Annie Bell's The Camping Cookbook. We had a lot of great meals and side dishes from this book (oh wow, grilled bananas with chocolate, yum!), not to mention campfire classics like s'mores (peeps s'mores if you must know, I've been saving them since the post-easter sales).
Josh was in heaven. You'll notice a distinct lack of photos of him because he was off running around with friends the whole time. He had a blast playing nerf gun wars and humans vs. zombies, and running around with any kids he could find. We went to the lake every day and both kids had a great time swimming and playing. I had an especially enjoyable water gun and seaweed fight with Josh and some of his new friends on our last morning at the lake.
Lucy found many opportunities to satisfy her thrill-seeking, including jumping off picnic tables and the dock at the lake, and learning to light matches (she needs a little help striking the match, but she likes to hold the lit match, blow it out, and put it in the campfire). She also took the opportunity to climb on any abandoned bike (Later when she saw the kid who owns that tricycle she pointed at him and said, "Bike!" She did not want to give the trike up.).Trust me, if you leave your bike laying around Lucy will find it and she will climb on it.
We were all exhausted by the end of our camping trip. It was a little rough toward the end of our trip because she was so tired in the afternoons and evenings and she justdidn't want to miss a thing. Lucy is normally a pretty regular napper, but she didn't take a single nap until our very last afternoon when we were planning to pack up and head home. Thankfully we were not in a rush so she was able to get some much needed rest in the empty tent. Josh had a few more hours to play with friends (and eat a giant chocolate bar with his new friend, yum), and Lyle and I had a chance to sit down and relax in the shade near our tent. When we finally got home that night we were exhausted. We tried to stay up and watch a movie together (The Goonies) but I was falling asleep and finally put myself and Lucy to bed around 9pm (I can't even remember the last time I went to bed that early). I think going to bed super early on your first night home is definitely a sign of a good time!