Saturday, August 6, 2011

Backyard Camping

Once upon a time, many moons ago, a Girl Guide got together with a guy from Kenora. Being a Girl Guide, and then a Girl Guide leader, she was used to camping in tents with many little people, having an exhausting but fun time. Plus, she had grown up in a camping family, and had spent all summer at the lake when she lived at home. Being from Kenora, her boyfriend was inherently "outdoorsy" - but also had a belief that you should be outdoorsy in your backyard (which includes rocks, lakes, rivers, bush, etc.) and then go home to your nice comfy bed to sleep.

So one year when this young couple had so many holiday days saved up they didn't know what to do with them all, the Girl Guide decided to make it her personal challenge to make that Kenora boy embrace camping. They got a great deal on a huge tent, booked a campsite in the Whiteshell, and headed off for a week of fantastic fun. So what if Kenora Boy literally ran into a bear cub while on his bike, provoking said bear to stalk them the remaining half of the Trans-Canada Trail that runs between West Hawk and Falcon Lake? So what if Girl Guide got the worst chest infection of her life and thought she was going to die on an air mattress in the woods? SO WHAT if they packed it in and spent the last half of their vacation in Kenora Boy's parents' house, being outdoorsy during the day and sleeping indoors like civilized people at night????? Tenting can still be fun, right? RIGHT?!?

So our experiment in tenting never inspired a love of camping within Rainer. Meh. We actually still used our tent for several summers - meeting up with my family in Clear Lake, etc. We even took it to Prince Edward Island one summer for a 2 week vacation, in which we had good weather, lots of fun, and an all-around great tenting experience. But we certainly don't plan our holidays around tenting excursions anymore. And it seems like a lot of work to go camping on a regular 2 day weekend, when there are so few free weekends in the summer and we have that pool calling our names and all. So we haven't had the tent out since Talia was born.

But lately I've been getting the camping itch - partly due to lots of friends buying campers, partly due to my parents selling their camper and not going to the lake for the first time I can remember. So I've been suggesting doing a little backyard camping all summer, and since Rainer is just such a good sport, he agreed.

Last night we set up the tent in the backyard:

Ruby was so impressed with our mad tent skillz:

We had a wienie roast complete with s'mores:

We let the kids stay up late, playing outside in their jammies as it grew darker and darker:

We put them to bed in the tent. Hard to believe our ginormous tent is almost too small even for backyard camping:

We woke up this morning to find Declan had embraced his first night of freedom from a crib or playpen - he'd started out beside one sister and ended up with the other:

And of course, everyone piled into Mom & Dad's nice warm bed when the morning chill had woken them all up:

It was so much fun!!


Jennifer said...

That looks like a blast!

Marcia Roberts said...

Life's good!!!!

The Turner Family said...

Sooooo funny to see this!!! We just bought our first tent and are playing with the idea of taking our 3 littles to the nearby lake on labor day for a camping weekend. We are planning on doing a trial run in our back yard first as well! I'm very encouraged now after hearing your experience went so well!