Winter Camping: Stuff to Do

It was fun! But we expected that. We took ourselves, the family circus, along. 😉 Sorry to be so conceited, but there was a point in our wedded life where we figured out that we don’t need a lot of other people to have a good time. There is a time and place for parties and crowds and there is a time and place to regroup with quiet simplicity. The two are rarely synonomous. Of course, dreaming of reading a book by the fire for hours means a woman must plan ahead wisely concerning activities for the plentiful energies of the offspring.

I did a bit of sleuthing online and discovered the duct tape craze that has been around for quite a while, apparently. The rolls of fancy duct tape are kind of small, but I chose a variety of colors and patterns at Walmart and hid them deep in the bowels of my bedroom. This is necessary when you live with the sorts of creative people who find a fresh roll of tape a sort of siren call to make and do. I also packed some craft knives and a cutting mat. (Just before we left home I let Alex watch youtube videos of people crafting with duct tape and he took it from there. Hours, people, hours of wallet making and duct tape flowers, etc. Worth every penny.)

The children looked longingly through a shipment of Usborne coloring books recently. “Nope, nope, nope,” I told them. “Don’t even think of starting in one of those.” But I secretly stuck a few detailed coloring books and my best gel pens and felt-tipped markers into my activities tote. (Hours, hours, of creative fun. Even Gabe got into it.)


We never go anywhere without books. January was Read-Aloud-Challenge month, so I tried to pack books that everybody would enjoy listening to, as well as easier chapter books for the girls. Cheaper by the Dozen is always a good choice. “Sometimes I wish I was an only child,” someone was heard to mutter and we all laughed and said, “You are just quoting Ernestine.” It totally took the wind out of his sails. Another series we have been working through in fits and starts is The Mysterious Benedict Society. You know you have a winner when a blase’ teenager can’t help but read with all the voices and expressions and every time he quits the little girls demand, “READ.”

For myself I took Forgiven, the book written by Terri Roberts describing the terrible journey of hurt and healing after her son shot the little girls in the Nickel Mines school. I did read beside the fire with a flashlight after the children were in bed.

I am not really good at the gingerbread houses at Christmas time thing, but I like the idea. Once again I found the web to be an inspiration and amassed a few bags of various pretzels, some fanciful candies and a batch of royal icing. It seemed an appropriate thing to do while camping. I helped Addy, of course. Gabe helped Olivia. But nobody helps Rita. I loved her claim shanty with its animal paddock. She was serenely unbothered by its unorthodox look.

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The rest of the space in the activities tote was games: Settler’s of Catan, Canasta, Boggle, Chess, Monopoly, etc. Oh, yes, and in a crack went a portable DVD player and Where the Red Fern Grows, although I was skeptical that the girls could handle the sad parts. They duck around a corner when the scenes get too tear-jerking.

We were just delighted with the 8 sided Tyler cabin. I include the second pic so you can see our totes and firewood on the trailer.

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Everybody in the family thinks Lady could just live with us, in our space and stuff. All but me. There I put my foot firmly DOWN. But she did like to be with us in the cabin, toenails clicking on the wood floor as she did laps, looking for someone to throw her toy.

We spent a good bit of time outside, naturally. The trails ran right past the cabin, so it was great for strolling through a few inches of powdery snow. Just up the road was the frozen lake where we rented skates for all and bought hot chocolate at the commissary. There were about 6 other people on the ice. No worries about getting into anybody’s way. These two spent most of the first hour sprawling and hauling each other back upright. I was surprised with their cheerfulness over losing their feet repeatedly. Until the sun went down and they got cold, that is.

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Yup, it was fun.

Coming tomorrow: Easy Peasy Camp Food

(and I promise I will get to the Luggable Loo one day)








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