My parents took us camping every summer. I don’t remember when we started our camping adventures. I must have been around eight because I have memories of my little brother toddling around and getting bathed in a rubber bin. Camping was something I looked forward to. We spent time exploring nature during the day and at night the adventures would continue in the form of wild tales that my papa would spin as the darkness descended. Camping was a magical experience, even if it rained the whole time. Now that I am the parent I am aware of all the planning and preparation that happens before camping, the work that has to be done while camping and the clean-up that goes on afterwards. It’s a lot of work and some of the magic has worn away but instead of feeling the loss of what was I cherish the simplicity and reconnection with nature that camping can bring.
Before we left on our camping trip I packed all the items listed on the Family Camping Checklist. It took me a couple weeks to get everything organized but I suspect it will be easier now that I have everything gathered. We set up our tent in our backyard and checked our tarps so there were no surprises at the campground. When we arrived at the campground it was raining, surprise! I hoped that it wasn’t a bad omen of the weather to come, thankfully we were blessed with sunny days until the deluge that happened on our last day and night. Our tent is not waterproof and even with the added protection of a tarp water seeps in.
Because we were taking part in Jam Camp we stayed in the group area of the Kokanee Creek Provincal Park campground. It is a beautiful campground and it was fun being surrounded by music and people we knew. Even though I let go of most expectations for our trip there was one hope that took some effort to free myself from and that was spending time with others. Between the camp activities, caring for our little people and feeling exhausted there were not as many opportunities as I had hoped for spending time with others. Once I was able to let go of this expectation I felt much more at peace.
It took us a couple days to find our rhythm, which made me glad our trip lasted six days. The children enjoyed exploring the campground and playing with all the children. My eldest (5) played from sun up to sun down every day and was more an observer of the Jam Camp activities than a participant. We didn’t pressure him to participate but I wondered if he was learning anything. He must have because he has been playing his guitar almost every day since our return. Our daughter (3) was a happy camper. She took part in the craft and singing group for the little children and enjoyed it. I am so glad we brought the little potty for her to use because there were only pit toilets in the group camping area. Teddy (16 months) got stung by a wasp, fell face first on the rocks and was eaten by mosquitoes. He woke up several times during the night crying which was stressful because I didn’t want his cries to wake fellow campers. Other than those challenges he seemed content to nap once or twice a day in the tent and to dig in the dirt.
Despite the challenges that we faced while camping with our little people would we do it again? Yes, definitely! We really believe that the benefits of being surrounded by nature, our friends and homegrown music far outweighs the difficulties that arise and the lack of sleep that usually occurs while camping.