Camping, After Dark

If you’ve been keeping up, you know that during the summer, Stacy and I take the kids camping every other weekend. We have a pop-up camper, and haul it out to Council Grove lake behind the old, green Chevy pick up truck of which Stacy maintains residential custody.

This past weekend was our first camping weekend of summer, 2018. And what an eventful weekend it was!

Artwork by La-la

The kids are each another year older. In recognition of that, we decided to try giving them a little more freedom. It’s amazing, the things they’re able to do at the campground that they aren’t able to do at home. In service of this, we purchased a set of three walkie-talkies: one per child, cuz, let’s face it, there’s no way to give only one of them a walkie, and one for a parental unit.

After a quick lesson on which buttons are okay to push (volume up/down and the “talk” button) and which are not okay to push (alloftheotherones), we snapped one to each of their waist bands and sent them off. As you can imagine, an excessive amount of radio chatter ensued. A while later, though, the novelty lessened, and the kids actually used the radios well.

Another thing that Stacy and I had discussed, and agreed on, was that since the kids were older, they could be allowed to stay up later while we were at the lake. Everyone knows part of the fun of camping doesn’t even begin to happen until after the sun goes down. In the summertime, that’s quite a bit mater than during most of the school year.

Friday night, there was a slight dinner debacle. The chicken leg quarters we were grilling had been frozen to help them make the hour-and-a-half ride in the cooler. Sadly, after an hour on the grill, they weren’t quite done. Now I don’t know about you, but this mama gets hangry. We ended up eating PB+J. Don’t worry; we finished cooking that chicken, and ate it Saturday night. Crisis averted.

Camp Dawg

Our kids kept biking and scootering and running around, partially because they could, and partially in an effort to keep themselves awake for the aforementioned dark-time activities. Little did we know they would soon become acktivities.

At about nine o’clock, Bubs came over to us, his face in a serious twist. In a forlorn voice, he said, “I tried to make it, but I didn’t.” I know what you’re thinking. But, no, you’re wrong. He didn’t just pee his pants. He took a dump in them. A giant dump. Looks like we now know what time he goes from “reasonable” to “out of his damn mind.”

But wait — there’s more! As Bubs walked toward Stacy for some help getting out of his poo-poo predicament, a hunk fell out of his shorts. His 12-year-old cousin, KB, saw the deuce drop. That was all it took: KB ran next door to his parents’ campsite and lost his hotdog dinner. Camping is a blast, isn’t it?

Bubs got a cold shower in the camper and a swift bedtime soon after. La-la, who had a great night had a s’more and several marshmallows, roasted over a mostly leaf and pine needle fire.

Saturday was much better. We had hot breakfast. Dinner was already cooked. Nobody pooped their pants or threw up. Learning our lesson from the night before, we didn’t let Bubs stay up so late. He had a good day, though, and got to have a s’more roasted over the camper stove before turning in for the night.

Saturday’s hot breakfast

Sunday was hot, hot, hot, with the mercury hitting nearly one hundred. We spent the morning in and on the lake. Then we picked it all up in the early afternoon, loaded ourselves, the two kids, and the two dogs into Mean Green, and made for home.

We were all spent and dirty, but we were bringing our fill of sunshine, fresh air, and family fun back with us. Until next time!

What’s your favorite summertime activity?

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen a kid do while camping?

3 thoughts on “Camping, After Dark

  1. Oh my.. poor Bubs! This makes me think of my camping memories as a child. One particular memory comes to mind. We always camped with our local church group. There was another family with two young children. The parents left the kids w/ another family so the parents could go do a fun hike. A few hours passed that afternoon and the parents weren’t back yet, campfire dinner came and went and the parents weren’t back yet. No cell phone service around here. Folks were starting to get worried and I believe they notified the park rangers. They said there was nothing we could do until daylight again. The kids stayed with the other family overnight in the tent. The parents finally came back after sunrise. They had gotten lost and had to sleep in the forest because it was getting too dark on their way back. Thankfully they were fine, just hungry and tired and the kids never even knew anything was wrong!


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