CAMPING: Our family enjoys an annual week camping trip up in the mountains of El Dorado National Forest and always have an incredible time. Vacations can either be jammed packed with sights to see, agendas to keep and experiences to experience; or they can be relaxing and refreshing with a slowed down pace spent together next to some water. My ultimate favorite past time is to sun-bathe / stock up on my Vitamin D. Kayaking, swimming, exloring, 4 wheeling, fishing and splashing in the water are some of our favorite things to do at the lake. Camping is our favorite way use our vacation time. My husband has been camping there with friends since high school and we have taken our boy every year thus far and plan to keep the annual tradition alive throughout our life. This year we borrowed my father in law’s 26’ motor-home and “roughed it” right next to the beautiful Loon Lake. Let me tell you, that may have been a toxic decision as I don’t think I can go back to tent camping. Initially I was only excited about the bathroom and thought the motor-home was “a little too much, I’m not going to use the shower & only limited use of the other appliances” but who was I kidding? It was perfect, comfy, convenient and I’m now officially spoiled!
HIGHLIGHTS: playing all day! It’s quite magical to experience nature (and life for that matter) through the eyes of a child. Things are so spectacular and exciting to youngens. He lead me to “the great valley” while searching for the “perfect fighting stick” to keep me safe and “fight all the bears”. He was on the lookout for lizards and overturned their sacred havens just to try to poke them with a stick (and then promptly yelled and jumped away). Camping with children can be fun, exhausting and also scary at times. My boy is now pretending to be “Spider-Man” and was climbing up and jumping off boulders, jumping from rock to rock, which was a constant reminder for me to let him grow, explore live and learn. Interesting concept for a mother, considering our natural instincts is to protect our children and keep them safe BUT allowing them to test their skills, develop new abilities and strengthen their confidence is a part of growing up (hoping this growing process does not include broken bones and MORE trips to the ER resulting in stitches). Some activities we do with our boy to keep busy during those (sometimes) loooooooooooooong camping days are play games, such as : I spy, scavenger hunt, marbles, and my boy’s favorite is “cover yourself with dirt then wipe it off with a stick”, he did this for about an hour. We took him for his first 4 wheeling ride on part of the infamous Rubicon trial. Best part about that experience is that HE FEEL ASLEEP! Like a little bobblehead in his car seat I had to climb in the back seat and hold his little head his back…it was hilarious!
HUMILATION: What's a family adventure without a little parent humiliation? I have to say the most humiliating part of the camping trip was when our boy continued to push limits, test boundaries and we had to discipline him. Back story = we use the time-out method which usually works these days, but in the past our SPIRITED independent boy had given us a run for our money, rarely responded to set consequences and required us to test various methods for about 2 years, which also included spanking. We are not completely opposed to it but learned that it is not effective for our family. WELL upon putting him on time out (on his chair away from the camping fun) he continued to prod and push so I threatened him “if you continue, you will be in big trouble”. He then starts screaming and yelling “don’t spank me! No mommy please don’t spank me!” which echoed throughout the entire campground. Well, maybe spanking was more effective that we had given it credit.