We did it. We went on our first camping trip. With a toddler.
Seven years ago, my husband and I were engaged and creating our wedding registries. One night, a friend and I were having some fun and thought it would be funny to add random items to our Target registry. Enter all things camping (and a wall-mounted fish bowl that a former friend now has in his possession.) We received every single camping item I added to that list. And we had never used it.
(Family selfie! Notice the toddler saying “Cheese!”)
Camping was added to our 2014 Summer Bucket List, and I decided to tie it into Father’s Day weekend (I kept it a secret for as long as possible. I ended up telling my husband about our trip last Wednesday. We left Saturday.) It was only one night, and we were 40 minutes from home. We stayed at Jellystone Park in Marion (a Yogi Bear-themed camping resort) and the toddler had a blast.
My husband and I didn’t have an awful time either. We didn’t think to bring a hammer or mallet (so we were very grateful for our camp neighbors who loaned us one.) And we didn’t set up the tent before we went. We just prayed we would get it up and all of the parts would be there.
There was no wi-fi, or cell phone service for that matter. We were shut down for 18 hours. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was pretty cool to just turn my phone to airplane mode (to keep the battery from draining) and lock it in the car for the day/night.
Lucas did NOT sleep well, and we had a few meltdown moments. He also only took a 40 minute nap on Saturday afternoon. That said, he had so much fun swimming. His Puddle Jumper life jacket is so perfect (a last-minute purchase on my part) and now all he wants to do is “swim with feet.” Meaning: He wants to kick (like he was taught in swim lessons last year) and he wants to do it all by himself. This life jacket is going to be a game changer this summer!
And swimming is exhausting.
He ate his first s’more this past weekend, and my husband taught him to eat Cheerios with milk. (He’s only had dry Cheerios – and he normally has oatmeal or eggs for breakfast.) Life lessons were learned, y’all.
My husband apparently had a good enough time that he wants to go camping again. And I’m sure we’ll go camping again. Just maybe not this summer. I’m still tired.
Have you ever attempted camping with kids? Young kids? What are your tips?