Last year, we introduced Lex to camping with some good friends of ours and their son. This year, we started an annual tradition by going again with our friends. Eli came along this time too.
For this one night trip, we went to a pretty primitive campsite. There is an outhouse and a well pump with drinking water, but no electric and no other amenities. I grew up camping this way, so it doesn't phase me at all. Camping is all about being in nature.
The first couple of hours were spent just setting up the camp. We worked on laying out food where we wanted it, setting up tents, and basically getting the camp fire going. Last year, we bought this awesome Coleman tent that seriously goes up in less than 2 minutes. It's so convenient and easy that I wonder how on earth in took the camping industry so long to design it. I've put together some pretty complicated tents in my days.
Here is Eli "helping" put the stakes in the ground for our friends' tent.
Here's the boys getting the lay of the land in our tent. We have a no shoe policy in the tent so that dirt doesn't get tracked all over it. It still usually needs to be swept out by the end of the trip, but this helps a lot.
We typically don't need to provide entertainment for the boys when we're camping or doing anything outdoors for that matter. They find sticks, logs, and bugs to keep themselves busy. On this trip, though, I found this cute scavenger hunt for them to do. They loved it. Here's the link to not only this scavenger hunt, but lots of other free scavenger hunts, too. Since it has pictures, even Eli could do it independently.
As for other kids activities, the boys found plenty of things to hang from.
Or drive (Aside from nature, dump trucks and glow sticks kept them occupied for much of the time.)
Once we had tents set up and things somewhat organized around camp, we broke out the hot dogs for the boys to start cooking. Yep, we kept it pretty simple. We didn't even bring camp fire hot dog skewers. We just went into the woods and gathered up sticks that we thought would work. They had lots of fun cooking their own meal.
And for dessert, of course we roasted marshmallows. See that puff of smoke in front of Lex? That's his marshmallow. He was less interested in eating the marshmallows and more interested in catching them on fire and then blowing them out.
Eli and Peyton seemed more interested in just having food on a stick that they could wave around.
We also had yummy rice krispie treats.
After dinner, s'mores, and snacks, all the kids played in the tent, while the grown-ups hung out by the fire.
It was a beautiful evening.
The next morning, we heated water on the camping stove for instant coffee.
And cooked up some bacon and eggs over the campfire.
Then the boys took all of their dump trucks and had some fun on the little road that ran through the campground.
And here are the boys after a fun night of camping!
And we left with a family of happy campers!