Buck up, camper.

No one actually SAID that to me last weekend, but they could have and probably should have. We were reminded during this year’s annual camping trip how powerfully the weather influences our experience. The first 24 hours were wet and cold. I was having a hard time keeping a positive attitude. I had hand-warmers inside my clothes and at one point I went to our van and turned it on just to use the seat warmer for a few minutes. I know that some non-campers out there will say in complete unbelief: THEN WHY DO YOU DO IT?!?! I asked myself the same question as I was laying inside a tent at 8pm, freezing, with 2 kids who didn’t want to go to bed because it was still light outisde, but we could BE outside because it was raining! But, I came up with a few answers.
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Because it’s what our family does! Since I was a little girl. And anticipating it is half the fun. We pack up for days and get special treats for the drive.
Because I bought this hat for Sydney before she was even born and I love that she’s wearing it now.
Because our kids and cousins get to be together and play and attitudes change and suddenly having goldfish in a plastic cup seems about the best snack EVER!

Because it’s super special to this grandpa…

…and this grandma.

Because instead of playing Star Wars on the Wii, these boys are pretending Star Wars in the woods with their “light sabers” given by Nina.

Princess Leia?

Because when it’s wet and cold, kids get to play in their camping pj’s and boots until noon. And we still find places for the kids to sit and play–here they are getting ready to receive their bug kits.

Because they play for hours, getting dirty & wet, without a televsion or video game in sight.

If there are no bugs, they can collect moss.

Because even if the littlest ones won’t remember this…

WE will remember and tell them “You’ve been going on this camping trip since you were BORN, so put your cell phone down and GET IN THE CAR!”

Because these two predestined best friends finally started noticing each other and playing together without prodding.

Because usually the sun does come out and Jojo presents her annual treasure hunt.

And everyone can enjoy the spoils!

So even after a rough year, I know I’ll be back next summer and the summer after that and the summer after that….it’s TRADITION!