Thursday, July 5, 2012

Camping, Again

For the past few days, we were camping, our second trip this summer.

The morning we departed, Chiara woke up at 6am, raring to go. She's just two, but was all dressed, and even wearing a bicycle helmet (?), when she tapped me awake, "Mom - time to go camping!"
Me and my girl on a kayak
I can't even express how thrilled I am to see this budding sense of adventure in my little girl. She just can't seem to get enough of all things outdoors. This trip I taught her how to poke rocks out of the ground using a branch. She learned to spot places where raccoons might sleep. She took a few new brave steps when it comes to swimming: dunking her head on her own, lifting her feet and kicking and heading out to the deeper waters (wearing a life preserver, of course). She relished being mucky and sandy and muddy, and then washing it all away with a delicious dip into a cool lake. When I asked her if she wanted to go kayaking, she jumped to her feet and ran to the boathouse, donned her lifevest and enthusiastically helped me pull the kayak into the water. We paddled through lily pads, looking for frogs and floating flowers, and toured the small lake.  She was in 7th heaven the entire time.  
Daniel brought along his friend from school this trip. Jaleel had never been camping before, and adapted well to middle of the woods, no electricity/no running water living. These two boys spent just about the entire trip in the water, jumping on and off a pier anchored in the middle of the lake.  They were helpful when it came to collecting sticks and setting up the tent, stoking the fire, and eating roasted marshmallows.  
Chiara in her "Camping Rocks!" chair, eating a fire-baked quick bread

Camping requires a lot of teamwork and I always need a day or two to recover from camping trips, but oh - the memories we've made! I'm looking forward to a longer camping trip this upcoming fall. 

P.S. Have you heard of the Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights?

Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights

Every child should have the opportunity to:
  • Discover wilderness – prairies, dunes, forests, savannas, and wetlands
  • Camp under the stars
  • Follow a trail
  • Catch and release fish, frogs, and insects
  • Climb a tree
  • Explore nature in neighborhoods and cities
  • Celebrate their natural heritage
  • Plant a flower
  • Play in the mud or a stream
  • Learn to swim

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